Last week we discussed staying connected with God in prayer. Looked at 3 passages in Luke. 1 was Luke 5:15–16

The news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

  • Q: What news was spreading all the more?
    • That Jesus was healing the sick and casting out demons – just healed leper
  • Q: Can you relate with the feeling of being crowded—maybe with responsibilities, bills, schedules if not people?
    • Just take a moment to imagine how crowded Jesus’ life could have felt in that moment. Especially after 30 years of being hidden.
      • Responsible for the lives of 12 young men and other close followers.
      • Encountering opposition from Pharisees
      • Preaching schedule + continuous stream of people clamoring for his touch
      • He knows where it’s all leading – to the cross
    • As God, Jesus could handle all this without breaking a sweat.
    • But as a man, that’s a different story.
      • He yearned to be alone with his Father. So he walked away from his responsibilities in order to find time to pray.
        • And we all know that was the real secret to his ministry, to fulfilling his responsibilities.
  • Can see this approach with Bernard of Clairvaux. Heard this quote a while back and found it insightful

“The [one] who is wise, therefore, will see his life as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself … Today there are many in the Church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare … You too must learn to await this fullness before pouring out your gifts, do not try to be more generous than God.”

A good question to ask is: Am I living like a reservoir or a canal?

  • A canal Christian is often empty, in danger of burnout, more susceptible to temptation, self-reliant when it comes to decisions
  • A reservoir Christian walks through their day wearing the armor of God – they put on that armor while they were alone with God.
    • To be clear, life is still challenging. Life was challenging even for Jesus. But he knew where to go to be filled.

2 practical things related with this idea

First, I was inspired last week when Joe asked us what’s the first thing we do when we wake up.

  • I know that 80% of the time, I check my phone to see emails & messages.
    • Comes out of a desire to stay connected with all the things happening around me.
  • But this week I tried to take a moment to connect with the Lord first thing. I’d say I was 60% successful – not easy to remember something 1st thing
    • But on those mornings, I was 100% more connected than if I hadn’t tried.
  • I want to encourage all of us to make every effort to stay connected

Second, I’ve noticed that when I am functioning like a reservoir, I naturally witness

  • When we’re filled up with something, we just want to talk about it.
  • More aware of the Lord’s grace in my life, more grateful, more prone to step out in obedience.
    • These are all content for witnesses.

This year, we want to make our PMs more attractive and easier to engage for new people.

  • Will make time every week to hear from you about how the Lord is moving in your life.
  • Doesn’t need to be profound or complicated. Simple is good and relatable.
  • Share about God’s love, joy, being filled with the Spirit
  • Share in order to help people come to know Jesus
  • Going to do that right now.