by Brian G. Bettes
Most of us are familiar with what a power plant is. It is a place where electricity is generated. There are many different levels of electricity that power plants will produce, but the amount of power that is typically generated by a power plant will be somewhere between 155,000 volts to 786,000 volts depending on the size and type of plant it is. Suffice it to say, even the smaller voltage is a lot of power!
In simple terms, this power is sent out from the power plant via high capacity power lines and is distributed among several smaller power substations. Substations receive the power from the power plant, which will use a series of transformers to reduce the power it receives to send down the line to smaller substations. These in turn use more transformers to ratchet down the voltage even more in order to feed high volume users, businesses, and housing subdivisions.
In the neighborhood where you live you will see a transformer, either on a pole (you know, that battery looking thingy), or there will be a box (usually gray or green) out by the curb, which will feed power to several houses. By the time power is fed into that transformer it will have been ratcheted down to 7,200 volts via the above mentioned “transformer feeder system.”
The power is then transformed down from there even more to feed your house with 240 volts and 120 volts. There is a breaker box, usually in the garage, where this electrical service is introduced into your house. From there it is wired throughout the house to your heating/cooling unit, electric cooking range (if you have one of those), and your clothes dryer with 240 volts; all of your electrical sockets will be wired with 120 volts. We are all familiar with these sockets because that is where we plug in our toasters, microwaves, clocks, stereo systems, televisions, etc.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you have a device like a laptop computer or a cell phone, you will notice that it has a little “transformer” on it (actually called a power adapter) that looks like a small square “box” with a wire that has one end that plugs into the wall, and the other end that plugs into the device. This little box converts the AC (alternating current) power that is in your wall socket into the DC (direct current) power that your device uses. It transforms power from the wall socket down even further to anywhere between 9 and 12 volts. The reason for this is because, depending on the device, it can only handle so much power. Electricity has to be “trickled” into the device to recharge it. If you didn’t have that miniature transformer there and you were to plug your device directly into the wall socket, it would blow up the device. Maybe not literally blow it up in terms of an explosion (though possible), but it would definitely melt all the electronic circuitry inside the device.
That is a lot of explanation about electrical power in order to ask this simple question:
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRITUAL VOLTAGE?
If God is the power plant, the Source, and His Holy Spirit is the electricity that He produces, how much of His power can you “take,” and then pass on to others? Are you the substation that is taking the power directly from God to transform it down, breaking it up into smaller voltages, and distributing it to many smaller sources, passing it on to others in service. Or instead, are we the computer or a cell phone at the end of the line, just living off the trickle?
How are we doing at that?
If we have been in God’s church for a number of years, are we living and walking in the Spirit as Paul said we should, or are we still fulfilling the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16, 24-25)? How connected to our Father and Elder Brother are we? If we are walking in the Spirit, others should see the fruit in our lives that comes from having an abundance of the Holy Spirit living in us (Galatians 5:22-23).
Is the Holy Spirit working in our lives such that we are motivated to serve the Body of Christ—all of the Body no matter where they attend services? Reading through 1 Corinthians 12:1-10, we see that each person is given at least one gift by God through the Spirit, but what for. Focus in on 1 Corinthians 12:11-14 for the answer. The gifts are given as God wills to serve the rest of the body, so that it works together in unity. Then He brings it all together with this, “But now God has set the members every one of them in the body, as it pleases Him” (1 Corinthians 12:18, emphasis mine).
Are we serving the Body with our God-given gift? Or are we just showing up for church, taking, sucking away energy from others, and then going home for the week? Are we going to services just to get filled up, or are we giving, leaving something helpful for others as well? What are we doing to contribute and become a source of strength, energy, support, and love for others?
Maybe you don’t think you have much to offer, but if you ask God to help you see your gift, He will. For some it is prayer. For others it is providing encouraging fellowship. Some can teach and preach, others offer praise and worship with their musical gifts. Everyone has something to offer the church, and the world around us, EVERY ONE!
We should be alive! We should be vibrant and filled with God’s power, letting it lead our lives (Romans 8:14). As we fill our lives with His Holy Spirit, letting it transform us into His Children, it should be surging his truth, his love, his hope, and his character throughout our entire being, then out from us for others to partake of; both to those inside and outside of the church. Shouldn’t we be a brilliant beacon lighting the world (Matthew 5:14,16)?
Let’s recognize what we were given in the gift of the Holy Spirit. We were given the very power, the energy, the light, and the divine nature of God to live within us. We are given this power and connected to it at its very Source—the great Power Plant of the universe so to speak.
What are we doing with what we have been given? Hopefully we are so connected to the Source that we are using it to reach out beyond our own selves and our own lives to serve others. Hopefully we are bearing fruit so as to bring honor to the Father who gave His Son’s life, and the Son who offered up His life, so we can have and share this special gift of His Power, His Holy Spirit with others. Are we using this Power to change our lives and the lives of others?
It’s inventory time my friends. How connected to the Power Plant are we? After years of being in the church, are we a spiritual sub-station? Are we a part of the feeder system, providing spiritual energy for others to see God by? Or are we at the end of the line, barely living off the trickle provided by others? Again, I ask, WHAT IS YOUR SPIRITUAL VOLTAGE?