How To Follow Jesus When You Feel Like You’re On Empty
Last weekend, Jerry taught us about how to trust God when we come up empty. It was a very practical message that we hope will help people take a next step in their relationship with God. We looked at a story in the Bible where Jesus’ disciples came up empty when fishing but decided to trust Jesus and he performed one of the coolest miracles recorded in the Bible. You can read that full story here.
Let’s be honest: There are times when it is really easy to follow Jesus, and then there are times when it is really difficult. Like the times where we feel on empty with the light on. You know what I mean?
For example, when you’re at The Ridge when our band is playing a particularly powerful song like Death Was Arrested or our recent opener, Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains), it might be easy for you to follow Jesus. When you are sitting on the beach, listening to the waves and looking at the ocean, it can be easy to follow Jesus. When you are sitting on your back deck on a cool winter morning with a cup of coffee in your hands and watching the sunrise, it can be easy to follow Jesus.
But, what about the times when circumstances in our lives make us want to fight God instead of follow Him? Or the moments where we feel like sleeping in on Sunday, skipping our life group, or calling in sick when we’re scheduled to serve? What about the stages in our lives when we feel so busy that we can’t find time to open up a Bible or pray with our kids?
How do we follow Jesus even when we don’t feel like it or when we feel like we’re on empty?
I think one of the answers is found in an old song I remember singing in church when I was a child:
“I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus; No turning back, no turning back.”
Following Jesus isn’t something we determine based on how we feel in a particular moment, stage of life or circumstance. It’s a daily decision to follow Christ even when it’s hard.
Perry Noble, a pastor at a church like The Ridge, says it this way.
“Emotion will not sustain devotion.”
Many times the miracle God wants to perform in our lives happens when it seems nearly impossible and we “feel” on empty.
So, if you are having a tough time, it doesn’t mean you are ungodly; it means you’re normal. The best thing we can do when we experience something like this is sing this song in our mind, reach out to someone at The Ridge, and trust that tough times aren’t meant to push us away from Christ, but rather bring us closer to Him.
If you’re feeling on empty and would like to reach out and speak to someone, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk with someone on Sunday morning after our 9:30 or 11am service. We’re here to celebrate with you during the good times and we’re here to support you when you feel on empty.