November 20, 2003

Encouragement for Today

 

Fill ‘er Up

Lou Ann Prater

 

Key Verse: 

 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12

 

Have you ever been ready to bake a cake and realized you didn't have all of the ingredients? Ever go on a trip and forget to gas up?

 

In my youth, I was the QUEEN of empty fuel tanks. If I had $5.00 rarely would more than one dollar’s worth of gas make it into the gas tank. It drove my dad crazy! Drive down any road in the Midwest and I’ve probably been stranded on it. The topper had to be when, at the age of seventeen, I ran out of gas. It seemed to always catch me by surprise and this day was no different.  Dashing to play practice at school I whipped down the street rehearsing my lines.  Suddenly the barricade began to lower, the ding-ding-ding methodically rang in my ears and the unmistakable red lights flashed off and on.  I was stopped at the railroad tracks…again!  As I impatiently waited, my car spitted and sputtered, then died. I jumped out and took off to find the nearest phone to call dad.

 

Our next door neighbors faithfully listened to their police scanner and heard the report: of an abandoned car near the tracks; and then it described my car. Immediately they ran next door to inform my parents. Dad jumped in his car and raced to the scene.  Of course, when he arrived I was gone.  Thinking I had been kidnapped his heart began to race.  Then, remembering who he was dealing with, he checked my gauges only to find a neglected gas tank….again! I returned to find dad waiting at my car with one hand on the car and the other disgustedly propped on his hip. He was not a happy man.

 

This week I have drained my tank again.  Not the gas tank on my car, my spiritual tank. Racing to be in all the right places at all the right times, without checking my gauge left me feeling empty.  In the past seven days I've been trying to start the car with no gas, bake the cake without flour.  I abandoned His will for mine and my heavenly father was not happy.  He wasn’t happy when I raced out the door before my devotions.  He wasn’t thrilled when I flew through my prayers on the way to work.  He was disappointed when I hurried past the hurting friend at church. 

 

After running the wrong race, I am spitting, sputtering and drained.  Why is it so hard to remember that God has given us the solution to an empty spiritual tank, the Holy Spirit? The great enabler, the magnificent encourager, the wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, who is right there with not just a spare can, but an endless supply of all that we need. He is just waiting for us to ask, "Fill 'er up, please." 

 

As my dad always said, “If I start with a full tank my day will go so much smoother…for everyone!”  When I start my day with my Holy Father, reading his Word and asking him to fill me with His Holy Spirit, my day goes so much smoother…for everyone in my world. 

 

My Prayer for Today: 

 

Father, fill me with a willing spirit and sustain me this week. Through Christ I can do all things, but left on my own, I am empty. Thank you, Father for your boundless love and everlasting arms of comfort and strength. In the hustle and bustle of life, restore to me the joy of your salvation.  Amen.

 

 

Application Steps: 

 

Get up 30 minutes earlier and begin your day with prayer and devotions.  Take time to fill your tank before the break of day and the breakdown of your sanity.

 

Reflections Points: 

 

Does my alone time with God equal my television viewing time?

 

What is my plan for getting into God’s word everyday?

 

What lesson has God taught me when I fail to make time for him?

 

What blessings are direct results of taking the time to fill my spiritual tank?

 

Who can I ask to hold me accountable for beginning each day with the Lord?

 

 

Power Verses:   

 

Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  (NIV)

 

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?  (NIV)

 

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  (NIV)

 

2 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  (NIV)

 

Jude: 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  (NIV)

 

 

Additional Resources: 

 

Seven Life Principles for Every Womanby Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

http://wwwgospelcom.net/p31/resources/sevenlife.html


Intimate Moments with God by Various Authors Including Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/intimatemoments.html


How to Live a Life of Victory
by Mary Southerland

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/victoryset.html