Then Peter said, “Silver or gold, I do not have…Acts 3:6
Underneath our streets flows supplies of water, natural gas, and in some cities even electricity from the company or municipality (the source). What is usually between you and the source are valves and meters that allow the supply to flow, or to stop it from flowing completely.
Once the source is contacted and a business relationship is established, the source sends someone to open the valve or connected the meter so you can be supplied. Your supply then goes through pipes or wires which are connected to the valve.
Because many of us have several places we want the supply to go, plumbers and electricians have tapped into the main pipe or wire and have directed the supply to go to different areas of your house. There are times when one of these areas will fail usually after many years of service.
If you have ever had a leaky faucet or drain, it’s not that the supply is not there, but somewhere along the directed path, a soldered or puttied has broken or warn out.
If you’ve ever had a fuse to blow, or a circuit breaker to continually trip, it is not that the supply is not there, but that somewhere along the line there is a fault in the wiring.
Leaky drains and faulty wiring have nothing to do with the supply, but everything to do with a proper relationship with the supply.
After years of faithful service, all of a sudden you recognize that water is dripping. If you let it continue to drip without repair, water will eventually begin flowing out, instead of flow through.
The same with electrical wiring, after years of service, wiring gets burned due to overloading of a circuit. Eventually they burn and cause a break which arks and sparks until it blows a fuse or circuit breaker. The arc and spark is the supply still attempting to reach its intended destination by hoping over the break. This is dangerous because it may take a leap and touch something flammable causing a fire.
This is why our connection with God should be a proper one. Many of us have leaks or breaks that need to repaired or replaced so all that God sends to us properly flows through us instead of leaking out of us or arcing and sparking causing not only damage to us but to everything around us.
God has given you a circuit breaker and it’s a small but much needed word….NO! Either you will flip the switch off… or it will automatically shut off to protect you and others.
Let me be transparent here to give you a real-life example.
I have been in ministry over 40 years as of this writing. I have worked in church ministry since age 11. I have worked as a church organist and minister of music of 2 large churches with 100 voice choirs, I have served as pastor of 4 churches over a span of 20 years as well as operated a broadcast ministry that at its peak reached upwards of 20,000 people a day.
A normal day began at 5:00 am and ended around midnight as I worked on daily presentations for radio, preparing and learning new music for the choirs, preparing messages and teaching for Worship & Bible classes, and raising money to sustain the ministry operations which at its peak included 7 radio stations, 15 employees over 4 states, and general operating expenses and repairs on the 20,000 square foot complex we called FellowshipWorld.
From 1991 through 2009, I can literally count on one hand the times I missed a Sunday Morning Worship. During that 18 year period, I only took working vacations and set up a system that no matter where I was in the country, I had full access to the operations of the ministry and radio station.
Even when there were driving bans in the area where I live due to snow, we never closed. And no matter if there was 1 or 1000 in attendance, I felt it was my duty to serve whoever took the time or made a sacrifice to come, to have a full ministry experience.
But after many years of service, the wear and tear began to appear. The arc and spark of my spiritual wiring as well as the natural flow through my emotional plumbing began to show signs of deterioration.
I could sing, play, pray, teach and preach just like your electric and water flows. I could get up every morning and do a 4 hour radio show, laughing, joking, encouraging and praying for thousands. But inside the wear and tear was apparent. I began arcing and sparking. I would do my spiritual duties each week, but as soon as the service was over, the circuit breaker would trip.
I was leaking emotionally. All of the laughing, joking, encouraging, and praying was flowing to the listeners, yet at the end of the daily show, there was a huge puddle of standing emotions that were deteriorating the floor of stability needed to hold up the heavy load I was carrying.
But instead of stopping to repair the spiritual wiring, I would go into the basement of my spirit and turn the switch back on. Instead of stopping to repair the emotional seal, I would grab a bucket, but it under the sink of my emotions, and continue to turn on the faucet,
ALL I HAD TO DO WAS SAY …NO!
Then a series of events occurred that overloaded my spiritual circuits and flooded my emotional life. Death, betrayal, division, divorce, custody battles, lawsuits, abandonment, rejection, financial loss, business failure, emotional abuse, usury, misrepresentation, and a plethora of insulting, demeaning, and disrespectful events all plugged into every socket and clogged every drain of my spiritual and emotional life.
But instead of calling the professional, I tried to no avail to fix the problem on my own. I tried to duct tape a problem that needed professional attention.
But first I needed to tell myself and others NO!
It utterly amazes me how God will still use you broken, until you come to yourself and call him yourself. I was seriously broken, battling major depression and nobody even knew. When I finally divulged the information, the response has consistently been… “You covered it well”.
Yes my friend, we can duct tape our lives and mask our problems, but at the end of the day, while you’re blessing others, you’re causing greater damage to yourself.
That bucket I put under the sink of my life was catching the flow I needed. Each time I would turn on the circuit breaker of my life for others, I was burning my own wiring, and when I plugged in for myself, that breaker would trip, and I had no power for myself.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold, I do not have…,Acts 3:6
Peter and John were honest, they were on their way to church to get a refill themselves when they encountered a man who was empty as well. Instead of trying to give him what they didn’t have, they simply said NO!
If I would have just been honest with myself and others and just said NO, many of the things that I suffered spiritually and emotionally would have never occurred, I don’t wish what I experienced on anyone.
With the current wave of media reports regarding pastor’s committing suicide, dying of drug overdoses, and rampant promiscuity, these are all signs of a deterioration of their spiritual wiring and emotional plumbing that needs a professional, and not a jack-leg fix.
When we watch reality shows of major religious recording artists such as Mary Mary or The Pace Sisters on an episode of “Iyanla Fix My Life” exposing their crumbling personal lives, failing marriages, and hidden personal traumas including childhood molestation, rape, incest both heterosexually and homosexually, it is a red flag that we have been ministered too for decades by people that have had deterioration of their spiritual wiring and emotional plumbing that needs a professional, and not a jack-leg fix.
Professionally we are on top of our game, ministering to every beggar that sits in our services, concerts, workshops, revivals, and conferences. With their heads down and their arms up, they demand more and more of you and from you. So weekly or even daily, you run to the basement of your soul, flip the switch, and minister powerfully. And as soon as the auditorium is clear, you short circuit, because while you were ministering to others, you were arcing and sparking, burning the wires of your spirit, causing even a greater gap between you and the Source which is God.
Been There, Done That, Got A Tee Shirt!
You may not be in public ministry. You can simply be an average person that is overwhelmed with daily life. Your schedule is filled with the demands of your relationship, children, job, church, civic activities, financial dilemmas, health issues, aging parents, and while all of this is going on.
Meanwhile, a flood of disappointments, discouragements, and negative situations pour into your life, and as you attempt to allow them to flow through, anger and bitterness spill to the floor deteriorating your marriage or relationship, the quality of life for your children, your financial position, and your physical and mental health.
This may be hard for you to do…. JUST SAY NO!
Bishop John Young serves as Senior Pastor of FellowshipWorld, a center and community for spiritual growth where positive attitudes are developed and where good people become better.