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Not too long ago I was talking to a young friend of mine about his life, and some of the poor decisions that he had been making. He made the statement that he had been living a life that was being driven by “bad fuel” and that he was aware that he needed to start letting “good fuel” drive his choices. I have thought about that statement many times since our conversation.
Most of you reading this have a car that you depend on every day to get you back and forth to work, to the grocery store, to school, to practice, or to get to the Urgent Care facility when someone in our family gets hurt or is sick. Our vehicle requires a certain grade of fuel to run the way it was made designed to run. Our vehicles have a fuel filter that is essential for keeping the fuel clean so that when we need to go somewhere, we can go. Last winter my van was running rough, and misfiring because there was water in my gas tank. The only way that I could resolve the issue was to purchase an additive that evaporates the water and pour it in the gas tank. After a mile or two, my van stopped sputtering and was running smooth again.
If you think about it, our lives are a lot like our vehicles…in order for us to live the way we were created to live, we need to burn good fuel. When we try and live using bad fuel we sputter and misfire day after day.
We live in a broken world, as a matter of fact I John 5:19 tells us that “the whole would is under the influence of the Evil One”. Also, we are all broken people. Romans 3:23 says that “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Left on our own we will continually make choices out of our brokenness, and that are influenced by Satan’s kingdom.
How are we to live our lives running off of good fuel? Of course the Sunday school answer is Jesus, and you would be right. The scriptures tell us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us…and that Christ’s blood has cleansed us from all unrighteousness. And I know that for myself, and for many of you reading this, that hasn’t stopped us from making poor choices.
Our lives are made up of hundreds of choices every single day. We have all made some good ones, and we have all made our fair share of bad ones. In every situation that we encounter, we are forced to make a choice. Am I going to click on that link, or am I going to choose to move on? Am I going to lie to my boss, or am I going to tell the truth and take my lumps? Am I going to turn my phone off and talk to my wife, or am I going to keep looking at Facebook? Am I going to jump out of bed and into my day, or am I going to sit with Jesus and invite Him into my day?
Solitude creates space for intimacy with God. When we sit silently with God it makes room in our hearts and minds for Him to guide us. When we are allowing God to guide us, we make better choices. Funny how that works. Solitude isn’t the only discipline that helps us make good choices, but it is certainly the place to start.
So what about you? What kind of fuel are you burning day to day? It is worth it to take the time and ask the question. When we chose to put good fuel in our tank, we are more able to make the kinds of choices that help us fight for our own hearts and the hearts of those that we love…and to purse the things that bring us life, and life to the full.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8-9
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
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