Think about how easily you ride in a well maintained vehicle. Now, just the opposite – think about the caution you exercise when the maintenance required light comes on or when the car sounds a little funny. There is a big difference. Just like our vehicles, our souls need maintenance.
A well maintained car can be driven with ease and without fear of it breaking down. When a light comes on, the breaks squeak, the engine is clanging or the transmission is reacting slowly, we know something isn’t right. We turn off the radio so that we can hear the sound(s) better. We drive slowly, talk to the car and pray that we make to our destination. When our lives are in turmoil, we do the same. But, we don’t have to wait until all hell is breaking loose to turn to be still, be quiet and sit before God. We don’t have to wait until we are faced with a problem to go to God.
When our lives are running smoothly, we forget about God. We don’t pray; we forget to give thanks to God for all of his blessings, especially the biggest ones – grace and mercy. But, when we live our lives like that, the smallest things – rude co-workers or bad drivers – throw us off course. And when the big issues arise – loss of a job or the end of a relationship – we think the world (or at least our world) is coming to an end. The ONLY way to prepare for life’s storms is through daily maintenance.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
We are instructed to love God with all our heart, mind and soul (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Luke 10:27 ). This is the greatest commandment, yet we fail to keep it. We get preoccupied with “life”. We say things like I forgot, I got busy or I’ll do it later. And when we do get around to communion with God, it becomes just another thing to check off of our To–Do list. I’ve been there. But, I’m getting better. Now, I look forward to my time with God.
Routine maintenance on a vehicle is every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, depending upon the age, make and model, which could be every few months to once a year. Routine maintenance of our souls is once every 24 hours, or more as needed. Maintenance of our souls comes in the form of prayer, reading God’s word, meditation on God’s word, praise and worship.
Before we take a long trip, we have our cars inspected, oil changed, tire pressure checked and brakes adjusted. Most people take the maintenance requirement of their vehicles seriously, yet fail to maintain their souls so that they can be prepared for situations that life brings. Routine maintenance helps us maintain our spiritual zeal (Romans 12: 11 – 12).
When we don’t maintain our cars, they break down. When we don’t maintain our souls, we allow the devil to get a foothold (Romans 1:28), and we begin to behave in a manner and engage in activities unbecoming of Christian women. Our lives become filled with drama and all types of unrighteousness. Romans 1:28–32 talks about times such as these. We know what the word of God says, but when we don’t provide maintenance for our souls we begin to live like we don’t have any idea. As a result, sin– envy, coveting, sexual immorality, lustful eyes and minds – begins to enter our hearts. Not only do we behave like people without morals, we take it as far as creating friendships with those who live without regard for God’s word. When you get a chance read Romans 1: 18 – 32.
But, don’t be alarmed! We destroy these strongholds of sin with prayer, by not conforming to the ways of the world and by renewing our minds with the word of God (2 Corinthians 10:4 and Romans 12:2). When we maintain our souls on a daily basis, we are equipped to handle satan’s attacks.
There is nothing worse than realizing the need for maintenance too late. We ride around in our vehicles with amber lights on. Those amber lights soon turn red and the car starts malfunctioning. Similarly we walk around with our heads buried in the sand or in the clouds until we bump into a wall. Vehicle maintenance decreases wear and tear. Soul maintenance results in stored up fruit of the spirit. These fruit of the spirit give us the ability to handle the problems we face on a daily basis.
All of us need routine maintenance. Maintenance of our souls enables us to weather the storms when we are going through adversity. It enables us to treat others the way we want to be treated despite how they treat us. It enables us to be strong and do what is right instead of being weak and doing wrong. God has mercy on us when we fall short, and he continues to provide an outpouring of grace when we haven’t done anything to deserve his blessings. We know that God is FAITHFUL!! Righteous people live by faith (Romans 1:17). It is because of our faith in him that we should go to Him daily to praise, pray and worship as the means of maintaining our souls.
Mercy is my cry. Grace is my song.
Peace and blessings!