Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…
It was their first road trip, or at least that was what they called it. They really were driving only three hours to the beach to see a concert and stay the night. They were only kids, but their parents trusted them enough to be responsible for just under 48 hours. On the drive down, they stopped here and there and everywhere. After checking in, they spent the afternoon cruising the avenue before the show. The next day was filled with the same detours and exploration; they were really trying to maximize their trip. Then, an hour or so from home, the car stalled and would not start again. When roadside service showed up, the problem was clear to the mechanic. Those kids were so busy having fun they never thought to stop and refill the tank.
Our life of ministry in this world is work. Like a car, we cannot operate without fuel. Physical fuel goes without saying, but the more critical thing is our spiritual fuel. Our goal is not to affect the physical but to affect the spiritual. If there is a physical manifestation of our spiritual work, that is great. However, the goal is for spiritual change and success. The problem is that we might not be that vigilant about making sure that we are properly fueled for that work. It is a matter both of quantity and quality. We cannot pour out to others without God first pouring into us. We also cannot think that a little fuel here and there is sufficient for what could be a very long haul. We need to fill our tanks with the fuel which makes possible the work God has for us to do.
Jesus was serious about making sure his tank was full. Not only that, He made sure to fill it with the right kind of fuel. If we put water or sand in a gas tank, we cannot expect that car to run. There is only one substance which will give that machine the power to move forward. That is how cars are designed, and that is also how God has designed us. Spending time in prayer with the Lord gives us the quality of fuel necessary for us to live in power, but we have to take in the right quantity, and we know we never can have enough. Without that fuel, we cannot expect to help advance the kingdom. Father, give us the discipline we need to spend quality time in prayer with You, and fill us to overflowing for the benefit of others.