I have some great facebook friends who post some meaningful, insightful and often challenging thoughts that inspire and encourage me. The following is from Sheri Mauck, the wife of a preaching colleague, Tony Mauck, that she posed a few days ago.
“If you are a grown-up Christian who was ‘raised right’, learning the Bible in Bible class, hearing sermons, singing songs and you think you already ‘know’ the Bible so you don’t read it EVERY DAY, because you ‘already know it’, you will find that you are struggling to grow.”
“You will find that the temptations in your life are hard to walk away from,” writes Sheri. “You will find that you just aren’t ‘feeling it.’ You will find that God seems far away and prayers few and mechanical.”
“You know why?”
Sheri then answers her question with this great analogy, “The Word of God is not a car you purchase one time. No, you are the car and the Word of God is your fuel! Do we buy a car and fill up once and never need gas again? We need God’s Word MORE than a car needs gas.”
“Quit passing up the gas stations.”
“I’m saying this.” Sheri admits, “because I’ve definitely spent too much of my life running on the fumes of my childhood ‘religion.’”
Sheri, I think many of us could admit the same challenge at different times in our lives. This might include some of us who preach or serve as Shepherds in our churches.
Are your running on spiritual fumes? Is the needle on your spiritual gas gauge pointing to “empty”? Are you slowly sputtering down the highway of life wondering what is wrong?
Many people today, including too many Christians are running on empty. They are hopping from relationship to relationship. Trying to find fulfillment in possessions, pleasure, or position. They have lost their way.
However, in order to effect change, one must realize their need. Admit their emptiness. Seek to be filled by God’s righteousness. Then begin to refuel themselves spiritually.
Paul’s prayer for the Colossians speaks to the need of a Christian running on fumes. “…We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Col 1:9)
We can only be filled with a knowledge of His will through the Word. Paul put it this way, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
When you are filled with the Word you will see what is right. What is wrong. How to get right. And how to stay right. The Word teaches us. Convicts us. Corrects us. And trains us.
How often do we find ourselves relying more on blogs than the Bible? Listening to commentators instead of Christ? And being filled with the pablum of this world rather than the Word of God?
Peter reminds us the value of the Word in our lives when he affirmed, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness..” (1 Pet 1:3-4).
So, if you are floundering and faltering spiritually, Sheri’s advice is “spot on.” Refuel with the Word. When you do, you will be “filled with the fullness of God’ (Eph 3:19), “filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18), and “filled with joy (1 Pet 1:8).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman