Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Running on Empty

Running on empty…. out of gas…exhausted and about ready to give up. You see that expression upon the faces of people everywhere today. Storms ravage various parts of our planet while war shatters the hopes and dreams of countless millions in other parts of the world. Some of the longest lines of cars are not only seen at gas stations today, but cars lined up getting a caffeine boost when they are running on empty. Specialty drinks are sought daily from favorite baristas at drive-up coffee dispensaries, where people find themselves once or twice a day, getting a double shot espresso, low-fat, cappuccino latte, just to make it through the morning at work. 

I used to be in those lines every day. People are just trying to make it through the highs and lows of everyday living…many times feeling stressed out while doing it, and inadvertently adding an artificially stimulated adrenergic hormonal activity to boost alertness and energy, only to discover that with the rush comes a crash and marked fatigue. A vicious circle.

When You Are Running on Empty...God wants you to come to Him

One of the realities of life is that there will always be mountain tops and valleys, ups and downs, winning and losing, winter and spring. They are the rhythms of life, and like the seasons that we travel through each year, that rhythm is there for a reason.

They serve to test upon what it is that we depend upon for our happiness, and strength, and where do we find our true meaning and satisfaction in life. In tough times where do we turn? To God, or to others? When heartbroken, do we seek God’s comfort or find a surrogate other and miss His blessed healing?
He alone knows us so intimately, that He can extend such a personal invitation to each of us:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11-28-30

When You Are Running on Empty...God wants us to wait upon Him

When Scripture instructs us to wait upon the Lord, it is not to be understood that this is a passive exercise in just practicing patience. That is where we most often miss the meaning of God’s counsel when it comes to "waiting upon Him,"and thereby only frustrate ourselves, and then give in to despair because waiting patiently did absolutely nothing. As it should. To “ wait upon the Lord” as in in Isaiah 40:31 is used as a verb:

"Wait" qavah verb Isa. 40:31 It means to look for, hope in, expect , wait for, look eagerly for.....

Sometimes we have to pull the emergency break of our lives and realize that all of the expended energy that we are putting forth tying to solve something, keep up or catch up, is all self generated.  God wants us to literally stop....and shift our reliance, our hope, our expectations and the desired outcomes, upon Him and re-circuit our power source from our self to Him.

The principle from Scripture is clear: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord of Hosts." Zechariah 4:6

Wait on the Lord When We are Afraid
"Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord When We need Wisdom

"Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day." Psalm 25:5

Wait on the Lord When We are Hurting

"I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1

Wait on the Lord as we look to the Future
"I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope." Psalm 130:5

When You Are Running on Empty...God Invites us to Rest in Him

It is never easy to face the storms of life when you feel like your strength to endure, is not equal to the storm that is looming upon the horizon of your life. There are times in each of our lives when the reserve strength that is so readily available at other times, is just not accessible today, right now…. for this hour when we need it the most. Endurance is a state of being able to sustain expenditures of energy and yet have a reserve for the final push to the finish line. 

It is often seen in the long distance runner that knows the reality of dispersing her resources a little at a time so that she can tap into it and have reserved the "kick" she needs at the end. 

There are vivid examples of this seen in the racer in the 21 day Tour De France cycling over 2,200 miles, who knows that he has to have it at the end to win. 

The struggle of the boxer in the ring, seeking to endure to the end of the fight, weary, knees weak, striving to survive the pummeling he is receiving, while desperately battling to stay on his feet,

the mountain climber traversing a cliff face on his way to the summit, arms straining from and hand hold to hand hold, struggling to catch his breath, calculating each strategic move, knowing that one false move could result in death, risking his life to stand upon the pinnacle of a summit that is just out of his reach.

When we are Running on Empty...God wants us to Seek Him 

There are many examples in the Bible where God specifically urges us to know him, seek Him, and Find Him. Here are just a few scripture verses to validate this wonderful truth:

God Knows when we want to do it His way 
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:11--13

 God Delights when we give up our own ways

“Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24

When you are Running on Empty ... Spend Time in The Quiet Place

If you are desirous of knowing God more intimately but that truth always seems so intangible to you, please remember that we grow closest to only those that we truly know the best. Those we know the best are the ones that we generally trust the most, and can depend upon, and turn to in times of distress, or share joys with, or our fears, or just spend time with, because we feel the most comfortable with them. That is how it is with God. 

Working for God...Learning about God ...Walking with God.

As a younger Christian it is easy to think that God’s first priority is for you to earnestly work for Him to show your great gratitude for His having redeemed you through the sacrifice of His Son ( Romans 3:23, 6:23; John 3:16, John 14:6). Then we grow in our faith we realize how little we know so we earnestly focus upon Bible study to learn all we can about God's Word. 

As we mature in our faith, we discover that what God longs for most is for us to walk with Him, have fellowship with Him, commune with Him and worship Him.  That is what was lost in the Garden of Eden when sin entered the human race. Our God, through the precious substitutionary blood of His precious Son, desires that we return to simply walking with Him. As we walk with Him we learn more about Him and we work more passionately for Him to further His kingdom.

Take time to Walk with Him in The Quiet Place

One of the ways to walk with God every day is to meet Him in The Quiet Place, wherever that may be. To take specific time out to walk with Him and share our heart with Him, share with Him your fears, your hurts and your dreams as well as your needs, but most of all bask in the wonder of how wondrous it is to walk with the creator of all things.

Take time to get to Know Him through the Word of God

God is known to us not only by His works (psalm 19:1), and not only through the testimony of the writers of the Bible like Moses (Psalm 90), but primarily though His Attributes or specific characteristics that are found throughout the Bible. I have discovered a unique study that I think you will enjoy which is produced by The Navigators called, Praying the Attributes of God in 30 Days. The link below will take you to a downloadable PDF file that you can use in your daily Quiet Place. Each day select an Attribute for that Day and thank God and worship Him as you reflect upon how the attribute for that day touches your life personally.  

Daily Attribute of God to pray throuigh:

Take a few moments and reflect upon the words of this worshipful song by Jeremy amp entitled:

                                           "Letting Go"

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