Tuesday March 23 – Day 35 – KEEP ON KEEPING ON
Tuesday March 23 – Day 35 – KEEP ON KEEPING ON
“12-13 What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12-13 (MSG)
Maybe it was growing up in the 70’s but I remember this saying quite well:
Keep on Keeping On
I didn’t realize that there was a fabulous Curtis Mayfield song by the same name, so I suspect that is what I kept hearing. For those who want to hear this song, here is a link to a great live performance of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-l91O9VxN0
The words stick in your mind, don’t they? We keep on KEEPING on during the pandemic. We get excited that vaccines are on their way, and we wait on the hope of a new day when we can all “get together” and resume our normal lives.
I so miss travelling. Nothing I love more than boarding a plane and ending up somewhere new. I miss my trips to Atlanta to attend a Lift worship conference, our family trips to New York City or to Pittsburgh or to Sanibel Island. One day, we will be able to resume traveling without fear of dying. In the meantime, we just keep on keeping on.
In Paul’s letter to Philippi, he commends the church on living in responsive obedience. They have been keeping God’s rules and laws and because of it they have been thriving. Paul knows how hard it is to follow God’s law, so he encourages his friends to not only keep on keeping on but to DOUBLE their efforts! Increase their obedience!
What I love about the Message interpretation is the second part of this passage:
“Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.”
We all love energy. Some of us love hanging out with certain people because they exude such an amazing energy: positive, full of life, and filled with joy. These are the kind of people that make it EASY to hang out and to just be who you are. There is never a dull moment, and you feel like you are a better person after having spent time with them.
Then there are the energy suckers. They are kind at first glance, but then begin to become work. A lot of work. A lot of desire to talk about their problems and to remain in their world for far too long. When they call you on the phone, you do your best to avoid them because you know it won’t be a quick 2 minute phone call. The problem with energy suckers is that they have NO idea that they are energy suckers. They think that they are contributing and helping you work out some issues when in the end, their focus is on themselves.
All of your energy leaving your body and all you can wish for is the visit to end.
You do not have to worry about God. God not only replenishes our energy but the energy living inside us IS His energy.
If you have a relationship with Jesus, God is always willing and working inside you in order that He would be glorified and worshipped. Seems selfish, yes, but this is God we are talking about here. When God dwells within us, there is never an energy drain but an energy surge…a recharging of our souls, hearts and minds. And for that, ANY time spent with God is a win-win scenario.
When we experience the energy of God through the Holy Spirit, we have the desire to keep on keeping on. We don’t want to give up. We want to persevere as we discussed yesterday, because the Giver of our energy is worthy to be praised.
Have you been drained by the demands of new things during COVID-19? Have you even noticed the energy drain or have you been on your running wheel like a crazed hamster oblivious to your energy level? I believe it is crucial that we all take special care in noticing when we are beginning to fail and have our spiritual lives running on empty.
We are called to keep on KEEPING on in Jesus.
Keep on KEEPING on in our prayer life.
Keep on KEEPING on in connecting with our friends.
Keep on KEEPING on in sharing with the world how God has been so good to you, and why God’s love is worth it all.
May your responsive obedience in keeping with God’s grace and mercy, fuel your energy and allow you to do things you never thought were possible.
The God of Lent reminds us that we are to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and respond in love to everyone we come into contact with, energy drainers or not. Be aware of where your energy level is and if it is low, worship Him. Spend time in His presence.
In other words, keep on keeping on.
See you tomorrow, church!