Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fill Up

by Tim Howard

You may have noticed the gas prices are on the rise again with summer approaching. I remember when gas was .23 cents a gallon and I could fill up my car for 3 to 4 dollars. Those days are long gone!      
Regardless of the price, if you are going to drive, you must fill the tank. If you have ever run out of gas in your automobile you know the feeling.  It’s not fun to have this experience and it surely isn’t a time of rejoicing when it happens in your personal life. 

Yes, your car needs to be filled but so do you! Trying to juggle vocation, family and marriage, community service, a social life and some ‘self’ time can be daunting and exhausting. You can get low on energy – become stressed – exasperated – troubled – depressed and then shut down because the tank is empty.

God created you and me to function best on a full tank. He makes it clear – everyone needs to be filled with His life in order to experience a quality existence.  I’ve learned that being filled is not a one-time experience relegated to the past but an ongoing need that requires regular attention. If you drive a vehicle, you have to fill up regularly and the same is true for people.

I’ve also learned – If you fill a vehicle designed for gas with diesel fuel it won’t work. It will destroy the engine. If a person wants to thrive and not just survive, he or she should fill up on things that are designed to help them. Maybe you have 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, jealousy etc…  you can be assured they have been filling up on the wrong things. What’s in your tank?

Jesus was full of grace and truth and He desires to fill you with his life. How is that possible? 

Time is one important key! I would stop to get gas but I’m in a hurry and will be late for work! I would stop to get gas but I can’t afford to! There are a myriad of reasons as to why we don’t take time to fill up but when you don’t – you pay the consequences!

David gives us a clue regarding the filling process. He writes these words in Psalms 16:11 “…In your presence is fullness of joy”.  That takes some time! It’s like setting a few moments aside in you busy schedule to meet with a friend and have coffee together. Good relationships can replenish a depleted tank.

Some may assume they are in God’s presence if he or she attends a church service. Closeness to God, however, is not based on geographical location but closeness of heart. Scripture tells us it is possible to draw near to God with our lips while our hearts are far from Him.  It’s like looking through binoculars.  When you are in a church service you have the allusion of closeness but in reality there is a gap. 

When most of your responsibilities are entered into with this attitude: ‘I have to do this… I need to – I ought to – I had better do this, it is time to fill up.’ 

When most of your responsibilities are entered into with this attitude: ‘I get to – I want to – I look forward to – I’m privileged to…’ You are on the full side.

Take time to fill up!

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