I love a good word picture. Here is one I will call “Lessons from the Gym.”
Every personal trainer will tell their clients of the importance of fluids, preferably water. Trainers can tell during a workout when a person has not consumed enough water – the individual gets tired sooner, complains about how depleted they feel, seems to be in more pain than usual, talks of cutting back or totally giving up on sessions. When a trainer observes this happening, they will give the following advice:
- You must ingest water to survive.
- Drinking a gallon of water at breakfast, but no more the rest of the day, is not going to get you through the evening workout.
- It is important to routinely replenish fluids throughout the workout to sustain yourself.
- Take sips, not gulps.
Here is the spiritual life application:
As a pastor I want to tell you of the importance of your personal, intimate relationship with God. I can tell during a ministry session when a person has not been experiencing that time with the Lord – the person quickly gets emotionally and physically tired, complains about lack of energy for life, seems to be in more pain and turmoil than usual, talks of withdrawing from people and giving up on life. When I observe this happening, I will give the following advice:
- You must have personal, honest, transparent, intimate interactions with God to survive.
- Having an incredible “quiet time” early in the morning, but then doing the rest of the day with little awareness of His presence, is not going to get you through the struggles and challenges of the day.
- It is important to communicate with the Lord throughout the day to sustain yourself.
- It does not need to be big amounts of time; many “sips” will be adequate.
Folks, I am absolutely certain that the Lord loves those dedicated times we spend sitting at His feet (drinking a gallon of water). But He also wants us to know the importance of taking many “sips” throughout the day. God is right in the middle of every circumstance in our lives – when your spouse just hurt you with words and the children are acting disrespectfully and you are feeling depleted and unloved, let me suggest you excuse yourself to your bathroom or bedroom for five minutes of “God time.” It will help you finish the rest of the workout.