Firing on All Cylinders

Late Yesterday… Early This Morning…

Cylinder - FiringI started having a flash of intelligence; awakening of awareness; data streaming through my mind with blinding clarity. I am not sure what to call it. Visions, but not dreams. Unstated realities becoming clear.

All of a sudden it seemed everything was clicking. My mind, intelligence, awareness, sensitivity, insight, body and spirit were all in tune with each other. Suddenly, I was firing on all cylinders.

Did you know modern car engines have been designed to allow for some cylinders to stop working until their power input is needed? As power is requested from driving conditions, they fire up and add their combustion to the mix to give the engine the power called for by the driver.

Some things have been happening in my life and ministry the past few years. At times I have felt like I was coasting. My pressure years of completing a degree were behind me. Other family situations were calming down. In fact, it seemed like it was a simple downhill, no pressure slide into my latter years.

But then, something started happening. It seemed like pressure started building and I could not name the source. Around me, people were acting out, and acting gone. What had been “comfort” was now spelled with “dis” in front. Situations were building and spiritual bailouts were becoming the normal. Fear of failure was rising.

What was going on?

  • A thought came to me yesterday. Unbidden. Totally unwelcomed. Where did this image come from? It reared it’s ugly head. How do I address it?
  • Last night, again, I sensed there were some hidden issues that needed to be faced head on. How do I handle it?
  • This morning, while it was still dark, I woke and immediately my mind and spirit were crying out for others who are struggling and I was not even aware. But I am sure there is a precipice in their future.

Unless I act. Do something. Pray. Focus. React. Find a way to unbundle this pressure and give release to God’s direction for the future.

As I spent my time in devotion this morning, a preachers voice was coming over the airwaves and I listened to him preach about pressures. I could relate. In 5 minutes I sensed a relief valve opening up and a cylinder coming online.

A simple stated line took me a long time down a direction of thought. Here’s the story.

Jesus had finished ministering to the multitudes. This was not an action without consequences. Those of us who have been in the role of ministering understand that when you have given out of yourself, then the body and mind need to recoup. Those that minister on large scales, or even small scales, know that something needs to be replenished. Bodily rest. Mental recovering. Replace the electrolytes lost from exertion.

As Jesus and the disciples crawled into their boats and begin to sail away, a sudden squall came sweeping across the water and immediately the boat was imperiled. Frantic feelings at the potential disaster overwhelmed the disciples. Quick… Where’s Jesus?

They turn to their savior. There he was. Lost to slumber. Recouping and recovering from his act of ministry just a little while ago.

But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”  (Mark 4:38 NKJV)

Don’t you care? We are perishing here!

Have you ever been awaken from a deep sleep into someone else’s panicked moment? A phone call. Something’s broke. Quick. Fix it. Now, sleep is ruined. Mind is racing. Actions are taken. But the moment of rest is lost. “Peace be still!” The storm is calmed…

So, let’s take a moment and address the real problem. You see. The problem was not the storm… The problem is how we address the storm.

But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40 NKJV)

Why? Where’s your faith? You just came from a great experience of ministering to the multitudes! It’s almost, I assume because I have never done this, but, it’s almost like getting up the next morning after partying. Wondering. Why is this happening to me? Why do I ache so much? My situation is unbearable! Where are my friends?

Then I realized something. I’m not in this alone. It seems like everyone around is struggling with something. Storms are raging. Fear is causing us to slip outside of our comfort zone. You. It’s happening to you right now…

What can we do about it?

We know Faith is getting back up when we are knocked down, but when the rug is yanked from under your comfort zone and you find yourself prostrate on the floor, what do you do? Some people want to be like that Frank Sinatra song, “I’m gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die”… That’s Life!

But no. That’s not life. That’s giving up. When you find yourself in a prone position, and before you do anything else, this is a great time to simply begin with prayer. As prayer is simply talking to God, and then listening. Take time to talk. And Listen.

The Apostle Peter had boldly declared himself for Jesus. “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33 NKJV) Oh Peter. Before the cock crows next morning you will find yourself in a final position of having denied me three times, replies Jesus.

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:75 NKJV)

I have failed. I bolstered my speech to the Lord. Before my brethren. And I have failed. Again. Flee into the night. Weep. Bitterly. That word bitterly has connotations of violent actions. Racking sobs. Belly aching, chest hurting, voice croaking.

Your greatest sense of failure can be put to the right! You can be restored even when everyone remembers your failure. Look. Jesus and Peter meet on a beach at the Sea of Galilee, and alone with Jesus the breech is repaired. (John 21:7).

Here’s a key.

Before you can be who you are supposed to be, alone with Christ you must repair the breech in your walls. It is not a public confession, but a private time with the one who has the power to speak to your storms and cause them to become peaceful. There is no therapist or pill for this moment. It is only found in your connection with Jesus.

Finally… It is this same man who writes a thought on how to deal with your problems and get all your cylinders firing properly.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)

Make it right with the one that can cause your storms to cease. From there, all else will be okay.

“No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.”

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