Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
As I reached the crest of the hill, my car engine jumped and sputtered.
I shifted my Honda Accord into neutral and prayed that the downslope would propel my car into the gas station at the bottom.
Fortunately, the stop light at the base of the hill was green.
My car had just enough momentum to coast into the gas station parking lot before conking out completely.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve coasted down that hill in neutral.
I’ve been playing this little game of “gas-roulette” ever since I was a teenager.
I’m not sure where I picked up the nasty little habit; maybe my parents are to blame.
My dad always said that a good Honda could go 60 miles once the gas light turned on.
I’ve tested his theory dozens of times and have only run out of gas on a few occasions.
In the same way that I’m compelled to test my car’s limits, I often run my body, soul, and spirit on empty.
I’m growing weary of driving through life with the gas light on, and I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that I’m not alone.Are you weary of driving through life with the gas light on? Read this...
Isaiah 40:29-31 says, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Power to the weak.
Strength to the powerless.
That sounds lovely.
But how, exactly, do we gain access to this divine strength and power?
2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
Did you catch that?God has given us everything we need for a godly life…through our KNOWLEDGE of Him.
Knowledge of God’s character gives us the strength and power we need to successfully navigate the bumpy roads of life.
Imagine with me, for a moment, that you are a Honda Accord.
At the beginning of each week, you receive a full tank of gas.
That tank of gas is more than enough to get you where you need to go over the next 7-days.
You don’t exactly have a road map –you have something better!
Your car is equipped with GPS (God Positioning System).
God has a plan for you and “whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way.’” (Isaiah 30:20)
Oh, but I must caution you.
If you take on rowdy passengers, get distracted by the music, or decide you know a better way, you will soon begin to veer off course.
You miss a few exits, take a couple u-turns, and before you know it your gas light turns on.
You’ve got a few days left until your next refill and, unfortunately, you’ve only got 60 more miles (if you are lucky!) before your car sputters to a stop.
So you sit idle for a while and contemplate your next move.
Then you re-route the GPS, skip a few of the pre-planned stops, and do everything you can to conserve gas until the next fill-up.
By the end of the week, you are sick and tired of running on empty.
In this moment, my sweet little Honda Accord, I encourage you to remember the words of 2 Peter 1:3.
He has given us enough fuel for a GODLY life, but when we waste that fuel on foolish decisions and unnecessary detours, we are all but guaranteed to run out before week’s end.
What have you been wasting your fuel on lately?
I used to be very wasteful in my spiritual driving habits.
I allowed my emotions and desires to cloud my judgment and often disregarded the gentle promptings of my heavenly GPS.
Weekly games of “gas-roulette” slowly wore down my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Before I knew it, my earthly vehicle developed some serious mechanical issues.
When we stubbornly choose our own path, regularly disregard His promptings and weekly use up every last drop of fuel…our engine will soon require a complete overhaul.
Are you familiar with Maxwell House Coffee’s slogan, “Good to the Last Drop?”
While it is a fitting coffee slogan, it’s not the best life motto.
Throughout my life, I’ve wasted a lot of fuel retracing mistakes of the past and pre-planning routes for the future.
Most of my emotional mileage was spent on the past or the future, meaning I had very little reserved for the present.
In Matthew 6, Jesus says, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Worry was the source of my fuel leak, and the only way to plug the leak was to focus my energy on the troubles of today.
Because God has promised to provide for the needs of today, I can trust that He will do the same tomorrow.
Knowledge of who God is fuels my faith in the “God Positing System,” and allows me to trust His plan for my life.Good to the Last Drop is a coffee slogan, not a life motto.
If you are sick and tired of running on empty, maybe it’s time for you to ask God to reveal your own personal fuel leaks.
And if you are anything like me, it might also be time to establish a habit of fueling up your car before the warning light comes on.
Coasting down the hill and winning the game of “gas-roulette” isn’t all that satisfying, and the risk far outweighs the reward.