Yesterday at around 8:30 PM our power went out. So, we went through the usual routine. Step one, check the breakers. Everything was good. Step two, use the phone to check for outages in the area. We checked and there were 187 customers without power. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for this area where the cattle outnumber the people, it’s like saying the Greenville-Spartanburg area was off grid. Step three, light the oil lamp. Now, we just moved. Finding stuff in a new place with stuff in new locations and much of it in boxes and doing the search with only one flashlight is like a scavenger hunt. So, we found the lamp…then the oil…then the matches. Thankfully, the whole search took less than 20 minutes. So, now we had some light and our devices still had charges on them, so Jane could use her tablet to do some reading and I could still use my phone to set an alarm for the morning. Then I tried plugging my phone into the charger. No little lightning bolt to show it was charging. I tried a different connection. Still not charging. Then I realized: “Power’s out. You’re not going to get a charge, dummy!”
Well, I left the phone plugged in because I figured the power would come back eventually, which it did, but the lack of a charge reminded me of a Bible passage:
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)
We live in an age where people do not like the bluntness of the truth. They’d prefer safety over honesty. Jesus does not pull any punches. He says plainly: “Without me ye can do nothing.” That’s not cruel. It’s a statement of fact. We need Christ or we are without power. When we separate ourselves from God, He does not immediately cut us off from His grace. When the power went out, our devices did not immediately die. When you cut a rose from a rose bush the flower does not immediately fade. But eventually, without a connection to the power source, a cell phone will die and without a connection to the plant from which it came, a bloom will eventually fade.
Without a constant connection to the Lord, we will fade too. We need to live our lives by the children’s song: Read your Bible, pray every day. To that I would add memorize verses and write down what you learn from your Bible reading every day, too. Because, like a cell phone or a tablet, we can look like we’re plugged in. Anyone can look, act and sound Christian. Churches are full of people like that, people who look plugged in, but they aren’t really receiving a charge. Check your spiritual battery. Are you plugged in?