We bought a new car and recently took it in for its 5000 mile check up. That may be no big deal to most folks, but I am married to a “do it yourself” kind of guy. It was a momentous occasion!
We bought our first new car after being married over 25 years and never took it in for check-ups. Phil did all the oil changes himself and we drove it until it had 187,000 miles. I would probably still be driving that little car, but I was hit in the school parking lot (by one of my students) and the insurance company determined it was a total loss.
So, why did Phil take this new car in to the dealership for a tune-up? It was FREE! When we bought our new car one selling point was free oil change and service including tune-ups. So, when the light comes on saying “Maintenance Required” – we drive to the dealership!
Our daughters’ Sunday School class is beginning a study on the Holy Spirit and it started me thinking about my spiritual well-being. As a Christian, how do I know when it is time for a tune-up? Am I heeding the “warning light” of the Holy Spirit?
Am I the kind of person who waits until something goes terribly wrong before I do anything about it? Or am I the kind of person who notices a change and checks it out right away before something worse breaks down? Am I the person who does scheduled preventative maintenance BEFORE something goes wrong?
A light doesn’t illuminate my forehead with a warning of an impending breakdown – although my face may show it. Are there warning signs that should be heeded to prevent a complete spiritual breakdown? The following may be possible hints that a spiritual tune-up is needed.
Warning Signs of Potential Spiritual Breakdown
• Do you feel that things are a bit slow spiritually?
• Do you feel that you aren’t finely tuned to hear the Holy Spirit speak like you once were?
• Do you sense a lack of joy?
• Are you lacking patience with your children?
• Are you and your spouse arguing about little things?
• Do you feel run down, like you aren’t fully connected to the Power Source?
These can all be signs that things are out of line. Just as cars don’t run optimally when something is out of whack, we as Christians don’t function well when our thoughts and actions don’t line up with Scripture. In Amos 7: 7-8 God gives a vision to His prophet Amos.
7 Then He showed him another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight. 8 And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”
I answered, “A plumb line.”
And the Lord replied, “I will test my people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins.”
God uses His Word as a plumb line – a mark by which we can determine if we are living our lives in line with God’s purposes. Just as builders use a plumb line to see if the building is constructed according to specifications, we can use the Bible to ensure that our attitudes and actions line up with Scripture.
So – when it is time for a tune-up spiritually, what should we do?
Go back to the Source of our spiritual strength – the Holy Spirit. Just as cars need oil changes, we need the oil of the Holy Spirit to refresh us. The more we die to our selves, the more the Holy Spirit comes in to fill our lives with Himself.
Let’s not forget to get those spiritual tune-ups. It will not only bless us but our children and families as well!