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Have you considered doing a spiritual-life check?

Richard Blackaby

Have you considered doing a spiritual-life check?iStock

Last year my wife and I bought a new car. We like it, but it recently caused us some challenges when someone backed into it in a parking lot. To his credit, the driver took responsibility for the repairs. After some predictable delays, the autobody shop returned our vehicle almost as good as new.

Unfortunately, there was a problem. The trunk door didn't open as it should. Before the accident, I could hold my foot under the rear bumper and the door would open automatically. Now it didn't. I contacted the repair shop, but they insisted they had not touched anything in that section of the vehicle.

So, at 7:00 a.m. the next day, I brought the vehicle to the dealership. I was determined to have every feature of my vehicle operational. I also got a 5,000-mile oil change for good measure.

The dealership soon discovered the problem. In doing the collision repair on my vehicle, the autobody shop had disconnected the battery, which changed the settings on my car. It was a simple repair. Best of all, there was no charge.

That ordeal taught me some important spiritual lessons. All it took was one day with my car being less than fully functional and I was on it. It was soon repaired. I don't often use the trunk of my car, and I could have opened it manually. Nevertheless, it bothered me that something I paid for wasn't working! So I had it fixed.

Have you considered how many "features" of your Christian life aren't working? How many resources at your fingertips as a Christian are you neglecting? When God saved you and transformed you into a new creation, many of scripture's promises immediately became available to you.

All the power of heaven is at your disposal. The Holy Spirit resides within you to enable you to utilize every spiritual resource. The apostle Peter wrote, "His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire" (2 Peter 1:3-4).

There are countless Christians who are grossly underusing the life Christ purchased for them at great price. They know Christ has provided what they need for a victorious life, but they resign themselves to enduring defeat. They are aware Christ said they could experience his joy, yet they live joylessly.

They know the Bible contains many promises, but they have never identified and claimed the ones pertaining to them. For some reason, when it comes to our Christian life, we are often content to use only a small percentage of our capacity. Why does that not bother us as much as not being able to fully utilize cruise control on our Honda?

We must regularly examine scripture to ensure we are making full use of our new life in Christ. Back when my rear door was malfunctioning, I pulled out my owner's manual. As I thumbed through the pages, I discovered information I had needed for more than a year. My door lock feature didn't seem to be working correctly, and I was certain I should be able to adjust it.

Yet, for more than a year, I had not carefully searched the manual to find out how. Then, by chance, I stumbled on it as I was looking for something else. Sure enough, with a quick setting adjustment, my problem was solved. Of course, I then wondered why I endured a year of frustration when I had all the answers to my problem in my manual.

The Bible is our owner's manual. It contains everything we need for a full, fruitful, and abundant life. It includes promises that could enrich our lives. It holds wisdom to keep us from harm and commands that guard us from sin. It possesses truth that can set us free. Yet many of those truths remain unread and unapplied.

Can you imagine what it will be like when we come to the end of our life and see God? What if he heartily welcomes us into heaven but then asks why we chose to live as spiritual paupers when he had provided so much for us? How tragic to struggle through life only to realize that everything we needed could have been found in scripture if we had only looked.

When I have paid for a feature on my car, I feel compelled to use it. But every time we don't apply God's provision to our life, we take his grace in vain. We make light of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. How could we know Christ died an excruciating death on a cross for us and then not make full use of everything he purchased for us?

It is wise to study the Bible with fellow believers. Other people may discover "features" that come with the Christian life that we have somehow overlooked. A few months ago, my son-in-law, Sam, drove me in my car to a speaking engagement on the other side of town. He noticed some interesting things on the cruise control setting. He couldn't help but check out every feature that caught his eye. After driving my car once, he was already showing me how to use several features I hadn't known existed.

In the Christian life, there are those who have journeyed further and under different circumstances than us. They have learned lessons we haven't. But we can learn much if we so desire. The Christian life can be complicated at times. God's Word may appear confusing in places. But when we study it with others and learn from their insights and experiences, we will discover many new, exciting truths that can enrich our life immensely.

We all need 5,000-mile spiritual oil changes. We also need to read our owner's manual carefully and frequently. We might be astonished by heavenly riches that have always been at our disposal had we only known.

Richard Blackaby is the president of Blackaby Ministries International and lives in Georgia. He travels internationally speaking on spiritual leadership in the home, church, and marketplace as well as on spiritual awakening, experiencing God, and the Christian life. Richard regularly ministers to Christian CEOs and business leaders. He has written or co-authored 33 books . This article was first published on Used with permission from Blackaby Ministries International. Learn More »

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