Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fluorescence -- Getting Pumped Up

At the close of the Sunday message, I was praying (as I often do) that the message would bless and empower all those that heard it. As I prayed, the Holy Spirit (our prayer Assistant) gave me an analogy that I want to pass on.

I prayed that the power of the message would "fluoresce" in the hearts of the listeners, confident that God would understand what I meant by this.

When a material fluoresces, light falling on the material absorbs the energy of the light, and shortly afterward the energy is released as light of another frequency. The process actually involves individual particles: A photon of light strikes an atom or molecule and "pumps" (yes, that's the technical term) it to a higher energy level. Shortly afterward, the atom or molecule "relaxes" back to a lower energy level, releasing the energy difference in the form of another photon with a different frequency (different color of light). Some energy is typically left behind as heat.

(In a fluorescent light bulb, ultraviolet light generated by the electrified gas in the tube pumps up atoms in the chemicals coating the inside of the tube, which then pass on most of the energy as visible light. The remaining energy becomes heat.)

When a message from God's Word, the Bible, is absorbed by an individual Christian listener, the power of the message "pumps" him up. When the Christian applies the message in his life, the power of the message is released into the situation where the message is applied. The application in this situation may not be recognizably of the same form as the original message (not the same 'color'), but the power is nonetheless passed on. And some good of the message is left behind in the Christian's heart (as 'warmth', at least).

Thinking about it further, I think there is a difference between the physics of fluorescence and the application of the Word. Fluorescence is limited by the law of Conservation of Energy (total energy is never increased nor diminished). But when the Holy Spirit helps us to apply His Word, it works like the loaves and fishes -- blessing is multiplied as it is dispersed.

1 comment:

Stan said...

Excellent analogy, Jim! Very good thinking.