Plugged In?

Wednesday mornings I attend a ladies Bible study at my church. We just started a Beth Moore study, the brand-newiest-one on Deuteronomy. I have been studied with this group of ladies since Spring 2000. We’ve studied a lot, we’ve shared a lot, we’ve cried a lot, we’ve done a lot of life a lot, we’ve loved a lot. But most importantly, we’ve grown a lot. Some ladies have left and others have joined but still the study goes on.

We started with Kay Arthur‘s Lord series. We each had homework every day and our “message” was delivered via cassette tape that had to be flipped over half way through. I remember the first time we had a man delivering the message in place of Kay. We thought it odd and didn’t like him near as much as Kay. Not that he was bad at all, just not what we were used to. Over the years we moved to vhs tapes of the messages as we ventured out and away from Kay Arthur. Not that we stopped liking her, we just moved to other things and yes, we do still use some of her material.  Now we’ve moved to dvds with surround sound.

Which leads to technical problems on occasion. Like this past Wednesday. I walked in the door thinking of all the things I needed to before study started. I had to walk around and greet each lady and hopefully make her feel welcome and give her a reason to smile. I had to make the coffee because that’s what I do. Some ladies can teach, some can sing, I can make coffee. I was also contemplating whether or not I’d need to make copies of the video session notes for anyone that did not yet have a book.

So as you can plainly see, my mind was completely preoccupied with “necessary” actions. But when I walked in the door all of those flew right out of my mind when I heard a friend say, “Good! You’re here. You can fix it.” The tv was not talking with the dvd player, or maybe it was the other way around. Maybe both weren’t speaking to the other. I don’t know. All I know for sure is jumping across the screen was the words, “No Signal”. I first asked if they were both on the same channel. At home we had gone over a month thinking our vcr/dvd player was dead when all we had to do was change the channel on our tv.

No one knew. I tried getting the channel to change on the tv and it was a no go. So obviously that wasn’t the trouble. Next I tried changing the input on the tv. The ladies told me they had already tried all of those and nothing fixed it.

About this time I noticed a cable hanging from the back of the tv and asked, “What’s this for?” I was told it was to hook a laptop to the tv. Ahhh so that’s not it. I’m overhearing two ladies talking about who they can call and deciding to try to call the associate pastor. When they tried they first only reached his voice mail, but on the next try he answered. He wasn’t all that helpful. I’m not being rude and honestly I can’t remember what exactly was said because I was puzzling why it wasn’t working.  It was recommended that we call the church’s IT guy. I was the only one who had his number so I called him and he wasn’t available.

I decide if that cable went to the laptop that was right there, why not just use the laptop? I took the disc out of the dvd player and put it in the drive of the computer. Only it wouldn’t play. About this time the associate pastor comes and switches the input from “PC” to “HDMI 1″. I told him I had the disc in the computer and so to try the player again we’d need to eject it.

The computer would not give up the disc. Apparently it likes Beth Moore also.  It was only after struggling and wanting to bash the computer into next week, that we realized the batter was dead and the power cord had a short and wasn’t charging. I finally get the green light on the power cord to come on and quickly the pastor ejects the disc.  (I did tell him I would be extremely dead if we couldn’t get the disc out. The secretary, who was also in there by now, and I were making plans to make a fast getaway and go for coffee, pretending we had no clue.)

Another man in our church came to help also, and it was him who noticed the dvd player was not plugged into the tv. The cable I had seen hanging down the wall actually was supposed to be plugged into the back of the dvd player.

I felt a little more than a lot stupid until the IT guy sees me after Bible study and asks if it was plugged in. I told him the story blaming a Sunday School teacher for unplugging it and not plugging it back in, the IT guy smiles at me and tells me I’m sadly mistaken. It wasn’t the SS teacher, no, it was the associate pastor who had unplugged it.

Just like the tv did not receive the signal from the dvd player because it was unplugged, we don’t receive a signal from the Holy Spirit when are spiritually unplugged. We neglect the Word at home during the week, we fail to pray, and we are disconnected from our life source. And we wonder why life doesn’t work.

We need to get plugged back into the power source.  It’s more than just going to church on Sunday, it’s how we live every day. We need to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. We need to keep short accounts with God. We need to confess our sins and repent. By repent I mean we have to turn from our sins, even our personal favorites. We need to exchange our life for His life.  We need to deny ourselves, we need to say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ” and live like it.

It’s not easy, not at all. Our old sinful nature hangs on and loves nothing more than tripping us up and making us obey it. It desires what it desires and it wants it now. Whenever we give into the flesh, we will find a disconnect with our true Power Source, we will disconnect from the God who created us, who loves us infinitely more than anyone else.