Check Engine Light

check-engineOne of the automotive Q&A articles in a “do it yourself” repair manual had this question:
The “Check Engine” light in my car’s instrument panel came on, but there’s plenty of oil and water in the car. I’ve been driving the car, and everything seems OK. What could be wrong? I suspect most of you know what I’m talking about when I say “Check Engine” light. It’s a red warning light that goes on when the car’s engine is started, but should go off when the engine is running.

When this light stays on—this ominous, glaring red beacon shining out from the dashboard—one can experience a bit of anxiety.A few years back a survey estimated that 10% of drivers in the United States are buzzing around town with their Check engine lightt on. With their vehicle seemingly running like normal, they ignore the glowing light on their dashboard warning them that something in their car is not operating properly. They continue to gamble that the potential issue is minor in nature with every mile they place on the car.

If the shining light persists, they might contemplate taking the vehicle into the shop, but a lack of funds or busy schedule normally win out. Sometimes it isnt until the car wont start, makes a loud screeching noise or breaks down completely that they face the reality that all is not as it should be under the hood.

You start wondering:  could this actually be the engine, battery, or a malfunction with the switch?  There have been many times when I have taken my car in for a diagnostic, just to find there to be no causes for the actual light to come on.  Well at least, no causes that the diagnostic tool picked up.

Have you ever thought that perhaps our check engine light could be the Holy Spirit reminding us that we need to check our heart and attitude?  I can often find myself grumbling and complaining about my current situation instead of being grateful for God’s provision.  When I do this, I am not any different then the Israelites.

Was it because there were no grave in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?  What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?  It would have been better for us to serve Egyptians than die in the desert!” – Exodus 14:11

Despite their lack of faith God provides for them.

The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?  Tell the Israelites to move on.  Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea to dry ground.” –Exodus 14:28

After watching this miracle, going forward on their journey the Israelites forget again about God’s awesome provision.

 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt.  In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.  The Israelites said to them, “if only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!  There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”-Exodus 16:1-3

God then provides them manna to eat.  He provides them with just enough to be satisfied and even provides them with quail.  Despite this, they complain again.

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses.  They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” –Exodus 17:3

The Israelites were not thankful for God’s continual provision.  They were not thankful for their salvation from being enslaved in Egypt.  Despite how God rescued them, they only thought about their current struggle not about God’s continued faithfulness.  Instead of remembering how God rescued them, they instead remembered how they were free to eat what they wanted while in bondage.  How often do we reflect on our life as unbelievers as being like a whimsical dream, when in reality we were stuck and enslaved?  We did not have joy or freedom.

Even though we have been saved by God’s grace, it’s easy to get distracted from our own hurts and hang ups.  When we focus on our own struggle and forget about how God has rescued us, we sin.  When we remember that God loves us, provides for us, and saved us by his grace, we are grateful.  When we are grateful we have a desire to submit.  When we submit we trust.  When we trust we have faith.  When we have faith, we don’t complain.  When we don’t complain we are able to love God and others.  And when we love God and others we have joy.

The good news is that despite my selfishness, I am forgiven.  I am thankful for God’s grace and I am thankful for a check engine light.  The only trick now is for me to not ignore that light, and keep good maintenance of myself by studying God’s truth (His Word) while remembering Christ’s death and his continual provision in my life even when I experience pain and hardship.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your ATTITUDE should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himslef and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tounge confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Glory of God the Father.”-Philippians 2:2-11

*Photo(s)/Resource(s): Bethany Amman




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