Plugged in and powered up!
Going to bed last night you probably made sure to recharge your phone. Why do we plug our phones in every night? The answer is simple, they need the power to operate.
In the morning, we need a fully powered phone as we go through our day. If you’re like me, in the morning you shut the alarm off, put on Pandora to listen to music and start the morning routine. Waze will help me find my way while avoiding traffic. Oneplace will let me listen to Ravi Zacharias or another favorite teacher, or maybe YouVersion to listen to some chapters of Psalms as I’m driving.
Our brains need to be recharged too. We need sleep because the brain needs to recharge. The cerebral cortex uses as much energy as an elite athlete when it is “actively engaged”. The brain handles most things automatically with the autonomic nervous system, the limbic system, etc. but when we think and actively process thought for decisions or learning we fire up the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the thin layer covering all the brain. Using the cerebral cortex drains the body’s energy stores, prolonged use can only be maintained for short periods of time without a significant drop in efficiency. This drop in energy is well known and certain professions from an airline pilot, to United Nations translator limit the time that their professionals work. The brain is powerful, and after prolonged engagement the brain needs to rest and recharge. A healthy person recharges and renews power mentally and physically by extended periods of renewing rest, aka sleep. If we don’t recharge, studies on sleep deprivation show multiple negative effects. In the same way that our phones, our brain’s, and bodies need to be recharged, our souls need power too. How do we power up spiritually?
Paul, the apostle prayed for power to be given to his brothers and sisters at the church of Ephesus. In Ephesians 3 Paul wrote, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Paul’s prayer here echoes his words to the Colossians where he prays that they continue “walk in Him, be firmly rooted, be built up, be established”. Being firmly rooted in Greek has one meaning to “cause a person or thing to be firmly grounded”. In most engineering courses a student will learn Ohm’s law to understand things like voltage, amperage, and resistance. All these variables affect how much power, more technically how much electrical current or amperage your electrical device will receive. Amperage(I)=Volts(E)/Resistance(R). When you plug your iPhone needing 1A to charge into the 5v charger you know your 3ft cable is equal to or less than 5Ω(Ohms) because (E)/(I)=(R) or 5v/1A=5Ω, but if there is a bad connection or a longer wire, double it to 6ft, there will be an increase in resistance. Mathematically we see then that 5v/10Ω=.5A which will be half of the power the phone was receiving because when we increase distance we increase the resistance.
As a tech at GM, I had an electrical system problem that was my responsibility. I checked everything that I could and ran the standard tests. I could not repeat the condition that the customer complained about. I found my service manager and told him my situation. He told me to go back and wire-brush the battery terminals, I responded to him that the battery terminals were “screw-in” side terminals, not top terminals which were clamp type. All the mechanics knew the top terminals were notorious for issues with corrosion that you could easily see. If corrosion is evident that means the resistance increases and you lose power and that corrosion, and loss of connection eventually kills your car battery. I learned a lesson that day because after telling my boss that his suggestion wasn’t the right solution I went away with an earful of colorful words. I went back and cleaned the cables on the car and even though they looked clean visually they weren’t, there was an increase in resistance because of imperceptible corrosion. Once cleaned that car was firmly rooted to its power source and never suffered that issue again.
Spiritually if we follow the principle of Ohms law by caring for and clearing a way for us to connect with God, our source of life and love, then we will experience power. Everyday life can corrode our connection to God. We can remove resistance in our inner beings through activities which bring our minds closer to God, those activities are prayer, fasting, and memorizing Scripture. Spiritual disciplines help bring us near to God who takes our surrendered hearts and makes the connection clean. Paul desired greatly that the Ephesians knew and continued experiencing God’s power.
In Ephesians 1 Paul prays, “…that you will begin to know what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His active, spiritual power is in us who believe.(AMP)” It is my prayer that you too experience God’s great love and power as you surrender your life, your power, to firmly ground yourself in Him.