Filling the Void of the Soul
I confess that, unlike many in this world, I experienced a relatively happy childhood bereft of major trauma or loss. The house didn’t burn down, we didn’t move and leave family and friends behind, none of my close relatives passed away and I wasn’t ill beyond the usual kid stuff like measles, the flu and allergies. Yes, I ran into my fair share of bullies at school, suffered a couple minor injuries and lost a few beloved pets, but nothing life devastating.
Still, I can remember as a young teen beginning to sense a void in my life, the feeling that I was missing something undefinable though important. Critical in fact. As I grew older, that sensation became stronger. While I wasn’t in a frantic search at the time, I was nonetheless seeking something I couldn’t identify or explain. It remained a mystery until after I graduated from high school. Only then did I finally understand what was lacking in my life. I was missing the one ingredient necessary for filling the void of the soul.
Everyone Faces It
In my book Discovering Love Online: Love May Be Closer Than You Think, I reference that void of the soul several times, a feeling everyone faces at some point in their lives. No one’s exempt. It’s an emptiness that cries out. Like a dry stream bed in a scorched land, our parched soul is waiting to be filled, refreshed.
I mention it here because this void may relate to your search for love, as well. It’s possible to think, mistakenly, that finding the love of your life will fill the abyss. Sorry, no significant other is capable of doing that, nor can they even come close. So, don't place that burden on them and don’t fool yourself. Finding that special someone can temporarily mask the void like a rug spread over a hole in the floor. But, sooner or later, you’re going to step on the hole and fall back in.
If you have any doubts, give it some time. Once you’ve found the love of your life, you’ll soon discover, if you haven’t already, that a void still exists inside you. An emptiness that desperately needs to be filled. Some try to fill it with another person like a spouse or close friend, while others seek to placate it with alcohol, drugs, food, sex, pornography or some other form of temporal fulfillment or addiction.
Unfortunately, those venues all fall short of satisfying the inborn need we have to fill the void of our soul. What you need to understand is that nothing temporal, not even the love of your life, can fill that emptiness within.
As a side note, I believe this is an underlying cause in many divorces, a general confusion and dissatisfaction resulting from unmet and unrealistic expectations.
A Solution’s Available
Those of faith understand this void can only be filled by what it was designed to hold—a relationship with God. Attempting to fill that vacuum with anything else is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. It’s a futile endeavor. Okay, I'll concede. You can fit a small square peg into a large round hole, but it doesn’t fit correctly.
How do you fill this God-Shaped Void? By accepting God’s gift, given in the form of his Son. That gift is referred to in Christian circles as salvation and it simply means restoration. It’s the means of setting right what’s presently wrong. In this case, it’s a restoration of our relationship with God.
However, you must first recognize that you’re separated from God and in need of restoration. Many can sense it, as in my youthful feeling that I was missing something undefinable though critically important. Too often, however, the world blinds our eyes and deafens us, dulling our senses and obscuring our need. Usually, it takes a traumatic incident like an illness or death to awaken our senses. Sometimes a lonely point in our lives is enough to show us our need of assistance beyond ourselves. Whatever the case, the Bible is clear in pointing out our standing before God apart from his gift, what needs to change in our lives and how to bring about that personal restoration—our redemption.
It’s Recorded in God’s Word
What do we need to be redeemed from? Our sins. Sin, by the way, literally means “to miss the mark.” That’s a problem. Anything short of perfection misses the mark in God’s sight. And, we’re all guilty of being imperfect. A little white lie is still a lie. Hating someone in our heart is the same as murder to God. Likewise, lusting is on the same plane as adultery before him. Sorry, folks, that’s just the way it is in a fallen world. As a result, we need to be saved, restored.
This restoration is not based upon works either. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be referred to as a gift. We can’t earn a relationship with God. We can never do enough good deeds to outweigh our failures and sins. It’s impossible. We can’t redeem ourselves, can’t pull ourselves up by our own spiritual bootstraps.
So, the first thing we need to accept is that we’re sinners in need of a savior. You see, all sin deserves punishment. Since God is just, he needs to punish sin. And, we deserve that punishment, the end of which is Hell—separation from God.
Fortunately, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and take our punishment so that we can live eternally in God’s presence. It’s his gift of love to each of us. We just need someone to tell us that God has given us his Son and how to make him our own.
God Loves Us
We know we’re loved by God from what’s written in the Bible, so much that he made a way for us to spend eternity with him. It’s through Christ’s death on our behalf.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Man is a Sinner
We already discussed this point above. Yet, for those who doubt, God makes it clear in the following passages from the Bible.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
Jesus is Our Savior
While many claim to have the truth when it comes to the way of salvation, our restoration, the Bible is clear that one way exists, and only one way—through God’s Son, Jesus.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
His Gift is Available
Given the above, all that remains is for us to accept God’s free gift. Not by works, but through believing in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins.
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10)
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
“They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.’” (Acts 16:31a)
“For he says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
The Choice is Ours
God’s gift of restoration is free. To accept it and fill the void of our souls, we need to agree with him that we’re a sinner, turn from our sinful ways and ask for his forgiveness. Further, we must believe in our heart that Jesus died to pay for our sin and that God raised him from the dead. In doing so, we receive the gift of salvation. You can make that decision now by offering up a simple prayer like the one below.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner and that my sin has separated me from you. I also know that you died on the cross for my sins, that you were raised from the dead and that you hear my prayers. I turn from self and sin and trust you to be my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life and help me to be the person you want me to be. Save me now and forever. Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayer and saving my soul. In your name I pray. Amen.
It’s Your New Experience
If you asked God to forgive you and you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior in all sincerity, you’re now a Child of God. Congratulations! However, your new walk with God doesn’t end there. To continue with your commitment, the following are all important for your new life in Christ.
Get Baptized in Water
Water baptism, full immersion, symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and is our visible identification with him.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
Share Your Faith
Once you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, it’s important to share your faith with others. It's a testimony of your decision to follow Christ and a witness so they, too, may come to know him.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.” (Psalm 107:2)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)
Read the Bible and Pray
It’s also important to spend some time each day with God in prayer and Bible reading. I suggest getting a copy of either the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV), the version quoted in this article, the New Living Translation (NLT) or the English Standard Version (ESV).
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Find a Good Local Church
Locate a good Bible-believing church that teaches God’s Word so you continue to grow.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day [of Christ’s return] approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
It's been over 40 years now since I discovered what was missing in my life and made the decision to follow Christ. I've never regretted it. It’s my hope and prayer that you make that decision, as well. That the void of your soul is filled.
About The Author
Architect of Propeller Cap, LLC and former singles ministry director, Chuck Miller brings a diverse career background and four decades of experience as a writer, editor, publisher and pastor to Discovering Love Online.
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