Catabolic Christians

Colossians 1:29

That’s what I am working for, struggling with all his energy which is powerfully at work in me.

Paul strenuously worked for the gospel with God’s energy.

How do we operate on God’s energy?

Let’s work from the known to the unknown.

How does the human body use energy?

We measure energy in calories. Calories are the energy, or fuel, we burn while performing activities.

If you’re going to run, say, a mini-marathon, you will want to “carb up” as they say. Why? Because you want plenty of energy (fuel) to burn if you’re going for optimal performance. You want stores of energy, along with reserves. The stored energy your body burns during intense performance is called glycogen. (That’s a cool sounding word, looks good on paper, and even has both a hard “G” and a soft “g”. Love it.) And you want lots of glycogen to run 13.1 miles well. That’s the energy you want to burn for best performance.

What if you don’t have enough stored energy?

Let’s say you starve yourself for the week leading up to the race.

Well, your body will have to feed on itself. It needs energy from somewhere, so it will take it from your muscle tissue. This is what’s called a catabolic state. Your body will also burn some fat reserves which may sound good, but that is poor fuel for performance.

So how do we “carb up” spiritually?

I’m reminded of the account of Jesus praying all night long before He chose the twelve (Luke 6:12-13). He prayed up. That is how we can store divine energy. And that is the fuel we need to burn spiritually, or else we become catabolic Christians, using only our own energy, which is not optimal fuel for the spiritual realm.

You don’t want to burn yourself, you want to burn Spirit, and you must carb up on Spirit. Another way of saying it may be that praying up removes obstacles to the Spirit working.

We’re rarely taught to pray like the warriors of old—for long periods, throughout the entire day, consistently, and persistently as Jesus taught in Luke 11 and 18.

It’s amazing what I’ve seen happen when praying in this manner.


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