Thursday, December 31, 2015

Engine Misfire, part 2: How to recognize a misfire

Yesterday, I wrote about my recent "service engine soon" light and the misfire that caused it. If you missed that blog post, you can read it here.

As promised, today we're considering how to recognize a misfire. To my predominantly left-brained mind, it sounds a bit mysterious, but it's not. An engine misfire, in very simple terms, is a loss of power and can occur for a variety of reasons. For an automobile, a misfire can cause vibrations at idle, poor acceleration, stalling out, and difficulty starting the engine. 

For the disciple of Jesus, a spiritual misfire is much the same. 

If the spark and fuel required to provide power for disciples are prayer and Bible study, a lack of either will cause adverse effects in our lives. 

How do we recognize a misfire before it becomes a complete loss of power? 

Restlessness, lack of peace, difficulty persevering in tasks God has commanded, isolation and withdrawal from our Christian community can be early signs of a misfire. 

Left to continue, the situation will deteriorate, and the works of the flesh will become evident in our lives, and all too quickly. 

In case we've forgotten, Galatians 5:19 tells us that the works of the flesh are: "sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these." When these things are in our lives, we have a problem that needs to be addressed.

The easiest way to recognize a misfire, though, is an accounting of time spent in prayer and Bible study. Are we opening our Bible or not? Are we spending quiet time in prayer and meditation on Scripture or not?

If we feel far from God, it's not His fault. 

If we feel far from God, the solution is simple. 

Confess our sin and ask for forgiveness. Open our Bibles and read until God's Still Small Voice speaks in our hearts. Pray until we know God has heard and answered.

Proper functioning as a disciple of Christ requires time with the One we say we follow. 

As we look toward 2016, let's live boldly as disciples of Christ, embracing the adventure of faith on a daily basis. Let's open our Bibles and bend our knees before the One who gave everything for us.

My heart is filled with gratitude for your faithfulness in reading Lines from Leanna this past twelve months. Readership has more than tripled this year. Hearts have been encouraged. Lives have been changed. I appreciate you more than you can imagine.

To celebrate this great year, I'm hosting a special New Year's Eve e-celebration. Count down the New Year with Lines from Leanna. I'll be posting a countdown of the most-read posts of 2015 every hour beginning at 6 pm and going until midnight, so be sure to read along. Bookmark the link and check back throughout the evening.

Need a quick holiday read? Humor mixed with faith? 

Consider my e-book. The Clay Papers (lessons in being moldable in God's hands, based on a series of pottery lessons) is now available as a 99 cent ebook on Amazon. Click the link to see more. (There's a link to give it as a gift as well.)
In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links:  Finding Christmas: Overcoming,  Finding Christmas: Giving Ourselves,  The Belated Christmas LetterLiving LeanThe Sleep GoalThe Service Engine Soon Light, and The Engine Misfire.

The most read post of the last week: Finding Christmas: The Storm Shelter.
#enginemisfire #misfire #prayerandBiblestudy #faithful #disciple #JesusChrist
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