When We Run On Empty

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5

My cup overflowing or running over. That’s where I want to stay. Not just full of God’s word but overflowing with it. But sometimes, I let my cup run dry. Empty.

It’s a dangerous place to be. When we run on empty, we can make poor choices, love less, and fall into old bad habits. The warning bells sound and yet, there are times I ignore them and keep on chugging along.

When someone bumps into me, I want Christ’s love to slosh from my full cup onto the other person. Running on empty, I’m afraid they may get a low growl instead. Not pretty. Not very Christlike. Not very loving.

There are warning signs that things have gone astray but we have to train ourselves to recognize them.

  • Feeling low or down
  • Growling, nitpicking, or other cranky attitudes
  • Saying unfriendly things we don’t mean

If we can recognize the need for more time with Christ before it gets to the point of being completely worn down and empty, everyone benefits. If we don’t tackle the problem in the early stages, we risk hurting ourselves, our families, and those who are looking to us to see how Christians really behave.

Signs of an Empty Tank:

  • Ugly attitude most of the time
  • Hopelessness
  • Less and less time in God’s word
  • Avoiding healthy Christ-centered relationships
  • Making poor choices regarding family, health, finances, friendships, etc.

Our goal should be to never allow ourselves to reach the scenarios in the list above but we all know that it happens. We stumble. We get tired, run down, sick, etc.

The beauty of being a believer is that Christ always welcomes us back with open arms. You’re always welcome in His house.

So how do we keep our tanks full and overflowing?

  • Prayer. Be in constant communication with the Lord. You can do this any time, anywhere. It requires no special skills or materials. Be honest.
  • Get out your bible. If this isn’t a daily habit, make it one. Every day. Even just for a few minutes.
  • Memorize scripture. You are going to need it. When the enemy starts to needle you (and he will, guaranteed), you’ll be armed to combat him.
  • Journal. What happened in your day? What did you hear the Lord whisper to you during your quiet time with Him? What have you been praying over and how has He answered those requests?
  • Worship. Listen to worship music and offer your worship time to Him. Music has an amazing healing power. Utilize it.
  • Accountability. Whether it is with a bible study group, a close friend, or your spouse, find someone you can feel accountable to for spending time with the Lord and making good choices.

How do you keep your cup full? What happens when you run dry?

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  1. Mel this is exactly what I needed! Thank you! I’m not a nice person when I’m running on empty. When the cup overflows we can slosh love and grace over the lip. When it is empty and someone tips us we cover them with our bitterness and dregs. Uck. Very convicting for me at a time when I’m trying to find ways to keep my cup full in the stuff of life (work, parenting, being a good spouse and friend)…bright blessings!
    Shanyn recently posted..The Ruins of Babel

  2. It can be so hard sometimes to just admit that we are running on empty. I love the checklist. Good advice and good tools to go with them.

  3. Thank you for post…right on time word…this has been my life lately..
    Sherry French recently posted..Happy 2012

  4. Thanks so much for this reminder!! I know for me when I’m not spending time with God daily I tend to become bitter, lazy, and more prone to sin! I’ve been struggling lately spiritually, so thank you so much for the reminder on how important this really is!!!!!
    Felicia recently posted..A Mother’s Sacrifice

  5. Mel,

    Hey just came over from my site faithfulsteps.net and I loved this post! Thanks for those wise words and thanks for entering!

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