I looked down at my dash as I was driving in my truck yesterday morning and saw a plethora of lights that were on, all telling me something different about the car and not all good things. I couldn’t help but to sigh and chuckle at the same time. A sigh because of the pending problems that needed to be fixed; and a chuckle because I felt like that is how my life is going right now. That thought really got my mind racing (excuse the pun) and I thought it made a good illustration for the Christian walk the more and more I thought about it!
First, the Check Engine, the VTM-4 (no clue what that even is), and the Tire Pressure lights were all on. I have had them checked before, but they remain on because I think the sensors are all broke. This is frustrating for two reasons: 1) because there really isn’t anything I can do to change or fix the problem and 2) it throws the whole system out of whack. What if something were to actually break? The lights would be still be on regardless! This reminded me of our constant sin problem (Romans 7:14-25). Although we are redeemed, we have a constant struggle with our flesh, and it will never fully go away during our time here on earth. There is nothing we can do to fix it or make it go away, and it constantly throws things off in our lives. Our sinful flesh taints our best motives, it ruins our most important relationships, it holds our feelings captive, and eventually (like my car) our flesh will die.
It is deeply frustrating to say the least. So, what is the solution to a problem we can’t fix? Well when it comes to my car, all I can really do is look forward to the day when I get a new car. It’s the same thing, with our sinful flesh. Someday we will no longer have to drive around with this old, sinful clunker, because we will have a glorified body that has none of the effects of sin at all. The older I get and the more sinful I realize I am, the more I cannot wait for that day (Romans 8:1; Revelation 21)!
Next, the Cruise Control and Seat Belt lights (which is accompanied by a dinging noise that drives me nuts) were both on. The cruise control isn’t bad, much like life habits or routines; but if you aren’t careful before you know it, you might be going the wrong speed limit (I have been caught being the guy going too slow before). As for the seat belt light, it would go off if I would take just three seconds and buckle up. These two reminded of when we allow sin to needlessly rule over us. Like I said before, we will always have a struggle with sin, but we shouldn’t ever be at a point where we just give up and give into it. We must keep fighting against it! All too often, we say that we desire to overcome the rule of sin in our lives, but we allow our relationship with the Lord to be set on cruise control and stop paying attention. We say that we are sick of stumbling, but we get lazy and stop protecting our hearts like we once did. We put ourselves in questionable situations to begin with and then chalk it up to our flesh; or even worse, we try to drown out the binging noise of the Holy Spirit’s conviction in our hearts because we think it’s annoying…
So, what’s the solution? The Pharisees were experts at being on cruise control. They had no problem following the rules; but in Matthew, Jesus had to remind them that their hearts weren’t in their worship at all. Have rhythm’s and routines, because they are great; but don’t forget to pause, reevaluate, and make sure you are getting the most out them and not just going through motions. This will keep your relationship with The Lord vibrant and you will be better prepared to handle sin. Also, just put the seat belt on! Make sure you have accountability in your life. Have people in your life that are going to check on you and ask the tough questions. Make sure you aren’t putting yourself in situations that make it too easy to fail. When the Holy Spirit is nagging at you, stop ignoring Him and just run to Him! God will give us strength to overcome sin (Ephesians 6:10).
Finally, the Gas Light was on and “Service Soon” was flashing. Gas light. That’s all I have to say, and you already know the struggles that entail; because no matter what car you drive, you need gas (or some form of fuel) and it’s always running out. Also, my odometer flashes “service soon” when my oil life is low. I have it set to flash every 2500 miles, because I know it will take me much longer to get it changed. These two warning lights reminded me of how the Christian life was meant to be lived. Always needing a fill up and always needing to be changed. If we never filled up our car with gas we couldn’t go anywhere and if we never got our oil changed, then our cars would burn up. The same is true in the Christian life. If we didn’t have constant fellowship with The Lord then we couldn’t go anywhere. If, we never took intentional time to rest in The Lord and be in awe of Him, then we would be damaging our walks with The Lord in the long run.
What’s the solution? Make sure we are topping off continually and stop settling for $5 fill-ups. Make time to read God’s Word, pray, go to church regularly, fellowship, serve, listen to The Spirit’s leading. You make time to eat, sleep, and fill up your gas tank, so make time to fill up your spiritual tank. We don’t need to watch a movie, or go for a walk, or catch up on house chores to fill our tanks. Instead, we just need to take some time alone with His Word and quiet place to pray, so we can know what it means to truly rest in the Lord and His goodness! Also, make sure you change your oil frequently. Do things outside of your regular routine to allow God to really dig deep and change you. Try fasting for a meal, going to camp for a week, going to a retreat with the guys or gals, doing a service project with fellow believers, or just have some extended devotion time on Saturday morning to rest in the Lord. Don’t let busyness be an excuse either. Just like a car, the harder and further you go, the more often you should be filling up and changing the oil so your life doesn’t burn up like some of our cars do!
I over symbolized all of these things obviously, but it truly was the thought that popped into my head yesterday morning and I thought I would share 😊 – Jon Rocha