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Jul 6, 2024

In the beginning, there was nothing but nothingness … and God. 

“In the beginning … the earth was without form, and void.” (Genesis 1:2 KJV) We can only understand the nothingness that existed before time began if we erase from our mind’s image everything that frames life as we know it: Time. Space. Matter. Air. Light. All of that did not exist in the very BEGINNING. There was only God … and the void. (In fact, He would have had to CREATE the void for the void to exist, wouldn’t He?) 

In that void—and FROM that void—God, who was already envisioning what WOULD be, began His creative work. First, the elements—the formless mass described in Genesis 1:2.  From that, He fashioned every living and non-living thing—from air, water, and rock, to the one-celled creatures, plants, animals, birds and fish—to each individual human being. All according to plan—His Plan. Creato ex nihilo. ALL from NOTHING.

God has not changed through the millennia nor has His Plan. He still loves to create from NOTHING. Martin Luther, who’s called the Father of the Reformation, said, “God made the world out of nothing. It is only when we become nothing that God can make something out of us.” 

BING!! God loves and looks for a void—a NOTHING from which to do His creative work!

Think about it: When we are newly born, that’s when we are the closest to “nothingness.” 

  • Yes, we’re given a body with magnificently functioning systems in place—a beating heart, seeing eyes, hearing ears, breathing lungs, a thinking brain. 
  • Yes, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14 KJV)
  • Yes, though we are crafted with inclinations and predispositions per the unique genetic recipe God used to build us—at the point of birth, in a sense, we are “without form and void.” Before we have learned to rebel or even to EXPECT anything—we are NOTHING. The most NOTHING we will ever be. 

I am not saying that at birth we are worthless, for we are God’s individual creation, made in His image, and therefore precious. Later, we may have potential, but AT BIRTH, all we truly possess is (1) life, and (2) need. NOTHING more. 

Perhaps THAT is the stage of life that Jesus is referring to when He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you TURN and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 CSB) 

The word “turn” here is from the Greek word: στρέφω, strephō, which means to “turn quite around or REVERSE.” How far back was Jesus asking us to reverse? To what stage of “little?” Perhaps back to the state before we could claim any talents or offer any gifts—back to when we had NOTHING—when we were NOTHING. Because NOTHING is God’s favorite raw material from which to create SOMETHING new!

The Word of God is the express PLAN of God. Dr. James Littles has observed, “All of Scripture is about ONE thing—God’s desire to be among His people.” Not just to be AMONG them, but He IN them—and them IN Him. His people FILLED with His Spirit. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV) 

But you cannot “fill” a space that is already full—so, for God to execute His Plan in us, there must be a space—a space of our own nothingness. He can work with ANYTHING, but He loves to create from NOTHING. Thus, to create a new creature in US, God “needs” our NOTHINGness. 

That’s why, for us to be truly BORN AGAIN, repentance and baptism are essential. Repentance empties us and baptism washes us clean of ourselves, leaving nothing, but making space for God to fill. We submit to God what Andrew Murray described as “divine humility—the nothingness that makes room for God to prove His power.” God fills the void with His Spirit, and we are born AGAIN. Selah. 

So, if you are feeling empty, depleted, and down to the bare threads—don’t despair. Trust Jesus. The Creator GOD loves to make beautiful things appear out of nothing!

In the next study, let’s look at this thought a bit more: God desires for us to not withhold anything from Him—not even our NOTHING. Stay tuned!

(Part 1 of 2)