Saturday, March 21, 2009

Running on Empty

Pastor Tim Howard
March 21, 2009

Are you tired, exhausted and depleted of all your energy at the end of the day? Do you face times of weariness, weakness and lack the motivation to do another project? Maybe you’re exasperated, troubled and even stressed out because you lack what you really need. If so, we have good news for you! Those were the words I heard as I listened briefly to an infomercial that was trying to promote a specific product.

Even though I’m not peddling a product, I can relate to those statements about being exhausted, tired and weary. There are times when I feel like I’m running on empty. My personal gauge is registering below the red line but I continue to move on regardless. I continue to go through the motions of life but then the inevitable happens. I shut down! I can’t go on! I am out of gas! If you have ever run out of gas in your automobile you know the feeling. It’s not fun to have this experience in your vehicle and it sure isn’t a time of rejoicing when it happens in your personal life either. If you run on empty for long periods of time, you open the door for all the symptoms mentioned in the infomercial. It is a bit funny though, when you realize that much of this could be avoided if you would just take time to fill your personal tank.

God created you to function best on a full tank. In Ephesians 5:18, He makes it clear that everyone needs to be filled with His Spirit. Being filled is not a one-time experience relegated to the past but an ongoing need that requires regular attention. In this chapter the Apostle Paul tells us to be wise and not foolish. Even as a wise person wouldn’t put diesel fuel into a vehicle designed for gas, a person who wants to avoid burnout shouldn’t fill up on things that are designed to destroy them. Have you ever heard the phrase “You’re full of it”? I won’t attempt to define the term “it” but when you encounter a person who is full of hatred, bitterness, anger, lust, resentment, envy, and jealousy, fear and such, you can be assured they have been filling up on the wrong things. What are you full of?

Jesus was full of compassion, grace, truth and love. He desires to fill you with His life, His joy and His peace. How is that possible? David gives us a clue when he writes these words in Psalms 16:11, “…In your presence is fullness of joy”. In His presence means you are following Him closely and not following at a distance. It means you are close enough to God to hear him speak and pick up on His heartbeat. Unfortunately, many people attend church services thinking they are close to God because of their geographical location. Scripture tells us, however, it is possible to draw near to God with our lips while our hearts are far from him. It’s like looking through binoculars. You have the allusion of closeness but in reality there is a gap. Maybe that’s why so many church-going people aren’t experiencing the fullness of His Spirit. Church attendance alone can’t fill you with the right stuff but Pastors can lead you to the one who can and will. His name is Jesus! Is your personal tank running near the empty line? Are you experiencing some of the symptoms listed in the infomercial? If so, why not drive into one of God’s filling stations this weekend and fill up the tank?

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