Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The church lets me use one of their computers. It is a silver colored MacBook Pro. And whenever I use it I always have to check the upper right hand corner of the screen.

There is a little icon up there that looks like a AA battery. Next to it the computer tells me what percentage of energy I have left in the battery. If it starts to get low, say below 20%, the icon turns red. It's a warning light letting me know that it will only last for so long unless it is plugged in soon.

Sometimes I wish we had this sort of thing in our spiritual lives. It would make life easier if I had a blinking red light at the corner of my eye letting me know when I had been using my spiritual batteries long enough and that it was time to plug back into my Source of life and energy.

I think we all do this. We get charged up spiritually and we go out to face our lives. We don't reconnect to our Source immediately because we seem to be doing ok on battery. But then we stay out there too long. Our battery runs down and we begin to feel disconnected. It's not until we reconnect with Jesus that "life" comes back to us.

While we don't have a visual icon, our lives do have warning signs. Our problem is that we usually don't see them. Our lives give us clues that our spiritual lives are running on empty. Usually, we become more susceptible to temptation. We tend to get upset faster and more often. Our mood is often bad for reasons that are not a big deal. Oversensitivity and overreactions become commonplace. We essentially become, in little ways, less and less like the character of Christ. Sometimes only we can tell that we are running low. Many times others can tell too.

Jesus didn't have battery powered notebook computers in his day, but he did have vineyards. The same principle applies to both. This is what Jesus meant when he said in John 15:

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

Maybe if he were here in our day he might say something like:
"I am the power cord; you are the laptop. If a person stays plugged in they can do great things; on battery power you're toast. If anyone does not stay plugged in, they are like a 1982 Commodore 64; these kinds of computers have long since been thrown in the trash. If you stay plugged in and powered up, I will do whatever you ask me to do. This is to my Father's glory, that you have real energy to do life-changing work, showing yourselves to be real Christians."


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