Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 16:21-18:22 / Luke 14:15-35 / Psalm 45:1-9
Has your vehicles “Check Engine” light ever come on? How long did you drive with it on? A 2008 survey found that 10% of people polled were driving with their “Check Engine” light on. 10% of those whose cars were showing signs of an impending breakdown indicated the light had been on between one and two months. An alarming 50% said the light had been on for over three months!
A vehicle on-board diagnostic system is there to alert drivers when their car has a problem. The “Check Engine” light means there is a problem that can be potentially costly or possibly dangerous. The survey found drivers had a whole litany of excuses for ignoring the light. Some turned a blind eye toward the indicator because their car seemed to be “running fine.” Others said they ignored it because they didn’t have any money for repairs. Still others simply noted that they just didn’t have time to worry about it.
It is easy to ignore the “Check Engine” light. People do it everyday. Sometimes there are consequences; other times there are none. I find life has built in warning systems applicable for relationships, work, school, health, finances and most importantly the spiritual. God has an in-heart diagnostic system to alert us of impending problems. Man tends to ignore God’s “Check Soul” warning and there seems to be no sense of urgency. Apathetically they respond, “What’s the rush?”
Jesus uses the analogy of a banquet to illustrate man’s lack of urgency towards the things of God. “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, “Come, for everything is now ready.” (Luke 14:16,17) To receive such an invitation was a great honor but the invited guests began to make excuses.
“I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it.” (vs.18) “I have just bought five yoke of oxen and I’m on my way to try them out.” (vs.19) “I just got married, so I can’t come.” (vs.20) They had more pressing and important matters to take care of than to attend the banquet. We may understand their excuses because those were valid reasons in comparison to attending a banquet. Life is lived according to our priorities and preferences yet the earthly often takes precedence over the eternal.
There is not a greater invite than Christ’s invitation to His heavenly kingdom of redemption, fellowship and communion. When our “Check Soul” light illuminates and warns us of spiritual danger, we are to respond with great urgency. It is not a time to ignore the Spirit’s conviction or His Word. We are to be quick to respond, reflect, recalibrate and repent. As the mechanic says, “You can pay me now or pay me later.” The choice was an immediate cost effective oil change or an expensive engine replacement later. The spiritual price for waiting and complacency has dire consequences. Don’t ignore the warning…allow the Holy Spirit to fine tune your life!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!