A weather alert flashed across the television screen. It warned of a freezing rain event likely to coat power lines and tree limbs with up to three quarters of an inch of ice. The Governor announced a ‘State of Emergency’ in advance of the approaching nemesis. National Guard units, highway workers, and power line crews were placed on ‘High Alert’.
Along with extremely dangerous road conditions, a major concern of the impending storm was downed power lines. The weight of a heavy coating of ice could snap power lines. An additional threat comes from ice covered branches, even whole trees, crashing down across the lines. An arctic blast of single digit temperatures would follow the freezing rain. The dependence of our modern way of life on electricity cannot be overstated. Without electricity, homes and business would be plunged into darkness and life-threatening cold. Because few people have an alternate power source, a power failure can be disastrous.
An analogy between a power failure in our physical world and in our spiritual lives can easily be seen. Our spiritual power source is the Holy Spirit. When someone makes the commitment to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit immediately takes up residence within that person. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). You become connected to the inexhaustible power of God. But, like power lines in the physical world, certain conditions can result in power outages.
Scripture gives several ‘alerts’ about conditions that can cause a spiritual power failure. The most obvious is sin, the willful breaking of a known spiritual law. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). In addition to this most evident cause of a spiritual power outage, the writer of Hebrews cautions us “to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us” (Hebrews 12:1). It is the term ‘weight’ that I want to emphasize. Like the freezing rain coating the power lines and tree limbs adding an unsustainable overburden, the added stress of spiritual weights can lead to a power failure.
The ‘cares of this world’ can so burden a person that the power to live confidently and victoriously fails. However, we are not powerless in the face adversity. Shaking off the weight may be accomplished by recognition of the condition, confession, and repentance. Time in God’s word, prayer, the great hymns of the church, and interaction with fellow believers all can help keep the current flowing. Let us heed the Biblical alerts and prepare for the possibility of a power outage before it occurs. We can do all things through Christ who will empower us.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” (Proverbs 22:3, NIV)
~ Brother Roy