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Running Out of Gas - Encouragement Café - June 1

Running Out of Gas
By Dawn Neely

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 NASB

There is this useful little gadget in my car. But I will tell you I don’t like it! It is my gas gauge.

First of all, I do not like to pump gas so I usually avoid the gas stations, even though I can see the little needle on my car console moving closer to the “E.” But avoidance is not a good tactic and eventually, there is this annoying yellow light that comes on…and stays on…until I stop and put some gas in the tank. I am sure the manufacturer of my car thought it was a pleasant and non-threatening reminder that gas was needed. To further my insight, my car maker put a button on the LCD panel that I can push and it actually shows me how much farther I can go before I’m going to be on the side of the road, with a gas can!

What is it about pumping gas that I don't like when I have all these nice reminders, and I know that I am going to have to stop if I want to reach my destination?

Well, that’s just it. I have to stop. I have to interrupt my plans, my travel, my thoughts, and take care of business. Otherwise, I won’t get anywhere.

The same is true for my spirit. The Bible clearly tells us that apart from God, we can do no good thing (John 15:5). I can serve Him only so long in my own strength, but if I believe the Scriptures, and I do try serving God in my own strength that really accomplishes nothing good. (John 15:5).

Making time to spend with the God of the universe is such a privilege. He wants to lead and guide us into all truth and give us the words and power we need to accomplish His goals. Times of service to others is important and Jesus told us that “whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all” Mark 10:44 NAS.

But prior to service, there must be soul and spirit preparation in prayer and Bible study. It is really simple. Just like my car engine needs fuel to get me where I am going, so our spirit needs God’s divine touch in order to be effective in our service to the Lord and others. We have to spend time in our Father’s throne room in order to be equipped for each day’s journey and to be fitted for the battles of the day. There is no other source of real power, inspiration, and truth other than Him.

How long has it been since you let God have you?

How long since you gave Him a portion of undiluted, uninterrupted time listening for His voice?

Jesus made a deliberate effort to spend time with His Father. So let me ask the obvious.

If our sinless Savior thought it was worthwhile to clear His calendar to pray, shouldn’t we do the same?

This is an act of our will. Purpose in your heart to spend time with God every day and you will be filled in supernatural ways to accomplish God’s purposes in your life and in the lives of others.

Dear Heavenly Father, I want to be like “Mary.” I want to choose what is best and I know that means sitting at Your feet first, before I do anything else. Help me to realize what a privilege it is to spend time with You, and make me mindful that I can be a more effective “Martha” to serve others by choosing to come near to You. Please forgive me when I get so busy with what I want to do that I don’t even stop to realize I haven’t asked You to be with me. I know that no one can do this for me. I must choose to spend time with You. I realize I am poor in Spirit. You are my strength and my song. In You will I put my trust. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

May I suggest two great and familiar hymns that will remind you how precious our time with God can be? Get a hymn book and just read the words and then, if you like, sing as unto the Lord.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus: Joseph Scriven (1855) Baptist Hymnal 1975

Sweet Hour of Prayer: W.W. Walford (1845) United Methodist Hymnal 1989

Here are the words to the third verse of Sweet Hour of Prayer

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
to him whose truth and faithfulness
engage the waiting soul to bless.

And since he bids me seek his face,
believe his word, and trust his grace,
I'll cast on him my every care,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

© 2021 by Dawn Neely. All rights reserved.

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