“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’”- Matthew 16:24-25
Have you ever had your car run on empty before? Have you ever got into your car and heard the dreaded “DING” with a light that pops on which ignites a sudden anxiety of your bank account? I know I have. There was a time not too long ago when I left work and the light came on. It went off again, so I thought “I’m safe, no problem.” So, while I was driving down a long stretch of road with no gas station in sight, possibly for another 30-40 miles, I heard the “DING!” I didn’t know what I was going to do! So, I prayed.
When my light comes on it means I have approx. 1.2 gallons left in my car, which equals about 24 miles, with 30-35 miles to go before I reached a gas station…you do the math because apparently I couldn’t when the light flashed the first time. I was running on E and I did not know what else to do, but lean on God and depend on Him to get me to where I needed to be. Especially since I was not about to push my car up a hill, ain’t nobody got time for that.
This got me thinking: Can living on E actually bring rewards? In J. Oswald Sanders book “Spiritual Leadership” he says “As we become ‘empty’ of self and dependent on God, the Holy Spirit will use us”. Or, in my position, if we become empty on gas we depend on God and the Holy Spirit convicts us. This experience helped me see I was depending way too much on my own ability and my trusty old man made vehicle that probably had two recalls without looking to the only One Who could move me forward, fill me up, and provide a safe passage.
I wish while I prayed I saw the gauge move up and magically fill, but it didn’t. I wish I could say the car became a hover craft, but it didn’t. However, I can say that I was able to make it to the station with no issues, except cramped hands from grasping the wheel too tight in anxiety.
You see, God calls us to live an empty life in order to depend on Him. When we depend on our own “fullness” we forget that He is the only One that can truly fill us up. We can depend on our own abilities because we can’t push ourselves over those hills. He is our strength! He is our healer! Only He can bring us to safety!
We must deny ourselves and trust in the God that came to redeem. We may be running on E, but He has the everlasting pump that will keep us running. That is how we receive the reward of living life to the fullest!