I was almost to the turnpike exit when I heard a ding and looked down at the dashboard to discover an unfamiliar red alert signal.
I quickly grabbed my fancy phone and dialed up my favorite mechanic.
I was completely calm as I filled him in on the details. “Baby, this little red light thing-y just popped up on the dashboard. I’m not sure what it means. It looks like a flat platform foundation with a pole sticking up out of it. Almost like a sailboat. The pole has like flags on it — kind of like a comb.”
He fired off questions like an detective interrogating a suspect. “Is the car making any noises? Do you see smoke? Do you hear the fan running? Look at the dashboard. Is it running hot?”
My heart racing, I scanned the dashboard for several minutes before I located a gauge I’d never noticed before. I gasped as I realized my car was apparently about to catch on fire.
“It’s all the way to the H. What should I do?”
“Pull over now!” he ordered.
I spent the remainder of the morning sitting at a gas station waiting for a flat bed truck to come escort my car back home for inspection. Honestly, I was shocked. I was racing down the highway completely oblivious to the war raging under the hood of my car. If it had not been for the warning signal, the car probably would have imploded into a ball of fire with clueless me strapped into the driver’s seat.
Just like the warning lights in the car, the Holy Spirit will often illuminate a specific area of our hearts to help us diagnose problems as we consult the sacred text in our Owner’s Manual.
Lately, I’ve noticed 4 warning lights on the dashboard of my heart:
- My love tank is on empty.
- Instead of humming with the oil of joy, doubt and fear are clogging my mental filters.
- My grace gauge is all out of whack and causing my forgiveness to misfire.
- I am running recklessly low on meekness and self control and emitting fumes of jealousy and pride.
Maybe like me you don’t want to continue recklessly driving on without heeding the warning signals. Let’s pull over to the side of the road together and chat about how to avoid a breakdown.
4 Ways to Avoid a Spiritual Crash and Burn
We must say goodbye to performance and perfection. Rather than striving to obey rules, let’s set our course on fueling relationship.
For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:19-20, NLT)
We must slow down and cool off hot engine hearts. Ingesting a good dose of common sense and wisdom will helps us see the way more clearly.
My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. (Proverbs 3:21-23l, NLT)
We must only fill up with Truth. Let’s clean out the pollutants in our system for a more efficient and energetic journey.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Philippians 4:8-9, MSG)
Yield to the Spirit. The warning signals in our heart always indicate when we need routine maintenance.
So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. (Hebrews 3:12-13, MSG)
Avoid a spiritual crash and burn by regularly tuning up your heart.
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