If you have traveled on an airplane, you are familiar with the presentation the stewards and stewardesses make before take-off. One of the most important things they mention is with regard to the oxygen masks. They say that before you help anyone else with their mask, make sure you put your mask on first.

At first I didn’t understand why they would encourage someone save themselves first. Shouldn’t we want to help others? But then, a couple of years ago, it finally clicked for me. You can’t truly help another person if you yourself are dying.

To be most effective in helping another person, we must first be attached to a life-source ourselves. If we aren’t, we are only giving someone else our weakness and fear. We aren’t doing what’s best for them or for ourselves.

2 Corinthians 13:14 reads, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

If we aren’t walking in the goodness of Jesus’ grace, living in the love of God, or having fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we are running on depleted resources. When we strive to go through life on our own, to love fully and to serve selflessly, we will lose the zeal. Exhaustion will sneak upon us in the darkness of night, and we will wake the next morning wondering why we don’t want to help in the church or treat co-workers with a forgiving attitude.

We want to help others. We want the teach and preach the Gospel. But we can’t serve God completely if we refuse to draw near to Him. We need to be connected to God at all times, or we are only serving from a fragment of ourselves.

When we don’t spend time in His Word or invest ourselves in prayer, our spiritual lives are suffocated. Every aspect of our lives is affected one way or another by how much time we spend in community with the Holy Spirit.

How can we expect to change a world for the kingdom of God if we’re spiritually floundering around? What’re we conveying to a lost and dying world when we don’t even practice what we preach? Our intentions may be noble, but our actions are contradictory.

Brothers and sisters, the most important relationship you could ever nurture is the one you have with the Father. He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell inside us and to guide us. He sent Jesus to die for our sins and rise again so that we might spend an eternity with Him. The Lord Who created the very concept of time wants a relationship with you.

One of the most beautiful things about spending time with the Father is that He will begin to develop your capacity to love like He does. He will strengthen you where you are weak, He will teach you where you are uncertain. His love will run over from our spirits and influence our relationships with others.

We need to be found in and grounded in Him.

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