Monday, February 2, 2009

Choosing our Power Source

There are various choices we must make in the battle: (1) to seek and heed wise counsel; (2) to focus on other people; (3) to respond rightly to tough situations; and (4) to pray for God's help. There's a fifth choice we must make: to decide what power source we will rely on. Will we run on God's power-the Spirit of God filling and leading us-or will we seek other sources of power, such as drugs, alcohol, revenge, or hatred? Choosing the right source of power is essential to spiritual peace and success. If our source is God, He offers many resources to empower us in the spiritual battle. Among them are knowing the Word of God, time in prayer, and the ability to have personal holiness. But if we cease to "plug in" to the right sources of power, the other elements of our relationship with God become murky. The choice of the right power sources hit home to me in the case of Phil. As he stepped into my office, Phil looked like a whipped puppy. He sat down and exclaimed, "I feel that I have died spiritually. I can't pray and the Bible is as dry as sawdust. I need help." The lack of spiritual deadness was a lack of scriptural input in his life. The lack of spiritual power in Phil's life was much more than that. And as a Bible college graduate, he was both frustrated and puzzled. His wife and he were rearing three wonderful children. But his job gave little joy. When I asked him about the workplace, his eyes turned dark and he scowled. "I hate my job," he replied, his voice dripping with bitterness. "The guys make fun of me because I am a believer." We looked at several passages of Scripture that instruct us to rejoice in the midst of persecution. Somehow, though, I didn't sense this was really the problem. I encouraged Phil to be transparent with the Lord and open up with me. Suddenly, Phil began to weep. A confession followed: "I gradually became complacent in my walk with the Lord. In time I quit reading the Bible and praying. I continued to attend church for my wife and children's sake. However, I began to look at some of the pornography that litters the walls of the office where I work. There is a young woman who works at the front desk. She began flirting with me. In time I started flirting back. One day I kissed her in the supply room and that's when I really became afraid of where I was going. The problem is, I don't know how to get back to where I belong with the Lord. No Scripture. No prayer. Looking at lust-producing pictures. "Innocent" flirting and a stolen kiss. All those actions-and inaction's-would push God's presence to the margins of Phil's life. We spent some time in prayer in which I asked the Lord of open Phil's heart and help him genuinely repent. In a matter of minutes, Phil confessed the sins of breaking fellowship with the Lord, prayerlessness, and lack of Bible reading. He went on to ask the Lord to forgive him for looking at pornography and the lustful desires toward the young woman at work quickly followed. As we prayed and talked, I saw his face light up. Peace and joy from the Lord came into his heart and he exclaimed, "I'm free!" Phil has changed vocations. Today he is the senior pastor of a growing church. He understands the wiles of the devil, and he has as great big heart full of love for struggling people. He tells his story to them as both an example of a prodigal son who came back to his Father and a heavenly Father who welcomed him with an embrace and a party. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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