Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Balancing Our Energy Checkbooks Part I
Lots of us are living emotionally, physically and spiritually in the overdrawn account mode. We don't have enough in our inner banks to cover the checks we draw on them, and so we fight burn-out, fatigue, discouragement, depression. Until we stop and solve the underlying problem of spending more than we take in, we'll never find the end to this "bounced-check" way of life.
I want to consider what it is for each of us, as Christians, that deposits resources to our inner accounts. What are our sources of strength?
· Our Strength Comes from the Word of God
Psalm 119:28: "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word."
Psalm 119:99: "I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes."
The Word of God is our resource to get us through times of weariness and sorrow. The Psalmist said it would strengthen us. It is our source for insight, knowledge, and wisdom. Careful and consistent meditation on God's Word pours these resources into our lives.
John 15:7: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."
This is an incredible blank check, given to us by our Lord Jesus. And few of us ever draw on it. By allowing the Word of Jesus to abide in us, we are given this blank check of resources. Maybe the real problem is we don't want to, don't know how, or for some reason just don't allow God's words to abide in us.
· Our Strength Comes from the Joy of the Lord
Nehemiah 8:10: "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Proverbs 17:22: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Joy implies contentment, peace, fulfillment. It's important to remind ourselves that joy is not synonymous with happiness. Joy is that deeper, abiding sense of completeness which is present even when circumstances are not happy or enjoyable.
Are you a joyful person? If not, you deplete your energy. Ask the Lord to restore the joy of your salvation and to make you a thankful, rejoicing person. Make some deposits into your energy account today by spending time in the Word of God, and allowing His joy to be your strength.
· Our Strength Comes from Fellowship and Loving Relationships
Acts 2:42: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
One of the great things about being a marketplace Christian is that it forces us daily into interaction with non-believers. But living and working with those who do not share our faith and our love of Jesus is without question a large drain on our inner resources. We need times of fellowship to give us strength; we need church every week; we need small support groups of Bible study and prayer.
· Our Strength Comes from Physical Well-Being
Shakespeare said something to the effect that no man could be a philosopher when he had a toothache! A. W. Tozer puts it: "While it is possible to be a weary saint, it is scarcely possible to be weary and feel saintly."
When our bodies are not in the best condition, either from sickness or fatigue, our strength can fail us. That's why we must be good stewards of the bodies we have, doing everything we can to preserve them and keep them vital.
Frankly, balancing my energy checkbook is one of my greatest challenges and I have to relentlessly pursue the balance of input and output, both physically, emotionally and spiritually. I think many of you share this frustration with me.