BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
In Mark 6:30, the Bible says that the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all the things they had done and taught. But what was Jesus’ reaction? “And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves” (verses 31-32 New King James Version).
Jesus’ reaction is very important because it underscores the need for one not to be carried away by activities, even supposed spiritual activities, and fails to recharge one’s spiritual battery.
Jesus knew that after labouring so much on the field, the apostles needed to recharge their batteries so as to be refreshed and strengthened for greater productivity. However, the place they were was not suitable for this. Many people were coming and going such that Jesus and His apostles didn’t have time to eat. He, therefore, said they should get away from the crowds for a while and rest. They left for a quiet place. Unfortunately, they couldn’t achieve their purpose there. Many people saw them leaving and recognized them. People from many towns ran ahead of them and arrived there before them (Mark 6:33).
The power in an automobile battery can be used up if it’s not continuously charged. That is what an alternator does in automobiles – charge the battery in the ignition system and supply power to other electrical equipment. If the battery is dead because it’s not been charged, an automobile will not move, no matter how good the engine is.
Another relevant illustration is that of a cell phone battery. As you use the cell phone, the bars indicating the amount of stored energy in its battery begins to reduce. If the battery is not recharged, it keeps on reducing and after a while starts giving an alert. If such an alert is ignored, the phone goes off once the battery power is used up. The owner becomes unreachable. The consequences could be very costly, especially in case of emergency.
It is dangerous to get to a point where you’ve used up your spiritual battery. As a dead phone, you cannot communicate with God and neither will He be able to communicate with you. It is of utmost importance for a child of God to continuously recharge his spiritual battery and prevent it from being used up.
Proverbs 20:29 says that the glory of the young is their strength but from Isaiah 40:30-31we see that the youths may be a bundle of energy but they can exhaust their strength. “Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31 New Living Translation). If youths can be exhausted, the old cannot boast of inexhaustible strength. That means everybody can exhaust his strength, and nobody should be under any illusion that his strength is inexhaustible. This same applies to spiritual battery whether one occupies an ecclesiastical office or not. This is even truer of those in ecclesiastical positions who shoulder so many responsibilities that tend to exhaust them spiritually.
How to recharge your spiritual battery
1. Feed yourself daily with the Word of God. To recharge your spiritual battery, you must accord priority to feeding on the Word of God. Quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 New King James Version).
Without constant feeding on the Word of God, every Christian is capable of falling into the least temptation. It was the Word that Jesus knew and fired that gave him victory in the day of temptation. Temptation does come to everybody; it only becomes a sin if it overcomes one. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:12-15 New King James Version).
In order for you to be well-nourished spiritually, you need to feed on the Word of God. Many believers today are spiritually malnourished – they feed on junks. They, therefore, experience stunted spiritual growth and lack spiritual strength. As you read, study, meditate on and confess the Word of God, you’re not only receiving spiritual strength, you are also being protected against conforming to this world and you’re being transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32 New King James Version).
2. Invest your time in personal prayer. Don’t let a busy schedule crowd out prayer from your life. Avoid a situation where your work schedule will reduce the time you spend in prayer or eliminate prayer time from your daily agenda. Don’t wait until you’re in trouble before you turn to God in prayer for deliverance. Don’t wait until the arm of flesh is failing you before you run to God for strength. “No one will succeed by strength alone” (1 Samuel 2:9 New Living Translation).
Psalm 33:16-17 states a similar truth thus, “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (New King James Version).
Your efforts can never be a substitute for prayer. The less you pray, the more you are prone to falling into temptations. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to pray that they would not yield to temptation, but God would deliver them from the evil one (Matthew 6:13). In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41 New Living Translation).
Don’t be carried away by whatever you’re doing for the Lord or He is using you to do in His Kingdom. The devil isn’t bothered by that. He is a very patient being; he can afford to wait as long as it will take him to make you fall into temptation – he is not in a hurry at all. He will keep looking for an opportune time to strike. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 New King James Version).
The less you pray, the more anxious you become. Pray, don’t be anxious. Anxiety will drain you spiritually. Philippians 4:6-7 counsels, “ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (New King James Version). According to 1 Peter 5:7, you should cast all your care upon God, for He cares for you. Seek the Lord’s strength in prayer; don’t run out of energy by feeling self-sufficient. “Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore!” (1 Chronicles16:11 New King James Version).
3. Live a life of worship and thanksgiving. Proverbs 17:22 says a cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. You can even worship God with or without Word-based music or a message playing from the device in your car as you’re driving; it’s like charging your cell phone while you’re driving. You can worship and thank God while you’re working depending on the nature of your work and where you work – that’s important so that you don’t become a nuisance.
