KEEP THE TOP HALF FULL

    Keep  The Top Half  Full

My throat was in my stomach or my stomach was in my throat; what did it matter I had that “all too familiar feeling” that I had missed something very important and I was about ready to pay dearly for it.

My hands were firmly planted on the steering wheel of my faithful Chevy and my gaze was intently peering through the twilight down the Nebraska highway searching for some kind of life; anything that looked like a gas station might be somewhere close by.

The moment I flashed by the last turn off, I knew I was in trouble, and as soon as I glanced at the gas gauge there was no doubt.

But by then it was too late to turn around, especially with our travel trailer behind us.

“I know better than that,” I muttered out loud for the tenth time.  “Why do I do this all the time,” I moaned.  I think maybe there’s a cheaper station down the road?  Or perhaps I, subconsciously, like to test fate and see just how far a tank of gas really does go.

“Dummy, dummy, dummy!” I muttered, this time arousing the attention of my wife, Arlis, who had been meditating on other things on her side of the car.

“Oh nothing,” I said sheepishly, “Except that we’re mighty low on gas and I don’t see any service station up ahead.”

Well, sharing that little bit of information with her didn’t help either one of us at all.  Now we were both nervous and uptight.

The miles drug by and my gas gauge found depths that I never thought it could reach, when suddenly the first lurch sent a vibration through the car and we held our breath waiting for the next one.

Sure enough, 30 seconds later here came the next one, then the next.

Sputter, sputter, chug, chug, chug–until I thought for sure that I heard a voice somewhere in the engine groan with the last shudder of life that said, “Empty” that’s all I’ve got”.  Then silence, as we drifted to a halt beside this lonely Nebraska highway.

Under better circumstances, the prospect of running out of gas, with my beautiful wife beside me at some romantic spot, would have been quite inviting.  But believe me, this was not that time.

Then of course I could hear my Dad hollering over my  shoulder, “Son, I told you, it’s as easy to keep the top half full as it is to keep the bottom half full.”

But you know the thing that really bugs me, is that even though I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles on this nations freeways, highways, roads and trails–this same silly frustrating scene has happened to me at least a dozen times.

You want to hear something else that’s intriguing?

Of all the thousands of miles that I have flown an airplane, I have not once ran out of gas–not one time even coming close to running out.

Strange you say, no, not so strange when you consider the difference in consequences.  I can walk for gas when my old Ford conks out, but not the Cessna, no sir, that one gets plenty of gas and attention.

So I’m not brain dead, demon possessed or a fool.  I can keep fuel in my tank if the motivation is right.  I just need to have my attention encouraged.

So are we talking about slothfulness–is that what effected the 10 virgins when they were asleep and out of fuel when the bridegroom came?

Or is it just plain rebellion as it was in Samson’s case when he knew the rules, the code of ethic for his nation, yet he chose to play the fool on Delila’s lap until he ran out of fuel and became like other men?  (Judges 16:11)

Then it is not a matter of luck or God’s favor that our spiritual tank stays in the full position.  It is a matter of choice and obedience to the “rules of the road”, that God and His church has made very clear to us.

There are at least four things that will keep your spiritual fuel tank full.  They are all important, but by themselves they lack the strength to keep you going at  “full steam” for God and His kingdom.

The number one ingredient and probably the one that comes to you first, is the  WORD OF GOD.

David said thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. (Ps. 119:11)

Paul tells us that the hearing of the Word of God will produce faith in our hearts, (Rom. 10:17) and David explains that God’s Word is a light unto my pathway. (Ps. 119:105)

  Number two requirement is a lifestyle of WORSHIP to our God.

A worshiping man and woman will continually be fresh both in vision, patience and purpose.

The expression of worship both private and public is an exercise of faith and obedience.  In that submission you will find fuel to go on and on and on.

Jesus tells us that we are to worship the Father both in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)  This combination is exactly what the Father is looking for in His worshippers.

Number three is  FELLOWSHIP.  My father always told me that “Fellowship was two guys  on the same ship.”  In other words those that are bound by vision, passion and going in the same direction. 

The writer of Hebrews admonishes us as believers not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, and even to increase it as we go through trying times.  (Heb. 10:25)

The fourth and equally important ingredient to a “full tank” spiritually, and a full rounded healthy spirit, is the four letter word: WORK.

In the spiritual as it is in the natural, according to Paul’s teachings, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” (II Thess. 3:10)

Think for a moment with me and see if perhaps the work ethics or work habits of the society that we live in has not effected the work habits of the kingdom of God that we labor in.

There are several things that are constant in the kingdom of God.  Among them is the fact that labor has a reward or payment, and secondly, we get paid or rewarded according to our faithfulness and our obedience to His commands.  (Matt. 25)

There are several things that  will keep a person from working in God’s field.  One of them is fear or slothfulness–“He says there is a lion in the street, I can’t go to work today.”  (Pro. 22:13)

Another blockage to workers going into the field  is laziness.  Let me turn over in the bed one more time before I go to work. (Pro. 26:14)

The soul of the industrious, according to Pro. 13:4, shall be made fat or prosperous.

Think  of it dear saint, to keep the top half full, God has given you and I four simple steps to live out and if we do we can experience abundance all the days of our lives.

Regular or Ethel

Pastor Watkins

Maintenance Dept.

                                                                                                                 

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