It’s 2:47 AM, my best and worst time to be writing. It’s my best time because all is calm, all is bright. I just looked out my window and saw a billion stars. Praise God, Ida has moved on and the rain has stopped. It’s my worst time because I’m suffering from spiritual high cholesterol.
What is spiritual cholesterol? Simply put, it is a condition where the cares of this world are clogging my branch, cutting off the life-giving flow from the vine.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
My cholesterol is too high. I’m trying to lose weight and exercise more because I do not want to be on a prescription med if I can help it. So, what’s the big deal about high cholesterol? Well, best that I know, those little pieces of stuff stick to the inside of my veins and make it difficult for the blood to pass by, hence raising my blood pressure (which isn’t high 120/70, go figure!) because the heart must pump harder to keep me alive. That’s a summary of physical high cholesterol.
Spiritual high cholesterol is when those little pieces of stuff—the cares of this world—stick in my brain, and I can’t stop worrying about them. They get in the way of allowing God’s power to flow through me, stopping me from living a successful Christian life. Instead, I am weak and worrisome. I’m tired because I can’t sleep, which means tomorrow I’ll be sluggish—definitely NOT on the top of my game!
- “I am the vine”—Jesus is my heart. He is the spiritual life-giving source.
- “You are the branches”—that’s us folks! We are His hands, His feet.
- “He who abides in Me”—this is a healthy born-again believer. He is exercising his faith, believing 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” He knows that God has a plan, and He alone will carry it through. We rest in His amazing grace. Ah, just speaking those words to myself clears the arteries of my soul!
- “and I in him”—Wow!!! This is an amazing thought! It’s the acting out of James 4:8. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Our precious Savior is ready and waiting for us to get out of the way and let Him do His work in us. James 4:5 “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” Once again, our part is to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts, ie. live the holy life. Double-minded? What’s that? Oh yeah, that’s my old nature battling my new nature, and it will be our battle till we see Jesus face to face.
- “bears more fruit”—that’s the goal, folks, but it is HIS work, not ours! HIS passion in us, HIS vision.
- “FOR WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING”—go ahead. Try and live without a heart! Not possible. Neither is it possible to accomplish anything without the power of God flowing through us: Channels only!
How I praise Thee, precious Savior,
That Thy love laid hold of me;
Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me
That I might Thy channel be.
Channels only, blessed Master,
But with all Thy wondrous pow’r
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour.
Just a channel full of blessing,
To the thirsty hearts around,
To tell out Thy full salvation,
All Thy loving message sound.
Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no pow’r but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.
Witnessing Thy pow’r to save me,
Setting free from self and sin;
Thou who bought me to possess me,
In Thy fullness, Lord, come in.
Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit
Hearts that full surrender know,
That the streams of living water
From our inner man may flow.
So, what’s the solution: the same spiritually as it is physically. Lose weight and exercise. I need to lose those things that are weighing me down. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrew 12:1).”
And then I need to exercise, using the most powerful muscle available to the believer: prayer!
Is it an easy fix? Nope! Not physically or spiritually. But our part is to do our part and leave the rest to God. So on that note, I’m ready to rest!