Keep Your Spiritual Tank Full
Dr. Dennis Demuth
Last night my wife, Carol, received a call from my granddaughter who was stranded on Highway 75, just south of 71st street, about a mile from where we live. Not wanting my granddaughter by herself on the side of the road in the middle of the night, I agreed to go see what I could do.
Fastening a partially filled gas can in the bed of my truck and throwing in a towing strap, I headed out on my mercy mission. There she was, parked on the side of the road. When I asked what the problem was, she explained, “I can’t get my car started. It just died on me!” “Sounds to me you might be out of gas,” I pro-claimed. To which she responded, “It can’t be that! I just filled up.” The battery was working fine, so it must be some other issue, so I towed her to our mechanic’s garage.
As we sat in the car talking, I explained to her that the only time it is convenient to run out of gas for a teenag-er is when you are on a date, especially before cell phones were invented; it was good justification for stay-ing out late. The excuse, “But dad, we ran out of gas and I had to walk 20 miles to the nearest gas station,” worked, at least the first time.
Fill Up Before the Trip
I commented on how there seemed to be more people stranded on the side of roads today, not because they are out on a date, but because they failed to keep their gas tank full. I was pleased that she had kept her tank full. It pays to have your tank full; especially before you head out on a trip.
As staff we are one-third of the way through one of the longest trips of the year – January-March. If a teacher can make it from Jan to March, finishing the rest of the year is easy.
Eph. 3:16-19 encourages us to have our spiritual tank full, “…be filled with the fullness of God.” His fullness includes everything you need to effectively minister to your students and to complete the tasks you have set out to accomplish, this 3rd quarter.
Check Your Gas Gage
When a person begins to see their gas gage getting near empty, and they are running on low, they tend to be more anxious, even fearful, slow down, even begin coasting. I’ve got coasting down to a science, to save gas. Are you coasting spiritually?
When your spiritual tank is low, one is generally out of other things also.
1.Patience – I’ve had it with these students!
2.Kindness – Why should I be kind to him? Look at what he did to me.
3.Forgiveness – It will take some time to forgive you for doing that to me.
4.Love – I’ve given so much of myself. Why can’t I get something back?
5.Standards of moral and ethical behavior – I might fudge on my tax return this year.
6.Service to God – Less likely to get to church ahead of time, less likely to volunteer, or to serve at the altar
There is a Secret
What is the secret to not running out of gas? It is keeping the tank full. My father always said, “It’s much easier to run on the top half of the tank than on the bottom half.” The same is true spiritually. Keep your tank full. You do this through your prayer time, devotional time, and reading God’s Word.
You have a gage on the dash of your vehicle that lets you know when you are low on fuel. In fact, in vehi-cles today not only do you know how many miles you get per gallon, but you see how many miles you have left on the current tank of gas.
The Holy Spirit is your spiritual gas gage. He knows exactly what your gas level is. He is consistent in tell-ing you when you need more of God - when you need to be filled up.
What does it cost to get filled up? It is not money, only time. It is self- service. Continually praying in the Spir-it is one way to be filled – Eph. 5:18 says to be filled with the Spirit. Luke 6:21 tells us to be filled we must hunger and thirst after righteousness. As we do this, Ex. 3:21 says that God will give this people (teachers) favor, so when you go out (to teach and minister), you shall not go empty.