The God Shaped Vacuum ~ Where the Analogy Breaks Down

How many of you out there have heard the analogy, "There is a God shaped vacuum in each one of us that only God can fill. We try to fill it with other things, but only God can fill that empty spot within each one of us."??? Thank you brother, I see that hand.

I understand where people are coming from when they share this picturesque metaphor. There is a silent longing within the hearts of non-believers for something that just can’t be understood until we are redeemed. Hey, I used to be a non-believer. I remember a nagging feeling in the back of my mind like I was forgetting something really important. I would be on the way to some event thinking that I was forgetting something. Then I’d remember. It’s this God thing, that maybe I’m not really a Christian, but that I’m on my way to hell instead. So I can identify with Keith Green’s crazy missing part.

There is a point where this analogy breaks down, though. It conveys the idea that human beings are empty vessels waiting to be filled by God, perhaps by the Holy Spirit of God. This is just not the case. The Bible accurately describes mankind as being full of wickedness. Consider two passages that Paul applies universally to mankind as a whole in Romans 3.

Psalm 14

1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

Isaiah 59

2

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. 4 No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. 5 They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out. 6 Their webs will not become garments, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And the act of violence is in their hands. 7 Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths. 8 The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

Everybody probably remembers this verse as the standard for describing the condition of the human heart.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

There is no empty place waiting for the LORD to simply fill. Our hearts are full of all kinds of wickedness. We do not have the ability to empty ourselves of that wickedness. Only God, through the blood of His Son Jesus, can cleanse our hearts from sin. We must repent of our evil works in order to be cleansed by His blood. If you think you are an empty vessel, you are mistaken. You are either filled with all kinds of wickedness, or you have repented of your evil way to allow Christ’s blood to cleanse you of your sins, and have been filled with the Holy Spirit. We are not born on neutral ground. We are born in sin, completely separated from God. We need a Savior and Jesus the Messiah is that Savior.

This leads me to another point. I cannot judge anyone’s salvation. But I just wonder how many have followed this false analogy in attempting to become a Christian. They just believe they are on neutral ground, they have this emptiness, and they ask God to fill them without repenting of their sins. Where does that take them? Where does that leave them? BTW, I am not including Keith Green in this category. His song was meant to illustrate one facet of the truth. His other music demonstrates other facets of that truth. He plainly had repented of his sins.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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