Sunday, December 25, 2016

Plug In

A few weeks ago I went to Branson with my best friend from high school.  In this season of our lives, it is hard to find time to spend together, especially since we live two hours apart.  So we had it all figured out that we could get away just the two of us for one weekend.  About thirty minutes after I left my house, I discovered that I didn't have my phone charger.  I thought about returning home to get it, but that would have added a whole hour to an already long trip.  I decided I would just stop at Walmart and get another one.  Well, I ended up at two different walmarts that weekend, and no one had even heard of the kind of charger that I needed.

I turned my phone off for the remainder of the weekend in order to conserve the battery for the part of the trip on Sunday when I would be driving by myself down country roads without much of anything around.

It was a weird feeling.  Here I was three hours away, and I couldn't even check on my kids.  I wouldn't have thought as much about it if they were with Todd, but he was hunting all weekend.  Now I completely trust the two friends who had my children in their care, but still it was odd to not be able to check in.

 As a result, I felt disconnected and lost and a little anxious all weekend.  I could just never completely relax…  All because of my phone charger!  I bet I don't forget my phone charger again for a good long while!

With this fresh in my mind, I ran into an analogy recently that really hit home.  I have been studying Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God for the last couple of weeks.  I am finding it to be a really powerful look at how the enemy is at work all around us.  Let me just read the paragraph that jumped out at me:

“But then Paul describes how we put ourselves in position to receive this strength: ‘Put on the full armor of God.’  By putting on the armor, we activate the strengthening process.  It’s like plugging in your phone charger.  You can count on your phone to hold a charge, but only if you’ve taken the initiative to plug it in.  We will never realize the fullness of God’s strength in our lives if we ignore the spiritual protection He offers.  It’s always available, but we must ‘plug in’ if we want to access it.”

Well.  I fully know now what it is like to not plug in my phone for two or three days, and the emotions I experience with that.  But how often do I forget to plug in my life charger?  How often do I neglect to ask for God's strength to protect me throughout the day?  How many times do I go a whole day or two or three without even talking to God?  Don't you think that could be why I sometimes walk around feeling disconnected, lost, or anxious, like I can never completely relax?  What if I plugged into God through prayer as faithfully as I plug in my phone each day?

I realize this is not a traditional Christmas message, but I think it fits.  It's the season for hustle and bustle, shopping, holiday parties, baking, wrapping presents, making merry, and creating or continuing special family traditions.  All of these are great, but I think we can sometimes get so busy or distracted doing all the things of the Christmas season, trying to make everything perfect for everyone that we forget to talk to the One who is perfect.

I think the enemy can use all of this against us too.  If he can keep us focused on our activities and To Do lists and feeling stressed and busy and overwhelmed, then we are not focused on Christ the Saviour.  Even though everything might be good, it can still take focus off celebrating the birth of God’s Son.

So I encourage you this season, to keep doing the good that you are doing, but not to let it overtake your relationship with Jesus.  Put on your full armor of God each day to protect yourself from attack, and make sure you “plug in” to the source of life each day.

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