By Lois Evans
When you are in an airplane preparing for takeoff, the flight attendant instructs you on how to use the plane’s oxygen system in case of emergency. You’re told to put on your own mask first before you try to help a small child or anyone else needing assistance. The reason is obvious. You won’t be much good to your child when you’re gasping for air yourself. The same principle is true in our spiritual lives. We cannot minister to others when our own souls are gasping for air because we have neglected our personal time in the Word and in prayer. The great nineteenth-century Christian statesman George Muller once said concerning his personal devotions:
The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, or how I might glorify the Lord, but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. The first thing I did after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word was to begin to meditate upon the Word of God, searching into every verse to get blessing out of it: not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word, not for the sake of reaching on what I had meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food or my own soul.
Again and again, God clearly teaches the necessity for personal, consistent exposure to the Scriptures. 1 Peter 2:2 exhorts us to hunger for the Scriptures the way a baby craves milk in order to grow.
Someone has said that you cannot give out what you have not first taken in. Take time to nourish your own soul in God’s precious Word, and you’ll have something to give others.