Summary: One thing we know is that when we are running on empty, physically, emotionally and spiritually, all of us need to refuel. That’s the actual prayer the apostle Paul shares in our Scripture today, “That you would be filled with the fullness of life and the
Stopping to Refuel
When You’re Running on Empty
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One thing we know is that when we are running on empty, physically, emotionally and spiritually, all of us need to refuel. That’s the actual prayer the apostle Paul shares in our Scripture today, “That you would be filled with the fullness of life and the power that comes from God.” The literal translation is “being filled”. It’s not a one-time filling. It’s a constant refueling. Why? Because we have a constant need. There are always things in our life which are draining us, challenging us and wearing us down. And when you get to that point, you have a choice of what you’re going to do.
Just before World War II in the town of Itasca, Texas, a school fire took the lives of 263 children. There was scarcely a family in town that was not touched by this horrifying tragedy. After the war, the town built a new school, which featured what was called "the finest sprinkler system in the world." The town was very proud of their new school. Honor students were selected to guide citizens and visitors on tours of the new facility to show them the finest, most advanced sprinkler system technology. Never again would a fire disaster happen. Many years later, the town had grew and it was necessary to enlarge the school - and in adding the new wing, it was discovered that the sprinkler system had never been connected.
That describes a lot of Christians. They’re living day to day and maybe even coming to worship on a regular basis but they have no personal connection with Jesus. Studies have found that the majority of Christians do not have a daily time where they refuel with God or read the Bible. They want to but they don’t and the result is they end up feeling guilty all the time. They know they should do it but they either don’t know how or can’t find the time. And they think, “I must be the only Christian who isn’t making a daily connection with God.” And it becomes even worse when we compare what they’ve heard about other people’s devotional time. Martin Luther the great Christian reformer of the 16th century said, “My day is so busy that I get up at 4 AM. to spend 3 hours with God before the day startsTalk about feeling guilty! I didn’t even know there was a 4 AM. And I have to tell you, I am adamantly opposed to early morning Christianity. .” John Wesley used to connect with God like Luther early in the morning and then at 9, 12 3 and 6 PM. But it’s those types of comparisons to spiritual saints only induce more guilt.
No matter where you are in your relationship with Jesus today, I want to challenge you to take the next step in your spiritual journey and make a regular connection to refuel with him. Many of us want that time with God but we never do because we think we have to start with being a spiritual giant just like Martin Luther, Billy Graham or Mother Theresa. They didn’t get to where they are overnight. The problem is most of us think, “I can’t do it. I’ve tried this stuff before and it just doesn’t work. I don’t have the time” Those excuses are just a tool of the enemy. There’s a battle over your soul. If God’s enemy can make you distracted or defeated, he’s thrilled. That’s why you’ve got to make it a priority in your life. To do that I want to give you five keys to refueling. Our first two steps are drawn from the last two sermons.
First, identify your priorities. You’ve got to sit down and look within to really identify what’s most important to you. Our problem is that we’ve come to believe that everything is important. So we don’t choose some things, we’ve chosen everything. Most of us haven’t taken the time to consider what’s really important in life. As a result, we elevate things that aren’t really that important and we devalue things that are really important and we wear ourselves out in the process. The key to finding time with God is making God a priority in your life and that’not just adding Him into your life. So spend some time with God and ask Him to reveal His priorities to you. Select no more than seven priorities which are important to you. Once you have done that, set goals of what you would like to accomplish under each priority and how you will do that. That’s your action plans. Living by your priorities is all about intentional action. Set out your actions steps for each priority and then put them in your calendar. If you don’t schedule these first then you will never get around to them.