Bouncing on ‘E’

3 Sep

Most humans (and most Christians, for that matter) manage to exist through life with their heart bouncing on ‘E’ (empty).  Where do we think burnout, suicide and other problems of society come from?  It’s broken people looking for a way to stop the pain of emptiness.  In fact, it even manifests in someone’s mildly irritable or touchy disposition which they may call normal… or “that’s just my personality”.  But really, it’s trying to drive through life without gas for their engine.

We might ask, “Well, how can anyone really know how their heart is doing?” Okay, since you’ve asked, try answering these questions. (See, “How’s Your Heart” for more on this.)

1. What frequency of encounters with God do you require for your life?
2. Can you pray in tongues for more than 30 secs… more than 3 mins?
3. How much language do you use to express your love and afffection to Jesus?

Here’s a sneak peak into a typical deep love communication between Average Joe Christian and Jesus.  It might be a little exaggerated… but then maybe not.

I love you Jesus. So glad you love me.  Thank you for loving us so much to give us the fine weather and nice day.  And I love you Jesus.   Thank you for dying on the cross for me… and everyone else, too.  And… did I already say thank you for the nice day.  O yeah.  And… and… I love you Jesus… and I hope that everyone else will love You too someday because You deserve it.  Ok, bye for now.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sound a kind of shallow… and strained?  Sounds like ‘Joe’ may not really know Him… certainly hasn’t spent much time with Him… maybe more like he just knows ABOUT Him.

You see, it doesn’t really matter if we raise the dead, cast out demons, etc… if we don’t KNOW Him then according to Matt 7:22-23 all that good stuff doesn’t count.   We really must have ‘face time’ with the King of this Kingdom.  To just enjoy the Kingdom without knowing the King MIGHT make us a citizen, but the King wants to spend enough time together to call us not just mere citizens, but friends (Jn 15:15).

So, you want to know if you have a deep relationship with God?  Listen to your prayers.  Listen for genuine, fresh and uniquely personal heart concepts being shared… or are they filled with surfacy, repetitious, predictable cliches and religious Christianese?  Do you hear references to God as a far-off and unattainable deity?  Do you hear strains of unworthiness and shame to approach someone so Holy?  Do you hear an un-Godly type fear of God?  Or do you hear conversational communication like a friend with a friend… familiarity which breeds ease, rest, openness and freedom.  Moses and God would be a good model: “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” – Ex 33:11.

You see, the answers to the questions above give us evidence as to the depth and reality of relationship we have.  And if we ‘labor’ under any of the adverse modes above, then it would very surprising if our ‘heart tanks’ were anything more than just bouncing on ‘E’.

Since Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly (Jn 10:10), I think we may want to pull into the gas station and get some petrol (heart oil).  So where’s the gas station?  Well that is going to be different for EVERY person.  Read “On Ramps” and “Tears…” for more on this.  But as Yoda would say, “Find the gas station, we must.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a religious sacrificial zeal that works us into a sweaty froth… like a horse after a hard workout.  No, rather, I’m advocating heart-to-heart face-time encounters (like friends do) which fill our heart-tank so we have fuel to live life with.  This is not work or duty… it’s the response of a heart that is sincerely in love with Jesus.

I’ve used this Bill Johnson quote before, but it bears repeating:  “If I’m more than 2 weeks away from tears then I know what I have to do.”  Gotta get back to a tender heart with Jesus.  Maybe this would be a good standard for each of us to practice.

In the old days of cheap gas, we used to say to the gas station attendant, “Fill er up with Premium.”  Well gas prices are in another galaxy now, but no matter the price, my heart has to have frequent flier familiarity with the One who is the author of all my help.  So I’m gonna do whatever it takes to get and keep my heart full.

No bouncing on ‘E’ for me!

— MLH

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