Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Recharge batteries

My kitchen counter is starting to resemble an electronic gadget shop.

Every evening I plug all my devices into electric sockets.

  • Cell phone.
  • Laptop.
  • Tablet.
  • The dogs’ training collars.

Yes, training collars. My wild and crazy boxers are now wearing electronic training collars to gently persuade them to refocus on my commands instead of their impulses.

But the other day I forgot to charge the collars overnight. Hoping there was a bit of power remaining the next morning, I optimistically buckled the collars on the dogs. No charge. Not even the slightest tingle. The collars were useless without having been connected to their power source.

Some days I wish it were just as easy to recharge my own batteries. Days when my to-do list outlasts my time and energy. When I’m feeling depleted. Exhausted. Empty.

How do you recharge yourself? Do you take a nap? Have a snack? Go for a walk? Play with your dog? Maybe your go-to energy source is caffeine. Or a high protein diet.

But energy depletion is not limited to the physical realm. We can be depleted emotionally, especially if we’re enmeshed in stressful relationships. We can also be mentally drained. Just ask any student who is facing final exams in the coming weeks.

And we can be depleted spiritually. Often our physical state affects our spiritual condition. Consider the prophet Elijah. In I Kings 19, Elijah had enough. He told God to take his life…and then he fell asleep.

Before God addressed Elijah’s mental, emotional, and spiritual issues, the Lord provided for his physical needs. Yahweh Jireh, Elijah’s Provider, provided food and water. Then He allowed the prophet to sleep some more.

God was also concerned with Elijah’s emotional and spiritual condition.

Elijah complained about being the only one left who was a true worshiper of Yahweh, the Living God. But the Lord reminded the prophet to listen for the gentle whispers of divine leading. Then He commissioned Elijah to fulfill God’s purposes and identify a successor. The message? Elijah, you’re not finished yet…and you’re not as alone as you think.

What about you and me? In this world of constant connectedness, when do we disconnect from our devices to rest and reenergize? With many of us keeping our cell phones on the nightstand, which do we open first in the morning: our Bible or our text messages?

Our spiritual refreshment comes in several ways:

  • Forgiveness

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19 ESV).

  • Dependence on God

“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 ESV).

  • Community

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

How do we know if our schedules are overly full while our spiritual tank is empty?

Perhaps we find ourselves more prone to discouragement. We might allow relationships to slip—either with God or with other people. Maybe we’re doing so much for others that we’re not taking care of ourselves—eating right and getting enough sleep. Perhaps we’re rushing from one obligation to another without taking the time to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit to learn if these obligations are our idea, not His. Good ideas are not always God-ideas.

Let’s learn from the lessons God taught Elijah. Recharge by reconnecting with the Lord in our daily quiet time and staying connected to Him throughout the day: the original wireless connection!

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  1. Barbara Farenwald

    Excellent writing/teaching Ava! Sooooo true we need to remain in our Saviors presence always…..

  2. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Barbara.

  3. Bonnie Dorsey

    Thank you Ava, I need to recharge and plug into God mor.

  4. Rayma Zugel

    What a great reminder that, we, as God’s people, need to unplug now and again to recharge our batteries.
    On Thursday’s, I am doing a social media fast to remember to pray for our loved ones. It’s harder than it might seem. But, when I waver that is the time I pray in earnest.

  5. Ava Pennington

    Great idea, Rayma!

  6. Mickey Howe Wich

    Thank you Ava. It’s so true. And I for one needed to be reminded.

  7. Ava Pennington

    Me, too, Mickey.

  8. Candice Brown

    Ava, this is so relevant! A wise fellow author recommended I take this week after the conference off to spend with the Father, soaking in all I learned. Starting Monday, I will get to work, but am glad I recharged my batteries first!

  9. Ava Pennington

    Yes, Candice, recharge. Then charge full speed ahead!

  10. Afi Pittman

    This is important to talk about – especially for women. I feel like we’re often socialized to run on empty while we give everything to everyone else. I recharge by sleeping, running and unplugging. I also like spending quiet time with God.

  11. Yvonne Morgan

    I love your reminder to recharge. We need to care for ourselves so we are at our best when we share the gospel

  12. Ava Pennington

    Afie, for me, yes to sleeping, unplugging, and quiet time with God.
    Running? Not so much! 🙂

  13. Ava Pennington

    I like your reminder about one of our motivations, Yvonne!

  14. Melinda Viergever Inman

    Elijah’s story is so encouraging. I love that the Lord whispers to him, feeds him, encourages him, and puts him back on his feet. He brings someone to come alongside him to help, providing Elisha, as Elijah gently eases out of life and onto that chariot ride to heaven. It’s nice to know that the Lord watches out for us just as faithfully.

  15. Ava Pennington

    He does, indeed, Melinda!

  16. Melissa Henderson

    Taking time to rest and recharge my body helps me in every aspect of life. 🙂

  17. Ava Pennington

    It really does!

  18. Jessica Brodie

    I needed this! Today I woke up sick and realized I’m also in desperate need of “recharge” — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Great word. Thank you!

  19. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Jessica. May Yahweh Rapha reveal Himself in a mighty way as your Healer!

  20. Ava

    Great tips for spiritual refreshment!

  21. Marcie Cramsey

    You ask the question, “How do we know if our schedules are overly full while our spiritual tank is empty?”

    I can relate to every single one of your responses, but one thing that does tell me I’m on empty spiritually is when I’m adding more and more to my schedule. Then I feel deprived and cornered. I know that I need to stop, take a day, and reset my priorities. I wish I could do this once, but it’s not a one-time thing; it’s ongoing, I have to regularly put effort into this type of rest, so I can hear the Holy Spirit’s voice. Great post, Ava! 🙂

  22. Ava Pennington

    Yes, Marcie, I also know that sense of feeling trapped by my to-do list. And yes, too, taking a day to reset is invaluable!

  23. karentfriday

    Such a great analogy, Ava. If my husband had known about electronic training collars when our dogs were younger, he would have been all in. 🙂

    I relate to your words. Sometimes I’m exhausted and running on empty in almost every way. I want to stay connected to my main power source, the Lord. Unless I recharge with Him, I really don’t have much to offer others. And I love that you mentioned forgiveness which is often the reason we are spiritually sick, and community…because we were never meant to do life alone.

  24. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Karen.

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