Is it Safe to Eat?
When the remnants of Hurricane Michael rolled through our neighborhood, we lost power. We were able to keep things in perspective, especially in light of the horrific aftermath of Michael’s landfall at Mexico City Beach, Florida.
But there was the food.
And the condiments.
We tossed almost everything.
The decision wasn’t an easy one. Our power was out just long enough to thaw most everything, but not long enough for the food to get warm. We did a little research on the internet and finally decided it was better to be safe than sorry.
In similar ways, when we have a power failure in our walk with the Lord, the outcome is hazardous, to us and to others. But how do we know we are in trouble? Permit me to borrow from our food experience as I attempt to explain:
We know we have a spiritual power problem when the light stops shining. A powerless refrigerator is a dark refrigerator. In the same way, when we grow lax in our study of God’s Word and our prayer life, we find it harder to expose areas of our walk that need attention. As the Psalmist reminds us, God’s “word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
We know we have a spiritual power problem when something smells rotten. Refrigerators inhibit the growth of bacteria, and when they stop working the food starts to spoil. I am not suggesting one can tell how close we are to the Lord by smelling us, although we have heard “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Yet, when we live apart from the spiritual power God offers, old habits return. Satan’s influence grows, and our witness is corrupted. Paul warned the Corinthians, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)
We know we have a spiritual power problem when the water stops flowing. If you have a water dispenser on your refrigerator, you know it stops working when the power goes out. The water is still there, but the motor that dispenses it can’t work without power. One day, when Jesus sent His disciples on a mission to the “lost sheep of Israel” He said, “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 9:8) God has poured grace into our lives, and He wants us to share what we have with a lost and dying world. The Lord’s “living water” never dries up, but when we distance ourselves from its source, we stop functioning as a conduit to the world.
When the world meets followers of Jesus who are walking in the light of His truth, striving to keep old sins in check and overflowing with love and grace, they take notice. When they see the opposite, it repels them.
Like spoiled food.
Unfit for consumption.
Quick, close that refrigerator door!
No sense smelling the place up just because we have lost power.
Using another metaphor, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matthew 5:13)
Stay connected to the power. It takes discipline, but it’s worth it.
Especially when we see the storm approaching.