Every Thought Captive

Nothing

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing…"

Philippians 2:5-7a

My heart rebels; I can hardly comprehend it…made Himself nothing. I despise nothing. I fight it. I rail and rage against it. Don’t treat me like I’m nothing. I’ll show you! I am something! I am valuable, smart, capable—something! I don’t just grasp at equality; I grasp at supremacy! My whole world—the whole world—is all about being something, not becoming nothing. Jesus, this is upside down!

Isn’t it funny how stories are so powerful? A command, the phrase, “have this mind among yourselves,” is so hard to wrap my mind around, but it was a story that really got me thinking and meditating. It’s the story in 1 Samuel 24.

David, already anointed to be the next king, mighty in battle, beloved by the people, is hiding in a cave. Jealous King Saul hates David and is hunting him for the kill. Saul makes a “rest stop” in David’s cave. “The Lord has given him into your hand, David,” his men whisper. Now’s your chance! Kill him and become king! David sneaks up and—Do you remember?—cuts off the corner of Saul’s robe. But even this small act of rebellion strikes David’s conscience! How dare he disrespect the Lord’s anointed king? Following Saul out of the cave and bowing to the dirt, David honors Saul and calls himself a dead dog, worse—a flea. Saul sees the corner of his robe in David’s hands and takes his army home.

It’s shocking, right? David, the anointed king, mighty in battle, beloved by the people, did not consider the kingship something to be grasped. He waited. He trusted the Lord. He cried out with many, “How long, O Lord!” but he did not grasp, not even when it seemed that God had given him opportunity. He humbled himself. He served Saul. He became nothing. How totally opposite! How upside down!

Do you see Jesus? He is shocking! Jesus, the anointed king, “who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

That is our God. That is He on whom we are to fix our eyes. A totally upside down king. A nothing king. Our whole world may be about being something, but our God is He who became nothing. The world’s economy woos, “become something, disdain and pity nothings!” Jesus calls us, “become like Me.” To become like Jesus—that would be shocking, upside down. To be like Him is to be nothing like the world. It is to be nothing to the world.

Oh Jesus, let me love You! Give me Your mind! Fix my eyes on You. Make me nothing.

About the Author

Photograph of Elizabeth Cunningham

Elizabeth Cunningham

Missions Ministry Leader for ESL, ICC, AND LPC

Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Elizabeth Cunningham grew up in Dallas worshipping as a member at PCPC. After completing her studies in linguistics and education at Baylor and Texas A&M, she returned to Dallas and began leading PCPC's ESL program and international student outreach.