Energy Bars for the Soul

Serving others can renew your own energy.

As you work in ministry, do you ever feel like you've given out more than you have within yourself? Sometimes I get so busy doing the Lord's work that I neglect to feed my own soul. When I realize I'm spiritually lean, I look for ways to energize my soul. Here are a few ideas that help me. Maybe they will work for you too.

Punch God's Time Clock. Spiritual malnutrition is often the result of a too-busy schedule. My day usually goes better if I begin the day with God. I pray along these lines: "Lord, thank You for giving me another day in which to serve You. Take charge of my schedule today, and help me to take maximum advantage of every minute. Keep me focused on Your purpose for me today."

When I punch God's time clock in the morning, I am more conscious of the Lord throughout the day. God becomes my partner in business affairs and household chores as well as in ministry.

Make a Concentrated Effort. An all-out effort contributes to the success of most any endeavor. I can dillydally with the dishes for an hour or go to it and get them done in ten minutes. If I allow my mind to wander, I may need to read the Scripture text three times. With full concentration I can get more out of it the first time around.

Scripture confirms this is also true regarding prayer. In Jeremiah 29:13 God speaks: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (NIV). The intensity of the plea commands God's attention more than the amount of time involved.

Jesus actually condemned the Pharisees for their lengthy prayers of meaningless words (Matt. 6:7). Their shallow display of piety failed to impress God.

Occasional fasting stimulates the soul. The sacrifice of skipping a meal indicates an urgency to do business with God. Hunger pangs ...

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