One Sabbath morning my wife and I were on the road to church services. We exited I-75 and began driving down a county highway. Shortly thereafter we apparently hit a small unseen object in the road, which caused the right front tire to go flat almost instantly.
I stopped the car on the road’s shoulder, took the jack, lug wrench and the compact spare tire (the so-called “doughnut”) out of the trunk, changed the tire and we resumed our journey. But in less than a quarter mile we again heard the thumping, flat tire sound. I pulled off the road onto the grassy, muddy shoulder and found that the same tire I had just mounted had actually pulled itself partially off the rim. So there we were, without a spare tire and with the right side of the car now sinking slowly into the mud.
We were grateful when a church member, who was on the way to Sabbath services, stopped and kindly offered us a ride. After services I called a wrecker to have the car towed out of the mud and taken to a service location. We soon learned that that problem with the spare tire occurred because it was under-inflated and therefore unable to support the car’s weight.
But the real problem was not with the spare tire, it was with me. I simply hadn’t bothered to check the tire’s air pressure earlier to make sure it was ready for service if needed.
Preparing for trouble on the road
That incident encouraged me to think more seriously about my divine calling. Am I ready for a spiritual emergency, or am I just assuming I’m prepared to handle major trouble on the route to God’s Kingdom?
How about you? Are you equipped to handle a “spiritual flat” on the road to eternal life?
A spiritual flat results from ordeals or afflictions you encounter in your life (Job 5:7 Job 5:7Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
American King James Version×; 1 Peter 4:12 1 Peter 4:12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you:
American King James Version×). Some of these can have the effect of deflating your spiritual “air pressure.” And if you are not prepared, a spiritual flat can potentially prevent you from completing your journey to salvation.
So how should you prepare for a flat on the road to God’s Kingdom?
Are you hot or cold?
Jesus’ message to the Laodicean church in Revelation 3 helps us answer that question: “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write … ‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth’” (Revelation 3:14-16 Revelation 3:14-16 14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.
16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.
American King James Version×).
Verse 17 expresses this church member’s feeling of complacency and self-satisfaction. By him saying, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” tells us that he doesn’t think he really needs to do anything more than what he is already doing. He thinks he is just fine spiritually. But he certainly isn’t, and he just can’t see it (verse 18).
Not only does he figuratively have no “air in his spare,” but his other tires are bald and going flat. His engine is misfiring. His radiator is seeping fluid, and his windshield is so dirty he can hardly see through it. While he does what other Christians do physically, such as attending Sabbath services and paying tithes, it’s become simply an undemanding, comfortable routine. What’s the reality? His spiritual life has actually ground to a halt.
What is this laid-back Christian’s underlying problem? It’s his faulty priorities. Although he may be great at any number human endeavors, he is careless about placing first—and pursuing fervently—his divine calling (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×).
Indeed, he is not eager to talk to his Creator in prayer or to study the words leading to eternal life. He is not making sacrifices to serve other people, nor is he upholding enthusiastically God’s standards and principles. He is “blind” spiritually in that he is unknowing, unobservant and neglectful. He is spiritually “naked” because he is dominated and governed by his human interests and desires—rather than by God’s entreaties through His Holy Spirit. He is “wretched and miserable” because although he seems to have everything going for him physically, he is actually failing in the spiritual warfare he should be waging against his own carnal nature and Satan’s influence. He not only needs a complete overhaul and tune-up, he most certainly needs “air in his spare.”
Gratefully, and through God’s tremendous mercy, all this can be done. The situation is not hopeless if he chooses to make big and essential changes (2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?
American King James Version×). The apostle Paul told brethren in his day that they needed to get busy on what was really important (Romans 13:11 Romans 13:11And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
American King James Version×). This is true for today’s lethargic Christian. If he is willing to repent and renovate his spiritual condition he can thrive once again (Revelation 3:18-22 Revelation 3:18-22 18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.
American King James Version×; 2 Timothy 1:6 2 Timothy 1:6Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.
American King James Version×).
So what about you? You will likely experience spiritual flat tires in your life resulting from troubles and afflictions you encounter. But if you have “air in your spare,” you can recover from those spiritual flats and get moving again swiftly along God’s divine highway. It’s all about having a healthy and robust relationship with your Creator while striving energetically with His help and power to live His ideal way of life. It’s also about being spiritually motivated and highly conscientious about pursuing your magnificent calling (Proverbs 31:27 Proverbs 31:27She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.
American King James Version×). So don’t leave anything to chance while journeying on the road to everlasting life. Make sure there is always “air in your spare.”