Do You Need A Tune-Up?

20130809-170721.jpgHave you ever driven a car that just didn’t run right? Sluggish, jerky, and smelling more like a gas station than an exhaust pipe?

So what do you do? Ignore it, complain about it, trade it, or do you have it checked out by a trusted mechanic?

I remember years ago when I was 18, my wife and I owned a 1964 Rambler Classic 770. Roger Rambler, the truckin’ machine. Back in those days, and with speed limits higher, if a car didn’t run right the first thing you did was head to the interstate and mash down on the accelerator. If that didn’t fix it, you changed the plugs, points and condenser, THEN took it to the interstate.

I did that with Roger one evening. Gave it a minor tune up then went directly to I-80 westbound. Sweet! I had both of my brothers with me; one was 20 and the other was 9. Old Roger was excited that night and just kept tempting me, enticing me, to break the sound barrier (at least in my own mind).

He was running great! 70, 80, 90, 105 miles an hour! Yee haw!

All of a sudden there appeared flashing red lights in my rear view mirror. Busted! Fortunately, I only received a warning ticket!

But the car sure was running great. The tune up fixed its problems and the world was a better place to live.

I hate to bring it up at a time like this, but does your spiritual life ever seem sluggish or jerky? Ever feel like you’re not getting the mileage you once did?

Maybe your spirit needs a tune up! That’s what Paul and Jude referred to when they mentioned “praying in the Holy Spirit”, or, praying in tongues.

I do realize this can be a touchy subject; some believe and some don’t. But I must say, “it’s in the Bible.”

Yes, it’s in the Bible. “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” (Jude 1:17-21 ESV)

Have you noticed, dear saint, the world has an uncanny way of putting a drain on your spirit at times? In fact, I believe we actually “leak” now and then; thus the need to “build ourselves up” (or charge our battery) by praying in the Holy Spirit.

“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:1-4 ESV)

The one who speaks in a tongue (unknown tongue, KJV, a language given by the Holy Spirit and not learned through the regular learning process), “builds himself up.” There it is again.

There is a fair amount of confusion in the Body of Christ regarding “Spiritual Gifts”, and especially “speaking in tongues”. People read the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians and note verse 30, “do all speak in tongues?”, where the obvious answer is “no”. Thus, they assume God doesn’t want every believer to speak in tongues.

However, chapter 12 refers to the different parts of the Body and the various ministry each part has been given. Not every part is the eye, but each part is important. Paul teaches about the gifts as they relate to the Body, and ministry.

Chapter 13 instructs us to operate in love, or ministry, even with the mighty gifts, will not be effective.

Chapter 14 deals specifically with tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophesy, and building up the Body of Christ through the use of the “utterance gifts.”. Paul writes, “speaking in tongues edifies the speaker (the Christian); their spirit is built up even though their mind isn’t. But prophesy builds up the Body because they can understand what the Spirit is saying.”

The Corinthian church, according to Paul (1 Corinthians 1:10), “came behind in no gift”. They sure could get wild! In Paul’s teaching, though, he wasn’t trying to make them quit “that tongue stuff”, but instead, focus on building each other up whenever they assembled together. “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” (1 Corinthians 14:18-19 ESV)

It goes without saying: if a person is desiring to build up others, it stands to reason they themselves need to be built up. Doesn’t it?

Yes, reading and studying the Word builds us up. But, apparently, there’s something else we must consider or we, and the Body of Christ, will not be built up on our most holy faith. Nor will we stay steadfast in God’s love and mercy when unbelief, ungodly desires, and scoffers begin to blast away.

Keep yourself tuned up; regular maintenance and praying in the Holy Spirit. You can’t afford to have a sluggish, jerky, and stinky spirit; nor can I.

Amen.