My car wouldn’t start. The temperature lingered below zero, and my car sat there, dead. I’d left the dome light on, apparently. All night long. And my car just couldn’t recover. It took energy to run that dome light, energy the car couldn’t provide while not running. The light was on, but connected to no power source. Sometimes we attempt the same with God. He is our power source, but sometimes we try living on our own power instead of his.
[Check out my eBook, Defeating Distractions: Connect with God!]
Attempting Life without God
We try to live without connecting to our power source. Sometimes it’s not intentional, it’s just a gradual reality we struggle through. It leads to burnout. It leads to emptiness.
At first you might not even realize it. As soon as I turned off my car the dome light began draining the car battery. The light effectively illuminated the car.
It’s the same with us. At first, we can maintain our schedules and our ministries. Everything looks fine on the outside, but the reality is a steadily draining battery. We can last for a season, sure. Many do. Even the car light lasted until 1 AM, according to the dash clock. But it wasn’t sustainable.
Jesus said the same thing.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
Jesus is our power source. Any attempt at living for God in my own power will fail. It may seem to work for a time, but it won’t last. I’ll drain the battery. I won’t produce fruit because I’m not connected to the vine.
How to Stay Connected
Abiding, or remaining, in Jesus takes being intentional. There are habits you can begin practicing that will help sustain your relationship with God.
Bible Reading. Meet and hear from God through reading and studying his word.
Prayer. Connect, depend, and notice God often through talking with him regularly.
Community. Read, pray, and live life with other Christians, being vulnerable and carrying each other’s burdens.
There are distractions, though, roadblocks that keep so many Christians from connecting with God. But those distractions can be defeated! I wrote an ebook explaining strategies I have personally found helpful in sustaining the habits of Bible reading, prayer, and participating in community.
What about you? What helps YOU connect with God? Have you tried living for God in your own power, only to burn out? We’d love to hear about what you learned! Share in the comments below.
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