The service engine soon light had been on for five days. It didn't look like it was going off on its on, so I drove to my mechanic's shop yesterday. On the way, I stopped by town hall. When I started the engine again, the "service engine soon" light had gone off. I considered calling it an answered prayer (which it was) and going home, but opted to have it checked. Just in case.
"One cylinder had a misfire," John told me after a quick check of the car's computer. "It looks like just one cylinder. Has it been misfiring?"
"Oh, no. It's been running fine." I didn't think it had misfired. Silently, I wondered how I'd recognize a misfire if it happened.
"Well, it's not misfiring now. If it happens again, come back and we'll take a closer look."
I was delighted with the plan, but still uncertain about the cause of the misfire. As you might expect, I turned to Google. I am no mechanic, but it appears that misfires happen as a result of two possible problems. Ignition problems or fuel problems.
There are a host of subproblems in both of these categories but, in broad terms, both a spark and fuel are required for an engine to run smoothly.
If anything happens to prevent a solid spark or adequate fuel flow, the engine will misfire.
Nothing could be more true for the life of a disciple. We, too, need a solid spark and adequate fuel to maintain the faithful, disciplined life to which we are called.
That spark comes from time spent with our Lord through prayer. It was the presence of the Holy Spirit that brought tongues of fire to the disciples in Jerusalem and it is that same Holy Spirit that delivers the Holy Spark to fuel our lives as disciples today.
Without spending time in His presence, the Holy Spark will be sadly diminished in our lives.
The fuel for faithful living comes from The Book. Nothing can substitute for the Word of God, the Bible. If we are only going to read one book, it should be the Bible. As a writer of books, I say this with conviction. Only God's Book is sufficient to provide power for our souls.
Without spending time in God's Word, Divine Power and Wisdom will be greatly diminished in our lives.
We will consider how to recognize a misfire tomorrow (in lives and in cars), but, for today, let's consider the consistency of power in our spiritual life. Do we have an abundant supply of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
If we lack power, perhaps we have a spiritual misfire as a result of inadequate time spent in prayer and Bible study.
The solution is simple, and can be fixed in a matter of minutes.
Open the Bible. Bow the head. Bend the knee.
Bible study and prayer. Neither are optional. Both are essential.
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.)