Worship will deliver you from worry! Don’t let your joy level enter reserve like the fuel in a car! Stay connected with God no matter how busy you are. Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the LORD is your strength while 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says you should rejoice always.
4. Speak or pray in tongues from time to time throughout the day, especially as you’re working. That does not mean you should create a scene or become a nuisance to others by making noise, thereby disturbing them. You can be speaking in tongues silently or under your breath if you’re in the midst of people without disturbing anyone.
You can also be speaking in tongues in your car, as you’re driving without losing concentration. That’s car-charger speaking in tongues! You’re doing two things at the same time – going to your destination and charging your spiritual battery. Isn’t that better than reacting angrily, insulting and raining curses on other road users because of what they’ve done or said to you? Yes, some Christians do this, even on their way to or from church!
5. Proceed regularly on retreat with God. Look for a place conducive to a spiritual retreat where you can be alone with God and revive yourself. Schedule it; discipline yourself to create time for it. It’s dangerous to allow your spiritual battery to die before you desperately seek to charge it.
Going for a retreat or waiting upon the Lord, even if it’s just for one day, allows you to update or upgrade your spiritual life because you’re connected to the Manufacturer (God) for the current information. Without Him, you can do nothing. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 New King James Version).
6. Attend spiritually refreshing programmes. Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near” (New Living Translation). According to Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor” (New King James Version).
While attending spiritually refreshing programmes can help you recharge your spiritual battery, it is important to add that it’s not all programmes organized by churches or Christian organizations that will refresh you. Some programmes could be merely entertainment, a jamboree. The spiritual content could be very low if not zero. Such programmes may just be all right for some people, but they would not satisfy those who are really hungry for God.
Be guided by the Holy Spirit in your choice because not all advertised spiritual programmes that will add value to you. Not every Christian programme you attend will satisfy your hunger for personal spiritual revival. Don’t be deceived by the packaging of the programme or the media hype around it. God is not always in a great and strong wind, an earthquake or a fire; Jehovah is often in a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12). It may be in a small, not well-publicized meeting in a not too attractive building that God will encounter you. Glamour is not the same as Glory!
7. Invest time in prayer and fellowship with spiritually vibrant believers. In the book of Revelation, the Sardis church had a reputation of being alive but was dead – her spiritual battery was dead. “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive — but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1 New Living Translation). This would be the wrong place to recharge your spiritual battery. That church would further kill any dead battery!
Don’t be deceived by the positive opinion of people about you. God’s verdict is what is important. Are you dead or alive? What people say may contradict reality. You must face the reality of your condition. If you’re not going to die spiritually, you must never mistake religious activities for fellowship with God. God further told the Sardis church, “Now wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is at the point of death. Your deeds are far from right in the sight of God” (verses 2 New Living Translation). You, too, need to wake up by investing your time in prayer and fellowship with spiritually vibrant people, not with the spiritually dead in meetings that kill in instalment the little in you that is yet to die. “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17 New Living Translation). Deep calls unto deep (Psalm 42:7).
8. Don’t surround yourself with spiritually dead people. Those who’re spiritually dead are like people whose cell phone batteries are dead or the power is exhausted. They can’t reach God and God can’t reach them. They’ve needed to recharge for some time but they failed to. They have kept going on as if all was well. They are dangerous to hang out with. They won’t help you to grow spiritually or keep you spiritually alive. They’re fire extinguishers! Avoid them. You have nothing in common. “Jesus replied, ‘Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead’” (Luke 9:60 New Living Translation).
9. Create time to rest. While it is immoral for someone who hasn’t worked at all or worked enough to be resting, it is, on the other hand, counterproductive to keep working without resting. Overwork will drain you spiritually. Therefore, find time to rest and recreate yourself.
The Bible tells us that after six days of the work of creation, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). Giving us this as an example, God ordained that we should rest on the seventh day and keep the Sabbath day holy (Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 25:4).
Observe the Sabbath rest if you want to last. It will save you from burnout. You’ll be refreshed and full of energy for the work that remains to be done. Someone has rightly said, “Seven days without a Sabbath makes one weak.” Another put it this way: “Seven days without God makes one weak.” You’re going to be a weak Christian if you don’t observe the Sabbath rest (on Sunday) or give priority to spending time with God – you’ll expire so soon.
Create time to rest and recreate yourself. That was why, as we saw earlier, Jesus told the apostles, “Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest” (New Living Translation).
CONCLUSION: Discipline yourself to re-charge, regularly, your spiritual battery. Avoid the temptation of burying yourself in activities so much that you don’t create time for your personal spiritual nourishment and growth – the two are not the same. Be deliberate or intentional about getting spiritually refreshed, renewed, and revitalized. Don’t be feeding people while you’re dying of starvation! Know when it’s necessary for you to get away to get better. It will help you not to fade away prematurely.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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