Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Van and the Holy Spirit

We've been traveling quite a bit the past two weeks. First a trip to Virginia to visit family and show off our newest little one. Then this past week we drove to West Virginia where I preached a revival for 3 days and preached in another church 2hrs and 40 minutes from there. Great memories and opportunity to see the Lord moving and working in lives.

While we were in WV we hoped to do some sight seeing. On Saturday morning we wanted to drive to Seneca Rocks to take some pics of the family and just enjoy the beauty. However, when we got up that morning there was an unusual, strong, odor coming from the van. I knew what it was, and it wasn't the kids this time. It was coolant. We had a leak.

I was still scheduled to preach one more time that evening, then get up and drive to Sutton, WV to preach in a church there and then drive 5 hours home. Not the best scenario for a van with coolant leaking out. So we made a plan. We'd try to get the van home by continuing to stop every 70-80 miles and making sure the radiator was filled.

Yes, it seemed like a tedious plan, but necessary. I mean we have 5 boys, including a 6 week old. So stopping over and over is not what we'd usually do. We like to get as far as we can as quickly as we can because we know that our infant is going to need to stop and eat every few hours. So this plan would be a distraction to our usual busyness. The kids would be a good excuse to just keep going and only stop to refill if we HAD to. You know, if the engine started overheating.

But do you know what? I didn't mind stopping at all. It wasn't an inconvenience. It was a necessity. I knew that if I didn't stop often enough... I'd be stopped for good. I would not make it home like I hoped.

Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." The command in Greek is a present imperative and does not describe a onetime “filling” but a regular pattern of life. He's telling us to keep keeping filled with the Holy Spirit. Just like with the van, we must continue to keep filled with the Holy Spirit.

Again, I have 5 boys. The temptation is often to just take care of the busyness of life and not stop and make sure I'm keeping filled with the Spirit. But that is not an option. If I, like many, just go and only stop when I HAVE to... I'll overheat. I'll die spiritually.

I hope that you do not see this command as a burdensome one. Keep filled and you will have the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control you need for the moment. (Galatians 5:22-23) You might need to pull over right now and top off.

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