Are You Still Trying to Run on Empty?
I love walking. Not just strolling … serious walking – 9 to 10 km at a time.
Just love it. Always have.
But if for some reason I haven’t had a chance to have a good meal – let’s say I have a really light evening meal and the next morning I get up for a walk before breakfast – then this one form of exercise that I truly love, is no fun at all.
It just becomes sheer hard work. A grind. Why?
Because we weren’t made to run on empty.
And the same’s true of our soul and our spirit. We need to feed them, otherwise we end up running on empty … and the things we were made to be doing, the things we should be enjoying, become sheer hard work.
They become a grind. I’ve been there and I know you’ve been there too.
Some years ago, I was asked to lead a morning devotion at a conference of Christian leaders in the media. I was the new kid on the block, so I was somewhat taken aback when the Spirit led me to encourage these leaders to actually spend some quiet time with Him each day – praying, reading the Word, waiting on God … filling their tank.
So with some trepidation and misgiving I must confess, I did what I felt led to do. I spoke to these leaders about something so simple, so basic, that I was almost embarrassed to be standing there before them.
And then … the strangest thing happened!
One by one during the morning tea and lunch breaks over the next couple of days, many of these leaders sidled up to me and in low tones confessed that this was an area of their lives that they struggled with. They were so busy in ministry and family life, that they weren’t making time for the Lord.
They were, they confessed, running on empty.
Truly, I believe that running on empty is one of the greatest maladies plaguing God’s people today. We’re so connected, so busy – even, let me say, busy working for God – that many of His soldiers, many of His crack troops are running on empty.
As though somehow it’s all up to us. As though somehow, we can bear fruit in His name all on our own.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Apart from Him, we can do nothing. Last time I checked, nothing means nothing.
Are we so shortsighted that we imagine that we can run spiritually and emotionally on empty? Are we so shortsighted that we believe that apart from Him we can do great things?
Today, I mean to challenge you and would love to hear what you think.
But there’s more to follow on this one … the encouragement, delight, wonder, joy, peace of connecting into the vine each day.