When Becoming Nothing is an Improvement

By Francis Frangipane

In the beginning, the earth was formless and void, but that did not deter the Almighty. He looked into the fathomless depth of its darkness and concluded, "All it needs is light!" Likewise, in the beginning of our spiritual lives, we also are "formless and void" and God, just as confidently, is still saying, "All they need is a little light!" Remember: it's the Lord's responsibility to create and our responsibility to submit to His creating.

The Lord only needs three things to fashion life. First, He needs a "nothing." The Almighty always begins His great, creative works with a "nothing" (this is very important because this is where we come in!). Then, His Spirit needs to be hovering over the "nothing." And, finally, He needs His Word, which is the "something" He's going to put in the "nothing's" place.
God has no difficulty at all creating something out of nothing. The only obstacle He faces is when the nothing doesn't know it is nothing, but instead thinks it's something. At that point God has to break it back down to nothing before it is good for anything. (Are you still following me?) Paul said this better than I when he wrote,

"If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself" (Gal 6:3).

Even as Christians, if we think we are something better than others or that our opinion is wiser or that we have "arrived" spiritually and become important in our own eyes, we are deceiving ourselves! The only Something there truly is, is God. Yet and, this is wonderful if we categorically know we are nothing without the Lord, and we simultaneously recognize whatever grace He has worked in us is so we can be a blessing to others, then there is no limit to how He can use us. Our knowing we are nothing is a great attainment in His eyes. For then our energies are no longer spent exalting ourselves, but in clinging to Christ and magnifying Him.

God is not offended by chaos
There will be times when, like the pre-creation universe, you discover your life seems "formless and void." Do not be over-concerned. When you discover there is "chaos" in the deepest part of you, do not fret. You are at a new beginning. It has taken the Lord quite a long time to help you to recognize your "nothingness."

So, let all who know they are nothings rejoice: you are miles ahead of those who think they are something! The proud, who consider themselves something special, do not deal with the lightless regions of chaos in their souls; they simply hide it. But, God is about to bring your life into order and set you free! All you need is to open up and confess your nothingness to the Holy Spirit.

"For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6).

This is the very way our great Creator creates. He causes light to shine out of darkness! The only thing He requires of us is to be honest about the darkness, to confess it instead of hiding it.

"And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them . . . But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light" (Eph 5:11,13).

When darkness is exposed to the light, it becomes light. In fact, the very reason our darkness becomes visible to us, is because God is exposing it to light. If you persevere, if you continually thrust your darkness into the light of God's grace and power, God's light will shine out of your darkness. Your darkness will actually become light.

Beloved, if you know you are nothing in yourself, you're a prime candidate to become something in God! Consider again what Paul wrote:

"For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3:3-8).

Learning to put no confidence in the flesh, to become nothing in ourselves, is an ongoing process and an integral part of the Christian experience. Paul saw all his human attainments as obstacles. Certainly, the Lord used all of the elements of Paul's life, but not before Paul gave them up, surrendering them to the Lord. Such is the path into Oneness with Christ and, beloved, oneness with one another. As John the Baptist said, "He must increase and I must decrease." You see, though self-confidence dies, God-confidence comes to life!

So, do not fret; admit to yourself and others that you have areas within that are dead and dark. Romans 4:17 says, "God . . . gives life to the dead, and calls into being that which does not exist." God gives LIFE to the dead. Do you sometimes feel dead? Good. You're qualified to get God's life! Look to God. Trust Him as your Creator. Do not fear when you discover you are nothing. There is a time when becoming nothing is an improvement.