Reflection #27 – Out of Energy?

During our COVID-19 shutdown, Pastor Zekveld plans to provide a personal reflection each weekday.

Out of Energy?

It takes a lot of energy to live and work for the Lord.

Whatever your calling or station in life, you need a lot of strength. Whether you are an unemployed person longing and looking for work, a teacher preparing for online classes, a mother holding the fort at home while trying to make sure the school work’s getting done, a wife trying to care for her husband who’s locked down in a nursing home, an elder or deacon trying to stay connected to his district, life takes a lot out of you.

It doesn’t just take physical energy, it takes spiritual energy. By spiritual energy I mean the energy of faith to keep pressing on in your calling; keep believing the promises of God; keep your sights set on the right, Christ-centered, God-glorifying goals; to remain confident and courageous when you face disappointments; to be patient when things aren’t going as you planned; and to keep rejoicing in the Lord whatever your circumstances. Serving the Lord faithfully takes a lot of strength.

Sometimes we feel drained with nothing left to give. Sometimes we feel we can’t face what is in front of us; the tasks for today are too much; the pressures of worry about tomorrow are paralyzing us. A difficult child, marriage struggles, a son who is wandering from the faith, troubles with the business, aging parents who need your support – these are heavy loads that require a lot of physical, emotional and spiritual strength.

And the problem is not likely going away anytime soon; you’ll wake up to it again tomorrow morning.

So where are you going to find the energy? Coffee can only take you so far! Let me encourage you with what the apostle Paul says about his energy source:

We proclaim Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, striving with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.

Colossians 1:28-29

Paul’s aim was high. He wanted to proclaim Christ so that he could present everyone mature in Christ. A good and godly goal like this is very hard work. It made Paul toil and strive. He was not adequate for this task. He did not have the strength for it. It was too much for him. He recognized that he was only a jar of clay, a weak human instrument doing Christ’s work which was too heavy for Paul to do. 

But rather than cave on his goals, he relied on an Energy Source that gave him what he needed for his important work: I toil and strive with all His energy. Christ’s energy. He knew that only Christ could do the work of Christ through him. Only Christ can do the work of Christ He gives you to do!

That energy is a specific kind of energy – the energy of Christ’s resurrection power. The power that raised Him from the dead is the power of new life that He works in you to accomplish the things you cannot do. (see Ephesians 1:19-20, Hebrews 13:20-21)

That’s why Paul could say, I can do all things – all things God calls me to do – through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

And this Christ-energy by which Paul did his work did not operate like battery power but more like direct current. He said: I strive with all His energy which powerfully works in me. That means: Christ’s power is constantly being supplied to me so that I am dependent on His energy 100% of the time. The power of the crucified and risen Christ is an ever-present, ever-working power through His Holy Spirit.

So let us learn from this that we need the Lord’s strength to do our important daily work at home and wherever our calling takes us. And we need His strength daily, continually. This means we should be in constant prayer for His help in the work we do and the challenges we face.

Let us repent of trying to do His work in our strength. Instead, let us pray for ourselves and for one another so that God’s power may rest upon us. This brings God glory and gives us strength.

Sometimes God may even add troubles to our trials to make us still more dependent on Christ. He gave Paul a ‘thorn in the flesh,’ and wouldn’t take it away from him so that God’s power would be magnified in Paul’s weakness. (see 2 Corinthians 12:8-10) 

As David strengthened himself in the LORD his God (I Samuel 30:6), let us also learn where the Source of our energy lies. We need the Lord. Rather than compromise godly goals so that we can do our work in our own power, let us keep God’s goals and give up on our own power. We must seek Him in faith, through constant prayer.

Let us strive with all His energy which powerfully works in those who believe.