I am in the car business so I hear about a lot of different perspectives people have on the gas tank in their vehicles. The parallels between the gas tank in our car and our spiritual tank are helpful if we will stop and think about it
Gas Tank Stories
I have heard of elderly ladies (my grandmother included) that have never pumped gas into their car because their husbands always did it. I hear about people who never let their tank get below half full and others that know to the tenth of a mile how long they can drive once the “Need Fuel” light comes on!
I even had one gentleman explain to me that he could not afford to keep his new truck because it cost him too much to fill it up. The truck got great fuel economy, but the tank was bigger than the one in his old truck. While he could go longer between fill-ups, he insisted that did not matter because each fill-up was more expensive. I could not convince him that he was spending the same amount of money overall!
Better When Full?
Whatever your thoughts about your gas tank, I imagine that you are like most people and feel more comfortable with a tank that is full or near so than you do with one that is near empty.
Maybe you want to be prepared in the event you need to leave in a hurry or go on a trip that requires more fuel. Maybe you commute to and from work and fear the idea of running out of gas on the highway in between. It could just be that you have more peace of mind when the tank is full.
Whatever the case, virtually no one likes to drive around all the time with the “Need Fuel” light on. No one enjoys testing the limits of their reserve tank on a daily basis. If they have a choice, most people will keep more gas in the tank rather than less – just for the peace of mind.
Spiritual Tank Is Similar
The same is true for our spiritual tank. Have you thought about this? Are you one who always runs around with a spiritual tank that is full or do you squeak by most days with just enough to survive?
If you are in the “always full” club, do you see the benefits? Do you realize that when you frequently bump into others with spiritual needs (whether they realize it or not) that you are able to share some of your fuel with them? Do you feel less wasted at the end of the day and wonder why?
If you are in this “always full” club, you have probably noticed the difference between you and others, but maybe you have not considered the cause of this difference. Maybe you have just chalked it up to a positive attitude or rosy lenses. I would bet this is not the case.
If I had to bet, those of you in the “always full” group have a fairly consistent quiet time. You probably have a pretty solid prayer life and I would also guess you attend small groups where you are poured into by others. Am I close?
What about those of you that are at the other end of the spectrum. You have never stopped to pinpoint the reason, but you seldom get to the end of a day without feeling completely drained. You rarely have the energy to spend much time with those “needy” people you see around you at times.
You might look at others around you that are always chipper and they somewhat annoy you. You think their energy probably comes from a special blend of coffee or some hip energy drink that you can’t afford.
How To Keep Full?
Have you ever considered that maybe their spiritual tanks are kept at full and yours is not? Have you ever stopped someone like this to ask them what they do on a regular basis to “fill their tank”? Would you consider it?
Imagine going to the gas station every day and putting $1.50 worth of gas in your tank. How far would you get before needing more? How much sense would that make if you knew your travel for the day would require at least $5.00 in gas? Could you ever share gas with someone else if this was your habit?
Empty Brings Trouble
The idea here is that we cannot expect much peace in our lives if our spiritual tanks are always empty. Without a continuously filled spiritual tank, our days are doomed to stress, anxiety, and frustration. Just as bad would be our inability to share our peace with those around us.
Rather than trying to scrape by on the absolute minimum, we need to strive for a constantly full tank. We need to determine what it is that we need in order to maintain this full spiritual tank and we need to do that on a regular basis.
Fill With Scripture
For some, this is simply the act of reading the Bible every morning. Maybe it is Psalms or Proverbs. Maybe it is Paul’s letters. Regardless, simply reading from God’s Word can be an instant spiritual tank filler.
For others, this does not work. Maybe they do not understand what they are reading and need help or explanation. Maybe they just get their energy and fill from being in a group that is discussing Scripture. The different perspectives offered help them digest the learning more clearly.
Other Ways To Fill
There are many ways God can use to fill our spiritual tank. We only have to ask Him to help us find the methods that work best with our unique characteristics. I promise He is faithful to answer and help us stay at FULL!
Take some time today and think about which group you are in. If “always full,” then look for someone in the other group and share your methods with them. Teach them how to maintain a full tank.
If you are in the “always empty” group, in addition to prayer, look around and find someone from the other group. Ask them questions and be ready to apply what you learn. Don’t be content with your “Need Fuel” light staying on all the time!
How often do you fill your spiritual tank?
Do you recognize times when you have run on empty?
What is life like for you when your spiritual tank is full?