Monday, March 20, 2017
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Waking up early most mornings is not an option for me. If I oversleep, it means missing a plane or a speaking commitment or radio broadcasts or some deadline or some important meeting. In other words, my clock radio had better work...and it does. Even on the days when many other clock radios might not. Because the power went out during the night, let's say. There have been mornings when I have been awakened by my clock radio-looked over at the other one in the room and seen it blinking at me some time when it was the middle of the night. See, that clock was plugged into the wall and sometime during the night the external power supply had failed. Good thing I wasn't depending on that one! But mine always comes through-because it's powered by batteries! You see, what keeps it going is inside!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Battery-Powered People."
If the Apostle Paul had been depending on a power source outside, he would have never made it through the hard times of his life-the times when the outside sources of energy failed him. Thankfully, Paul was energized by spiritual batteries-power on the inside that didn't depend on what was going on on the outside.
That's why this veteran of prison cells, beatings, assassination attempts-on both his body and his character-could write words like these. First Thessalonians 5:16, "Be joyful always." Really? Yeah, even when your outside sources of joy have failed you. "Give thanks in all circumstances," he wrote, "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." When you allow your circumstances to take your joy or your attitude of gratitude, guess what? You've just left the will of God. That's a terrible place to be.
Paul modeled this, actually, when he wrote to the Philippian believers from a prison cell. He was chained to a guard 24 hours a day, he was grounded from the work that he loved, and other believers were rubbing it in by trying to capitalize on his being gone. The situation stunk. The environment was about as negative and depressing as you can imagine. If Paul had been letting his environment determine his attitude, he would have had a total power failure. But listen to this remarkable perspective-our word for today from the Word of God in Philippians 4:4. Here's what it says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
Notice he didn't say he was rejoicing in the situation he was in. His attitude was rooted in something no situation could ever take from him-his untouchable love-relationship with his Lord Jesus Christ. "Rejoice in the LORD." With that anchor for his attitude, Paul is then able to focus on the good that God is bringing out of this ugly situation, on the people who need his encouragement, on the things he can accomplish because he's in this ugly place.
God never intended for you to let your surroundings determine your attitude. He wants you to be shaped by your invironment-what He's doing inside you-never by your environment.
So if you belong to Jesus, there literally is no excuse for self-pity, no excuse for a bad attitude, no excuse for neglecting your relationship with Jesus, for a complaining spirit or spiritual carelessness. Okay, so your external energy sources went down-they have failed you again. That doesn't mean you have to go down, too, unless that's where your joy is plugged in; if that's where your thankfulness is plugged in. Now is a good time to find out that you've been counting on the wrong things maybe to have a joyful heart.
Your source is inside-the never-failing battery of a Savior in you-a Savior whose plans for you have not changed. They're right on schedule. Whose love for you has not changed. His love is endless and who will be your source of joy for all eternity.