Wednesday, April 04, 2012
"As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things He has done for you. However, if you continue to do what is evil, both you and your king will be swept away." (1 Samuel 12:23-25 HCSB)
Phil Sloan is an electrician during the week who is transformed into a drummer on the weekend. So, it shouldn't be "shocking" that the drums he plays in our worship band are electronic! As skilled a percussionist as Phil may be, he isn't going to contribute to the music unless those drums are plugged in and turned on! Ohm's law is in effect.
Phil has also taught me Ohm's law. It is a fundamental law of physics, concerning electricity. Without getting too complex, there are three factors: voltage, flow and resistance. I'll illustrate them from the components of a flashlight. You have batteries containing voltage--potential power. Flow is the circuit that is made as electrons are pushed along the wiring--flowing out from the battery and then back. The circuit has to be complete, which is what happens when you flip the switch. Resistance is the drain on that power, which essentially is what the light bulb does, as it gets in the way of the flow. The battery better be charged, or the light can't shine!
Mr. Sloan didn't introduce Ohm's law to me because he wanted me to become an electrician. Electrician sounds a lot like electrocution--which would likely be the result of my becoming Phil's apprentice! Actually, he shared it as a spiritual principle, in a discipleship class he was teaching. God is the source of power for the saints. That power is immeasurable--and can never be diminished. There is a circuit that flows when the saint is connected to the source of our power--God's Word flows into us as we digest Scripture and flows back out of us as we offer our prayer and praise. We will, experience resistance to that flow--the world, the flesh and the devil will see to that. Of course, God's power is infinitely greater than the resistance, but we are responsible to make sure that the switch is on--obedience--and that the contact points are not corroded--which is what sin does. If the circuit is complete, you have shining saints! Jesus illustrated the essence of Christian influence this way, when He said, "You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 HCSB)
We see this spiritual Ohm's law applied in 1 Samuel 12:23-25. The Almighty God was prepared to bless His people. They could be a light to the nations. Samuel knew that they needed the circuit of receiving the truth, so he said, "I will teach you the good and right way." The circuit would be made as prayer and praise would then flow from a Scripturally instructed mind and inspired heart. "I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you," Samuel vows, and demands of them, "Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things He has done for you." He warns them that resistance to that flow will be present, and the power can be short-circuited, if the contact is broken by disobedience, "However, if you continue to do what is evil, both you and your king will be swept away." The corrosion of sin would potentially cause the light to go out! Sinning saints cannot be shining saints! That happened to Israel and her king.
Saul, the man who would become the leader of God's people, failed to apply these principles. He listened to a witch instead of the Word (1 Sam.28). He trusted his own intuition rather than seek God's involvement in prayer (1 Sam.16). He acted irresponsibly and irreverently in worshipping in a forbidden manner (1 Sam.13). The power was cut off, "Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and an evil spirit [sent] from the Lord began to torment him..." (1 Samuel 16:14 HCSB). The leader's light was extinguished (1 Sam.31). What a sobering warning to me and others in positions of spiritual authority. The Apostles recognized the need to keep the power flowing through the circuit, "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry." (Acts 6:4 HCSB) They basically echoed Samuel's commitment in today's text. If a man of God fails here--he fails. Period.
How are you doing with this electrifying truth? Have you made the power connection today, by flipping the switch as you flip through the pages of your Bible? Is that Word flowing in, so that it will flow out in potent prayer, offered in the will of God as informed by the Word of God? Has this world's thinking begun to corrode the contacts? Are you short-circuited by sin? Make the connection! God will make us shining saints.