Today’s world has us concerned mainly with our output. We measure what’s important to us. That could be our bank account, our income, our work, our busyness, etc. We’ve learned to value ourselves by our output. In this pursuit of value, we’ve overlooked our inputs. When do you feel most mentally alert? When are you feeling your best physically? When do you feel closest to God? Those are tough questions that we rarely give any thought to, but if you will think about them, you’ll notice patterns and behaviors that increase those feelings. Output activities drain you mentally, physically and spiritually, but input activities increase your energy in those areas. As I mentioned, we’ve become so focused on outputs that many of us feel tired, mentally drained and far from God.
Jesus constantly took time to get alone with God in prayer. That was His method of input or recharging Himself. All day long He would be doing output things like preaching, teaching, healing and forgiving. To make sure He had enough in the tank each day, He woukd withdraws to secluded places. David found his spiritual inputs in God’s Word and in worship. If you’ve ever read Psalm 119, you know it’s all how much He loved God’s Word. For the leaders of the Early Church, prayer was their input. In Acts 6, they appointed seven men to oversee some of the administrative side of the church so that they could give their full attention to prayer and the Word of God. So I’ll ask you again, what are your spiritual inputs? Have you been too focused on your outputs?
In Paul’s last letter before he was martyred, he wrote final instructions to Timothy on how to conduct himself. Part of 2 Timothy 2:22 says, “Whatever builds up your faith and deepens your love must become your holy pursuit” (TPT). Your spiritual inputs must become your holy pursuit. They must take precedence in your life. While this world, and even the Church, is concerned with your outputs, God wants us to be focused on our inputs. An empty vessel will have nothing to pour out. An empty vessel simply goes through the motions. Yet, it’s the empty vessel who will say, “Lord, didn’t I do all these things (outputs) in your name?” And Jesus will reply, “Depart from me. I never knew you (you never took the time to know me (inputs)).” Outputs are important, but inputs need to be our holy pursuit.