I haven’t been that great at taking intentional time to spend with God while I’m at work. Most of our interaction while I’m at work has been on the fly – in the organized chaos of emergency calls and the calm before the storm that is the ride to the emergency and on the way back from it.
I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing. The times we have together at work are great no matter what circumstances they happen in. I don’t even think it’s necessary to be intentional about setting aside time every single day to spend with God. Beneficial, yes. But it’s not like my relationship with God suffers if I go a day or two in between. I used to think that way but I don’t anymore.
However, the wrinkle in all of this are the times I know God is asking me to set aside time for him at work and I find something else to do instead. It usually ends up being the sort of thing that leaves me saying, “Well, I’ll never get those 60 minutes back.”
The struggle is real folks. The kingdom of darkness is throwing whatever it can at us in an effort to keep our eyes off the prize. The kingdom of darkness is alive and active; but so is God. And while we can certainly learn things from our failures, this isn’t a tale about failure – it’s a story about success.
One night not too long ago I was at work reading an advanced copy of Jeremy Mangerchines upcoming book and I was stirred to spend some intentional time with God. I decided that I was gonna just to do it before something else began to sound like a better idea. So I went to my bunk room, closed the door, and plopped on the bed.
It wasn’t too long before I saw a campfire. The modest flames licked the night air while the wood crackled like pop rocks. Jesus sat on a log with his shoulders relaxed and face reflecting the soft glow of the fire. He chewed a piece of straw in the carefree way a child might giggle at a butterfly. Then he looked at me and smiled.
He told me not to let the fire go out. I glanced at the flames and, sure enough, they were dying down. I asked him how I was supposed to get the fire to come back to life. He told me that the fire comes back when he speaks. He shifted back toward the fire and spoke a word to it. Instantly the flames sprung up and intensified.
Jesus explained that the campfire was my heart. He let me know that as long as I was connected to his voice the fire would burn bright. But if I allowed voices other than his to speak meaningful words to my heart, the flames would die down.
So I asked him what anyone would. “Why are you chewing on a piece of straw.” His laughter was my response. I was okay with that.
In all seriousness, the message I received was clear. There is only one voice that can fan the flame of our hearts. There is only one source of abundant LIFE. When we are connected to Jesus the light can’t be contained (Matthew 6:22)! But when we start listening to other voices – the sinister whispers telling us the world has more to offer, the light within us becomes dark.
So the point of this blog is twofold.
- Cool things happen we when faithfully respond to the tugs on our spirits
- There is only one who can give us what we need to live
So what have those other voices been for you?
Jesse and Kara Birkey
VIM IS BACK! Register for FREE for the next VIM! Friday, 11/13 @ 9/8c, Richard Mull and Angie Naish join Kara and I on the panel. Richard will be signing on from Africa so that’s pretty stinkin cool.