Half Full or Half Empty?

Are you familiar with that psychology question to test whether someone is an Optimist or a Pessimist? You know, it’s the one where you tell someone a glass has water at the halfway mark and would they say it is half empty or half full?

When I am asked that question, my answer is: “It depends on what you are doing with the glass.”

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

You see, if I am filling the glass in order to drink the water, then I haven’t completed what I started to do so, by design, the glass is half full. If, on the other hand, the glass had been full and I was drinking it all up, I haven’t finished drinking it all so the glass is half empty.

My answer isn’t based on the temporary condition of the glass but on the intention of what the glass should become. If I am filling it, my intention for the glass is to be filled, and if drinking it, the glass is to become empty.

This same outlook holds true for our spiritual nature.

Instead of water in a glass, if we are talking about me and God’s spirit, I intend to become more filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit. Consequently, in order to be more filled with the Spirit, I must be emptied, that is, emptied of my worldly desires so that there is room for the Spirit. The more of myself I empty, the more of God’s spirit I can be filled with.

However, for those who are not intending to be filled with the spirit, they are being filled with themselves and the things of this world, and what they are being emptied of is hope, trust, and being able to look forward to an eternity of joy.

As Believers who trust in God to keep his promises, we must always be in the process of becoming filled, meaning holier, and looking forward to the future. I don’t think someone who is pessimistic is truly faithful. If I am faithful can I be cynical? Yes. Can I be realistic? Hopefully. Can I be pessimistic?  NEVER!

We have the Almighty God, the creator of the universe to watch over us, and we have his son, the Messiah, to intercede for us, and we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. How can anyone not be secure about their future, no matter what is happening, with all that help?

Faith creates optimism: you can’t be faithful and not look forward to the future. For those who believe they are faithful but still view things pessimistically, this may be a hard word for you, and if it is then I say, GOOD! C’mon! Get with the program, trust in God and stop trusting in anything or anyone else.

When you trust in yourself or other humans you can’t be anything but pessimistic because humans are sinful and selfish. In my experience, people who do not believe in God are almost exclusively pessimists. And no wonder; if there is no supernatural entity that loves you, cares for you and is planning only the best for you, how can you be hopeful?

Despite my cynical nature, I am in fact an optimist. It’s in my genes: my blood type is B-Positive.

Seriously, I am optimistic because I trust in God and therefore can look forward to the future, even the bad things I am sure will have to happen. After all, we may not be spiritually part of the world, but we are physically in it, and there is no way you can walk through a cow field and not end up stepping in something, no matter how careful you are.

I am a glass that is always in the process of being filled and I am working hard to become fuller every day.

What condition is your glass in?

Thank you for being here and please subscribe and share this message with others to help this teaching ministry grow. I always welcome your comments, and until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Empty Is A Good Start

I got nottin! Usually, I have some idea of what I am going to say. I rode my bike both Saturday and Sunday, and when riding I pray and get inspiration for these blogs, but this morning all I have is a deep desire for December 31, 2016. That’s the day I am planning to be my last, official working day. As for inspiration, a word from the Lord, or even a good idea of how to get my lazy tuchas in gear to go to work this morning, I’ve got “nut’n’ honey!”

That’s why I titled this the way I did, because I realized, as soon as I started writing, that being empty isn’t a bad place to be, because being empty allows one to be filled (as He is doing to me right this minute!)

There’s the old question, “Is the cup half-empty or is it half-filled?” My answer is simply that there isn’t enough there. Being unfilled (or unfulfilled, as the case may be) can mean, with the proper attitude, that you are ready to be filled.

It’s what we fill ourselves with that matters: some fill themselves up with the Holy Spirit, some fill themselves up with themselves, and some are like the parable of the man who was freed from the evil spirit and his house swept clean (meaning he was void of evil thoughts) but he didn’t fill himself up with anything of value. Being empty, but not filling himself correctly, the same spirit that once filled him filled him again, but it brought with it seven other spirits, all worse than itself.

We need to die to self in order for Yeshua to live more within us, meaning to be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit.) This doesn’t mean that we are replaced, but that we are changed. I was scared to death about being “replaced” if I was to give myself to God. What I have learned is that there is so much of who I am that I want to give up, that I would love for the Lord to take away, but He hasn’t. That’s what I have come to realize in my spiritual maturity (what there is of it): we need to be able to call on the Spirit and use the strength and power it gives us, but we are still in charge of who we are and what we do. I asked God over and over to take away sexual thoughts and seeing people as objects, I have prayed that He excise this part of my thinking, remove it, just take it away! And He answered my prayer: He told me that isn’t how it works. I have to overcome my sin. Even way back in the days of the Garden, didn’t God tell Cain that sin crouched at his door and he had to overcome it? God can, if He so chooses, rewire our brains in a heartbeat, but then we don’t learn anything, do we? If it is done for us, how will we find the strength to overcome the Tribulation Days? Where will we find the strength to refuse to take “The Mark?” If one doesn’t exercise the body, how can they ever expect to be strong?

No, God will not just make it happen, He will coach us, He will help us and guide us, He will supply the Ruach to strengthen and empower us with wisdom, discernment and knowledge.

But He will not do it all for us.

That’s why the Prophets and the Psalms talk about being tested in the fire, about burning off the dross, about walking through the valley of the shadow of death- we have to, each one of us- be prepared to do our own battle with evil. God is the coach, He is there to help us, to pick us up, to strengthen and encourage us, but He will not do it all for us. We need to be filled with Him, we need to empty ourselves of much of ourselves, not everything, but enough so that what is left will mix well with the Ruach.

God has given each of us talents and gifts, those need to stay; by being empty of the other things, the things of the world, we leave room for more of Him and that emptiness is a good emptiness, that is, as long as we fill it with His Spirit.

If you’re feeling a quart or two low on Spirit, there is plenty to go around. Being empty or feeling void of God’s spirit is not something to be sad about- that is working with the enemy. When you feel “down” and like you just aren’t making any progress, do not allow yourself to become morose and sad because that evil spirit and his buddies are just waiting for that door to open to them. If you feel that your “house” is empty, when you think you are not measuring up, or any time you just feel “empty”, drive yourself to God’s gas station, get on your knees, look up and say, “Fill ‘er up with high test!”

God never has an embargo on Spirit, and it is always free for the asking.

Always remember this: being empty is the first, and a very important step, to being filled with the Spirit of the living God.