Devotional | Lightbulb Moment
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV).
Not long ago, I had one of those “lightbulb moments” when I was changing a lightbulb.
One of the items on my to-do list was shopping for light bulbs of different shapes, wattage and size to replace those round the house that had burned out. As I got off the ladder after changing the bulbs in the hallway and turned on the light to check they worked, I was semi-blinded by the sudden brightness! As I regained my vision (OK there may be some exaggeration happening here but it WAS really suddenly bright!) I realized I didn't remember the hallway being that light, and I understood the light bulbs must have been out for some time before someone in the house (I can't take credit for that part) got pro-active and added them shopping list. Even though we'd all known the convenience of doing things with all the lights working, once something actually had to be done for the light to be there, most of us (myself included) were happy to ignore it, live with less than we'd known and eventually didn't even remember how light it once was.
It hit me - we can be like that with God. When we have easy access to His presence and experiencing God seems to just 'happen', when we're surrounded with people who are speaking truth, initiating prayer and worship, leading us and encouraging us, then we enjoy it, utilize it, celebrate it and talk about how good it is. However, when something changes in our circumstances (maybe it's something hard happens, maybe a leader leaves, or we can't get to youth group or we go but it just doesn't seem as good without a famous worship leader around to kick off the evening), and we actually have to DO something ourselves to maintain the relationship and grow, we can often be content - as most of our house was with our semi-lit hallway - with less and less of God. We can reach the point where we're not seeing or feeling Him as we once did, our passion is waning and we're simply not so attuned to our spirits. And we often don't even notice.
We're only semi-aware that we seem to have more struggles, and that we feel 'dry'. Or maybe we do notice and we don't like it but it doesn't bother us enough to actually do something about it (how true is that of a whole world of household tasks too, not just lightbulbs!). But then something happens, like a camp or conference or an amazing youth meeting. The lights have come on again. Our passion has returned. We saw how much we'd lost and we're once again excited about the things of God.
The thing is, we don't have to do it this way - being caught in a cycle of peaks and troughs, a cycle of gradual darkness before a sudden burst of light reminds us what we once had. Just as any one of us in the house could have taken action to get the bulbs replaced, each one of us is able to assess and take responsibility for our own relationship with God. We don't have to wait for a sudden 'hit' from God, like a camp or conference, to see where it's grown cold and when we realize we've begun to wane in our love, growth, passion, or our thirst. We don't have to wait for someone else to stir us into action.
Are you as passionate as a year ago? Are you experiencing God and seeing Him moving in your life as you have before? If the honest answer is 'no', then don't be like I was with the light bulbs. Let's not wait for someone else to stir us into action. Even if it's just something small like making the choice to start the day by listening to one worship song to focus on Him, or to cut out one TV show a day to spend time in God's presence, it will all help to grow our relationship with God.
Let's resolve to never be content with less of God than we've known before. Let's be people who stir ourselves into action to grow our relationship and live in the fullness of what God has for us.
Live life with ALL the lights on.