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
14 responses to “Are You Running on Spiritual Fumes?”
Bro. Ken…after reading this, I’m going straight to my Bible! Thanks for posting! 🙂 Have a blessed and JOYOUS day! In His love, Julie
Religion is poor people’s shield. Don’t just divide people in the name of religion. Weaker people need a book to depend. Why you need a book when the almighty is here with you. Read and share https://yogipurush.wordpress.com
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Look for a post next week on WHY WE NEED A BOOK. Thanks for providing fodder for my blog!
I have discovered that I learn something new each time I read the Bible. Different passages (and a more mature understanding of them) have provided solace and spiritual fuel at every season of my life. If I had relied only on “Sunday School” knowledge, I would not have had the strength to endure some very difficult times. Thanks for the reminder!
So true. Thanks for sharing your observations and experiences
Excellent post and I have to admit I have run on those “spiritual fumes” at times. Things are better now, as I endeavor to practice my daily ritual of quiet time, prayer, and devotions. I also believe we can maintain an attitude of prayer throughout the day, just talking to God as if He’s physically seated or standing next to us.
For instance, just a short time ago, I was on my stepper getting some exercise and watching the birds outside the picture window – I just said out loud, “Thank You, God, for Your amazing creativity displayed in all these little feathered creatures – all different sizes and colors – so amazing!”
Lately, I’ve felt full of doubts because of all of the violence and cruelty that has been on the news. I wonder why this horrible stuff keeps happening. Still, this post helped me to focus more on my faith as a beacon of hope in a world that seems to have lost its way.
I’m glad it was helpful, Alice. We live in a fallen world. Evil exists. And as long as the world stands bad things will happen to good people. Be strong. And of good courage.
Ken, what a great title and a great post! Notice, half the UBC participants were drawn to read and comment on your piece? That suggests many are not getting the refueling they need from their faith practice. I’ve been there at times in the past. In my current life, I stay fueled up. Thanks for a wonderful piece.
Thanks, Kebba. Didn’t really notice how many from UBC had read, but I’m glad if it was helpful. Thanks for reading and offering encouragement to my writing.
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Wow needed this! Yes time to refuel!