Do you ever feel like you're running on empty?
In today's 'hustle' culture, it can be so easy to fall into this false sense of accomplishment by convincing yourself to work long hours, sacrificing your own health and well being and prioritizing your own goals over practically everything else. I say this because, unfortunately, I've been there.
When I first came to Christ, I was also 6 months in to starting my own business. I felt like I never had enough hours in the day to pursue God and grow my own business. One was constantly pulling against the other. I felt like my gas light was always on and I was refusing to pull into the station to refuel until the very last minute.
I was recently reflecting on this time in my life when the Lord gave me this vision of our spiritual gas tank. In the same way that your car requires a certain type of fuel to run at optimum performance levels, the type of fuel that you use to fill your spiritual tank matters as well. What makes this tank different than a regular gas tank is that you can actually use two different fuels to fill it simultaneously. Although, be advised, this is not actually a good thing.
There are two different stations you can pull into to fill up: The World or The Word.
When we are filled up on the fuel of The Word, we are like a spring of living water (John 7:38), we feel as if we will never run dry. On the contrary, when we fuel up on the world, we are constantly in need of more.
When I first came to Christ, my spiritual tank was in the process of experiencing some much needed upgrades. I had been running almost entirely on the fuel of the world for so long, that this instant shift to new fuel really through things out of alignment. Nevertheless, the more I filled myself with the fuel of the word, the more full I actually felt...It was as if my cup was overflowing (PS. 23:5). I had more energy, more zeal, a better outlook on life. I simply couldn't get enough of this Living Water.
The problem was that my tank hadn't fully converted over just yet. Over time, like most believers, I began slipping away, I wasn't spending as much time with God and I started spending more time away from the fuel station (His Word). I felt like I was so full, like I could go for miles and miles on the fuel He had given me. Yet soon enough, my tank started to empty and as the fuel of the Word started to dwindle, I found myself away from the fuel station and began going back to the old fuel, the fuel of the world, for momentary top offs.
To put it plainly, I was supplementing my tank with the wrong fuel, while also running on a reserve of fuel from The Word. It was as if my tank was half full...or more accurately, half empty. I was filled to the halfway line with the fuel of the Word, and the rest of my tank was full of the fuel of the world.
You can only go so far in your faith when you're filled with the wrong fuel.
The longer you linger away from God's Word, the more susceptible you become to filling up on the fuel from the world. This mix of sustenance is what causes you to walk in the flesh rather than walking in the spirit. It mixes the righteousness of God with the "good intentions" of man. It will cause us to do works that we say are in His name, but are really for our own. It's a life lived with one foot in The Word of God and one foot in the world. And it's a dangerous place to be longterm.
As I reflected upon this, I suddenly realized the gravity of Jesus' words to the church of Laodiceans when he said, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or not. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)"
Yikes, I don't think we ever want to think of Jesus spewing us out of His mouth...and yet we compromise our choices for momentary pleasures all the time. If we want to be hot, we have to stop making pit stops in the world.
Just like your gas tank can only run on one type of fuel at a time, so too your spiritual gas tank should only be running on one type of fuel. If you're ready to stop running on empty, you have to stop comprising your spiritual tank with the fuel of the world. It all starts with a choice to pull in to the right station.