Decaf

It seems our world is obsessed with coffee. Even McDonald’s has added the McCafe’ menu of iced coffees and lattes and all the other fancy names for coffee with something done to it. Sometimes it’s hard to find just a good ol’ cup of coffee – no extra flavors, not shots or pumps of anything added.

Living in Louisiana, I admittedly have a taste for strong dark coffee. When I want a cup of coffee, I do want coffee . . . not lightly colored brown water. I don’t want it flavored to taste like pecans or cupcakes. I want it to taste like coffee. I don’t want it decaffeinated or even “half-caf” status. One cup of full flavored – fully caffeinated – undiluted coffee coming up! My wife and I drink coffee together in the morning, before starting our day. Many times in the afternoon, when we are both home, we will sit down for another cup. I like mine stronger than she likes it. What could have been a problem was solved by the addition of a second coffee maker.

So what does my coffee drinking have to do with God? Let’s go back to that “caffeinated” discussion. Several months ago I read an excerpt from a book in a popular Christian publication. I admit I have not read the book, so this is neither a recommendation for or against it. It was the review – that was an excerpt from it – that got my attention. The author, Owen Strachan, talked about the difference between the time when we are 100% sold out, committed to the Kingdom. We are working and diligently doing our best for His cause. It’s those times when we are “full strength” at work in our world. Then, there are those times when it seems we’re a little weaker, a little less potent, we’ve crossed over into “decaf faith.”

From that fully alive – fully committed life sometimes something – or things – can come our way that zap us. It takes something out of us. It diminishes our power. The way the writer put it was this: “…we see our vitality slip…” He went on to describe it as a time “when we stop working hard at the daily discipline of godliness…We go days without reading God’s Word…We’re not seeking to avoid the Bible or prayer or church. It just happens. And slowly, quietly, the strength of our faith wanes. We gradually lose our enthusiasm for building godly things…We can see where we should be. We just don’t really have the oomph, the spiritual horsepower, to get there.” We find ourselves living a decaf life . . . having “decaf faith” as the author labeled it.

God is a full-force, no holds barred God, espresso kind of God who wants us to live at full strength. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” His plan is not for us to live decaf lives or have decaf faith. He is not a decaf kind of God. He wants us to live lives triumphant over sin and the subtle attacks of the enemy against us that would water down our faith and diminish our Kingdom power. So my prayer becomes a simple one: Revive and renew me by the power of Your Spirit. Deliver me, O Savior, from a decaf life and decaf faith. Grant sufficient grace that your strength might be made perfect in my weakness. Let me be strong in You. Let Your Word be strong and work mightily in me and through me. Amen.