When Your Tank is Running on Empty


If you love your car half-way as much as I love mine, you know when there’s even the smallest thing that’s not quite right with it. That piece of metal and machinery is your ride or die. It’s your baby, and to make all the pieces of your life run smoothly, you need it. Take it from someone who had to do the bus thang for a minute. I’d do it again if I had to, and no shade to anyone grinding it out that way now, but if you have to close at 9:30pm on Saturday night, and the last bus is at 9:30pm too, that job won’t last too long. You see my dilemma, I’m sure. So, although my first car was two steps away from being a lemon, I was so thankful to Heavenly Father to have her. And now that I have a ride I really love, I’m deeply grateful for the blessing.

One of the things that we should learn from God’s Word about the Kingdom of Heaven is that God’s blessings continually flow through heaven’s doors. Blessings never cease. Some people have it in their heads that Heavenly Father stops and starts the flow of blessings based on their behavior or deservedness. If that were the case, all of us would be doomed. Ephesians 2:8(NKJV) tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” We could never repay Heavenly Father for giving us the overwhelming, all-encompassing gift of eternal life. He has given us the gift of salvation through our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and we did nothing to earn it. God has bestowed it upon us because He loves us so much. The good pleasure of His goodness never ceases; and neither do His blessings upon us.

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that He has blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings. ALL means all. This is the truth, and therefore we can have unwavering faith in it. Colossians 2:10 (NLT) tells us, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” Heavenly Father has made us complete through Christ. We lack nothing, and we are thoroughly equipped with the accoutrement of God’s spiritual armor. We are overwhelmingly blessed! Now, whether we walk in all that God has provided is another story entirely.

Ephesians 4:13 tells us that God’s plan is for every believer to continually grow spiritually, so that we all come together as one, in the unity of our faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. God’s goal for us individually is that we become mature believers, measuring up to the full and complete stature of our Big Brother, Jesus Christ. It is extremely important that we recognize that this is God’s benchmark for us all. We may not choose to meet it, but this is absolutely God’s standard. The choice as to whether we will meet God’s standard is completely left to us. He will not push or make us reach out to grab all the good things He has in store for us. We will do so according to our faith.

Faith brings us in contact with God’s provision. Faith runs off the fuel tank of believing. For many of us, that fuel tank runs empty quite often. We say we believe and trust God’s Word, but our actions may prove otherwise.  Ephesians 5:15-20(NLT) tells us, “15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Again, doing what God says in Ephesians 5:15-20 is our choice. We have the privilege and responsibility to grow in the Spirit, so that we have the spiritual strength to stand against the tricks of the devil and to reach out and grab what rightfully belongs to us. But we must also know that God will not overstep or violate our free will if we choose to abdicate this responsibility.

When our fuel tank runs empty, we need to fill it by keeping our heads filled with God’s Word, our hearts overflowing with right believing and gratitude, and our hands busy with the work of the Kingdom. It isn’t enough to say that we have faith in the promises of God. James 2:26 tells us that faith without works is dead. In other words, it is more than what we say, it’s what we do. We have to back our faith with good works. This is what I did with my first car. It was a long stretch from being my dream car, but I was thankful to God for blessing me with it, and I was dutiful to take care of it. When we are faithful with a little, God will bless us with a lot. This is a life principle that spills over into our relationships, professions, and every other thing that we do.

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13 The Message (MSG), “Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”  My mother taught me the wisdom of Philippians 4:11-13 from the time I was a small child. She always reminded me that if you make the most of what you have when you don’t have a lot, more will come. She taught me that it’s those little details that you can’t overlook, and if you’re faithful to go over and above in the small tasks, the payoff will continue to grow.

God blesses those who make the most of what they have with increase. This is stewardship-101. Spiritual order dictates that we prove ourselves faithful to steward blessings by demonstrating our gratitude through diligent care. To be ready to be more, have more, and do more, we must make the most of what we have by being thankful to God. We must then trust that as we align our believing with His promises and keep the faith, He will increase us spiritually, and in every other aspect of life.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“When Your Tank is Running on Empty” written by JMack. 4theChristianMan.Com© 2018. All rights reserved. All p1raise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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