Monday, July 7, 2014

An Early Morning Ride

(submitted by Kerry Patton)
“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8
I was a relatively new motorcycle owner at the time and had decided to embark on an early ride one Saturday morning.  It was about 6:30 and the world was just waking up around me as I left my home and headed north across town.  I was going to ride out Hwy 51 to the Old North School building at Weiland Road and take that road through the county.  It was going to be GREAT!!

No, it wasn’t.  About two miles from the house the bike began to sputter and lose power.  Then it died altogether.  The gas tank was full!  Why wouldn’t it start??  I tried again and again to get the engine to restart to no avail.  I reached into my pocket to call my wife Laura only to discover that I had ridden off without it.  I was surrounded by houses…but it was 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning.  I was NOT going to go knocking on people’s door; possibly pulling them out of bed so they could help me with my motorcycle.

No, I would have to PUSH this 550lb beast back to the house. 

I have to tell you.  It was exhausting!  Much of the distance back to the house was up hill.  I got a reprieve and could coast down the back side of the hill, but it would only coast so far.  Then it was back to the pushing.  Several times, I had to stop and rest.  I hadn’t worked out this hard since I was in High School for football two-a-day practices.  Soaked in sweat, muscles burning, cramping, and trembling I finally made it back to my home.  It had taken almost two hours.  I was greeted by my wife who asked: “How was your ride?”  “Short.” Was my reply as I headed for the shower.

Here’s the punch-line:  After I had rested and gotten my head cleared from my Saturday morning “push”, I went out to begin trouble shooting the problem and discovered that the toggle on the gas tank had been turned to “Off.”  I had plenty of gas, but had been disconnected from the supply.  That entire push back home could have been avoided had I thought to turn the fuel back to “On.”  I felt like a real idiot.

Spiritual Fuel…Turn it to “ON”
Strangely enough, it seems to be the normal state for humanity that we do just about EVERYTHING ‘under our own power.’  Without Christ, we face the uphill push of stresses, parenthood, marriage, work, health, and aging on our own…a sure recipe for struggle and failure. To be sure, there are periods of coasting when we may think “Hey, I’ve got this…” only to be faced with another uphill struggle. 

As Christians, we know our Heavenly Father never intended life to be that way.  God has never wanted his children to be running on their own power alone.  We know that we will never reach our destination that way.  So he gave us power from on high.  He gave us his Holy Spirit.  In Acts 1:4, Jesus commanded the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they had received what the Father had promised.

If we want to be effective and empowered in what God has set for us to do in life, we must keep His fuel flowing through our lives.  We must not disconnect by our actions or neglect.  Ephesians 4:30 warns us: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Feed daily upon the bread of the Word, and pray that the Spirit of God will guide and empower your life, conforming you into the image and will of God.  Keep the switch turned to “On!”

Almighty God, Thank you for your Holy Spirit.  Thank you for how he has drawn us to Jesus and illuminated your Word so we might understand and act accordingly. Guard my steps Father, and keep me in your will.  Help me not to grieve your Spirit, but become a conduit of your love and power.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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