Monday, February 23, 2015
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Honestly, I don't mind waking up in the morning. What I really don't like is waking up in the early morning to a very cold house during the winter. Those first few minutes in the bathroom, no fun at all! Teenagers, you know, kind of tell you to kind of "chill". Well, I got that opportunity one morning not long ago. I chilled! I tried everything to get some heat. I pushed up the thermostat, I hit the emergency button on the furnace, and I hit the furnace. I pulled on some clothes to go outside and check the gauge on the fuel tank, which read one-eighth of a tank.
Well, we called Mr. Furnace Repair and by nighttime when we returned from our office the house was livable again. The problem: well, it was a pretty old furnace and something chilling happens when it gets too low on fuel. The nozzle starts sucking up sediment from the bottom (he said) and then it gets clogged with that sediment. After which the furnace shuts down. After which we live in our vehicle.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Running On Spiritual Empty."
I learned it's not wise to let our furnace run low on fuel or the sediment will shut it down. Actually, that's a dynamic something like what's taking place maybe in your life right now. And it accounts for why it's gotten so cold and why the junk may be resurfacing again.
Let's hear our word today from the Word of God, John 15:3-5; simple instructions from Jesus on how to keep your relationship with Him warm and working. He says, "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you." Now, everything else that follows is based on the premise "you are clean." He says, "Remain in Me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 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."
Here's the formula for a life in Christ that just keeps running well. You stay clean when you stay in God's Word. Like D. L. Moody said, "Either this book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book." And when you stay close to Him through His book, you're drawing your power from being around Him all the time; you remain in Him like He said. Not visiting Him once a day in your devotions or a couple of times a week at church. It's 24/7, doing life with Jesus, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
In fact, when you get very far from Him, you can do nothing. Like our furnace, you shut down spiritually. Your personal time with Jesus, your talking to Him intimately in prayer, and your letting Him talk to you about your life through His book; that regular time is equivalent to that fuel truck pulling up to our house, hooking up the hose and pouring in more fuel.
The fuel for living for Jesus is time with Jesus. So the question is, "Have you been neglecting your daily refueling time?" I can tell you from my experience, when you do, some ugly things start to happen. The sin sediment you have control over starts to resurface again. Your ugly side, your dark side comes out because you haven't been with Jesus. It starts to take over again. It starts to clog your connection to the heart of Jesus; the old you, the ugly you making a comeback. And eventually what once was warm turns cold. What once was powerful turns powerless, which might describe the condition of your life and your heart right now.
Maybe no one else can tell. You're still going through all the same motions, but the warmth is gone. The sediment is rising. The answer for you will be the same as it was for our furnace that cold winter morning; cleaning out the dirt and getting some fuel again.
Most spiritual malfunctions can be traced back to one starting point; the neglect of the daily refueling visit with Jesus Christ. You need to get back to His side today. Get the touch of His presence. Hear from His heart to your heart. It's been cold long enough hasn't it?