When I first started to drive, my dad would remind me that it was always a good idea to pull into the gas station when the gas gauge showed ¼ tank remaining. His theory was simple: if you fill up with a ¼ tank still remaining, you will never run out of gas on a lonely stretch of highway.
I followed much of the advice my father gave me over the years . . . but not this particular piece of advice, and, sure enough, I did run out of gas once. These days, as soon as I see the “low fuel” warning light come on, I turn into the gas station. This just happened to me this morning, and that suggested the title of today’s message.
How often we all feel like we are running on empty! Our emotional “fuel” supply is low, but the distance to travel is long. Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matthew 26:41). And mind you, our Lord said this to His disciples on the night He was to be betrayed. Jesus had asked Peter, James, and John to watch and pray while He went alone into the “garden of suffering.” The three disciples could not even stay awake during His hour of deep need. Remember, Peter had said that same night that He would die with His Lord; now he could not even stay awake to pray for Him.
Do you ever feel that way . . . like you’re running on empty spiritually? Where do you go to fill up the tank? Let me urge you to go to the only true power source in the universe that can fill us to overflowing:
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God.
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?
Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power.
Regardless of where this message finds you today—whether you’re on a full tank, ¾, ½, ¼, running on fumes, or actually out of gas and needing a tow to get to the gas station to fill up—here are two steps to take to fill your tank back up.
1} Acknowledge God as your only power source.
I know we all say this is our truth, but we tend to turn to things smaller than God to find the power we need. Some look for it in their work, some in possessions, others in relationships, still others in the applause of man. I could go on and on, but you get the point. As Jesus suggested to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, those who seek strength from the things of the world will soon find themselves running on empty again; but those who fill themselves with Jesus will never see the “low fuel” light come on. As our Lord said, “Everyone who drinks this water [that is, the water the world provides] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
How is it with you? Have you acknowledged God as your only true power source today?
2) Believe God for the seemingly impossible.
The power in you is greater than any power that comes up against you (1 John 4:4). That means you should erase the word “impossible” from your dictionary; as Jesus said, there are many things which are impossible for man, but with God, all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26.)
The same God who sent manna from heaven . . . brought water from a rock . . . turned five loaves and two fish into a meal for thousands . . . and turned a raging storm into a flat calm with just a word is ready, willing, and fully able to meet you in your place of deepest need.
Has your “gas tank” been running low lately? Could it be that you’ve been trying to fill up at the wrong pump? Keep turning to the Everlasting One, and you will have everything you need to do everything He has called you to do.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!