Automobiles are a necessary evil. You have to have one, especially living in DFW. Life without four wheels (or two wheels for all of you moped lovers) is tough. Transportation is essential for life. How else would you get to work, school, or (my personal favorite) church?
So while being mobile is great and owning a vehicle is even better, the downside is all of the maintenance and upkeep. Keeping "your baby" running can be costly. Oil has to be changed. Tires have to be replaced. Filters. Plugs. Gaskets. Give them time and they will all wear out.
We launched into a brand new series yesterday entitled Living For The Glory Of God. I shared an illustration about my beloved Swagger Wagon (don't you dare call her a mini-van). About a month ago my wife and I bit the bullet and paid to have our power-steering pump replaced, and it weren't cheap (you like that Texas grammar?). While I did not want to pay for the repairs, I was instantly glad that I did. We had been driving for several months with no power steering. Do you know how HARD that is??? I was getting an upper body workout just backing out of my drive way. And you can forget about trying to park! It would take me two or three rounds of turning, stopping, and backing up before I centered between the lines (when you do this in a crowded Wal-Mart parking lot it causes less-than-patient people to tell you that you are "number one" in creative ways).
While my vehicle was technically functional, every turn and maneuver was a real struggle. Driving without power steering gets old in a hurry! The moment we left the repair shop was heavenly. I got in my vehicle and the steering wheel loved me! She didn't fight me any more. The craziest part was that I had forgotten that driving is actually pretty simple. It's not supposed to difficult. Amazingly, I had just gotten used to having no power.
Did you know that many believers are navigating their Christian journey the same way? Scores of saints are struggling to steer on the highway of faith. Every turn is a battle. Each detour and zigzag is WAY harder than it has to be:
Praying = struggle.
Studying the Bible = struggle.
Sharing your faith = struggle.
Giving = struggle.
Serving = struggle.
Resisting temptation = struggle.
And while so many feel frustrated, they have gotten used to having no power.
Does this describe where you are? Let's do something right now. Can we pop the hood and take a look at the engine in your soul? I am just wondering if your "Power-Steering" source is functioning properly. Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to empower you for Christian living? Or have you been trying to accomplish this in your own strength? Remember that your flesh cannot give birth to spiritual things (see John 3:6).
When you trusted in Christ, God deposited the Holy Spirit inside of you. The Spirit has taken up residence in your life for the purpose of giving you the strength to live a life that glorifies God. Romans says that "the same spirit who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you." Think about that!!! Talk about some horse power...you have an infinite source of might at your disposal. Why in the world would you want to live this life without letting His power work through you?
Let me close by saying that many believers know all about God the Father and Jesus the Son. But it seems the Holy Spirit has been forgotten in so many American churches. Don't be guilty of that! He is the Advocate and Helper that Jesus promised to send you (see John 16:7-11). If you have never read "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan you should definitely check it out...INCREDIBLE resource! You will see that the Holy Spirit is essential for us to "live for the glory of God." If we are going to bring fame, honor, and praise to God we must have the Holy Spirit working from the INSIDE OUT.
This week I encourage you to daily acknowledge Him in your prayers, asking for His power to work mightily in your life. Call Him by name in your dialogue with heaven. Remember faith is simple--WHATEVER you do, do it for the glory of God (see 1 Corinthians ). The Spirit will help you to do this if you allow Him.
Love you guys! Be back for my message "Shades of Gray"
Grace and peace,