Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Power Sources

When you are starting your car, it is completely electric. The power from the battery turns the starter motor and tells the fuel injectors to spray fuel and powers the spark plugs to spark and cause a little explosion. That little explosion pushes the pistons which drive the crank which is connected to your transmission and your alternator. When that explosion causes the alternator to spin, a radical change occurs. The alternator takes over the electrical side of things. It powers the fuel injectors and the spark plugs and starts to recharge the battery. From this moment on your car is no longer powered by the battery, it is powered by little gasoline explosions. (Unless you have a hybrid, which means this transition happens only on the highway.)

After the little automotive lesson, there is a good chance you are asking, So What?

Much like the car, the source of power for things in our life changes. There are times when we are electric and times when we are gas powered. There are things in our life that only have power because we give it to them. Without the battery (or some pushing and clutch-poping), that gasoline engine is worthless.

In 1 Cor 10 Paul writes about food sacrificed to idols. He points out that idols are nothing. They are powerless. Unless we give them power.

All of the idols in our world sit idle (pun!) like that internal-combustion engine until we give them power. We give them attention, we give them effort, we give them life by diverting our attention from where it should be. Little by little we let them grow and consume us, becoming more and more important to how we see ourselves, what we think will make us happy, where we hope to find contentment.

Paul writes, "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons." Our attention, our focus, our devotion must be only on God, since he is, after all, the source of our power. While we may think we have successfully compartmentalized our lives and found a place for God and a place for work and a place for family and a place for hobbies, we've really just excluded God. He doesn't want a place; He's too big for that. He doesn't want part; He demands all.

"Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?"

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