What Fuels Your Tank?

Recently, it was time to cut the grass again; a never ending spring, summer and fall “adventure” for most of us in the deep-south. This time when I tried to start the lawn mower it was not cooperative at all. I pulled the crank several times and …. nothing. Then it would act as if it were going to start, sputter listlessly, and with heaving convulsions come to a faltering stop! Next I took the breather off and banged out all the dirt and grass that had collected and put it back on and repeated the laborious cranking process. Still it wouldn’t start. Afterwards I took the breather off once more, this time administering my magic elixir (Quick Start Engine Spray) and pulled feverishly on the crank! After much aggravation, sweat, irritation and incessant attempts the bothersome machine reluctantly fired off. It sputtered, spit and shook for a while and then finally (after much prayer and unpleasant thoughts) began to run efficiently! (Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!).

In retrospect there are probably several contributing factors that added to my exasperating experience, but the leading one was the quality of the gas. Last fall, rather late in the season, I purchased two five gallon containers of gasoline. I always purchase the “cheapest” available. I have been told by more knowledgeable individuals that this is probably not the wisest thing to do. The cheapest gas contains Ethanol, which in our humid environment collects water. Therefore water was collecting in my containers of gas and small engines are adverse to water in the fuel source. Solution….I either need to purchase fresh gas frequently, buy a higher octane or add in something that helps the water and fuel not separate and cause this problem.

As I was having this annoying problem with my lawn mower, I realized God had a spiritual truth hidden in my disgruntling experience. My fuel source was the problem. I eventually made the fuel work but it was after much displeasure and exhaustion. Had I addressed the fuel problem early on, I probably could have avoided much of the discomfort and exasperation. The fuel needed to be fresh!

As children of God we need a fresh filling with the right fuel, the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:15-18 says it this way.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit….”

David Jeremiah in his study Bible comments on this passage.

God has numbered each person’s days (Ps. 90:10, 11; 103:15, 16; James 4:14). Because our lifetimes are limited, we should view each day as a precious gift to be lived wisely and according to the Lord’s will. His will is laid out in the guidelines He has given us in the Bible. Just as a person drunk on wine gives over control of his or her life to inebriation, so the Christian who is filled with the Spirit gives over control of his or her life to the Spirit. The command is in the present tense, which indicates that being filled with the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience but a continuous one.

As we approach the possible calling of a new pastor, may each of us be filled daily with the fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. Individually and as the Body of Christ, may we seek His divine direction and inspiration in all we undertake. To do less than this, we will experience a constant state of sputtering, agitation, and inefficient living—not how God designed us to live.

Fuel up today! Romans 12:1-2.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….(NIV)”


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