See if you can relate to the following scenario. You are driving along and your check engine light comes on. At first you are worried. The warning grabs your attention. You consider doing something about it but somehow it never gets done. Over some time you hear a noise, a rattle, a squeak. Finally you bring your car to a mechanic who hands you a bill of a significant amount and says something that resembles the following: “If only you had brought this in sooner it would not have been as costly a repair.” Can you relate to that experience? Perhaps a similar scenario with you and your doctor could be described.
The moral of all such stories is – the importance of maintenance. There are even preventative kinds. It is why we change oil, filters, spark plugs, do housework and chores little by little so things don’t pile up and get overwhelming! We do little jobs, day by day, so we can prevent big problems. Oh, perhaps it is an annoyance and interruption to do such things, it takes effort and money to do so but how many major aggravations and huge expenses are avoided. The fact of the matter is the job of maintenance is never really done. As the saying goes, “the hardest part about milking cows is they never stay milked!”
What I’m suggesting to you is that it is no different spiritually! There are acts and efforts of spiritual maintenance in life of a Christian that are a must. And what’s worse, if you neglect these spiritual acts of maintenance we are not just talking a large expense or a ruined motor. We are talking about a ruined life. Your eternal soul is in jeopardy. We are talking about falling away from God and their being no guarantee that you’ll come back, even if there is a remedy.
One author has suggested “this nation has become a nation of maintenance men. We have so many things to maintain, our house, our car, our yard, our machines, our hair, etc.” It’s true. You can become a maintainer of so many natural things that you don’t have any time left to maintain your own spirit!
I want to be very clear here, I am not talking about maintaining status quo or maintaining mediocrity. There is a difference in “standing on promises” and “sitting on premises.” What we are discussing is daily acts needed to keep us running at our highest level spiritually! That is the point of maintenance. There are some areas we need to maintain, acts we need to do, to keep us functioning at our highest level spiritually.
We need to maintain our physical bodies. Our body is a temple, it is what we use in service to God and we need to take better care of it than we often do. (I Cor. 6:19-20) Over-eating, over-working, lack of exercise, lack of sleep; we push and push and wonder why we have nothing left in our tank. Make no mistake, physical weakness leads to spiritual. You keep pushing and pushing and fail to maintain your physical health and your body will have its rest: either on a sick bed, a day off for medication, or perhaps the hospital. Take care of your physical body.
Marriage requires maintenance. Where love is in the home there is happiness, where no love is present results in catastrophe. Prayers are hindered, energy is zapped, stress abounds. (I Pt. 3:1, 7). A marriage on the rocks affects all other areas of our lives. So, husbands love your wives like Christ loved church. Wives honor, submit, and love your husbands. A little love shown day by day prevents the huge catastrophe of growing apart, divorce, and adultery. It is a lot harder to rekindle the flame than it is to keep the flame burning by active marital maintenance. Hint…date night!
Maintenance is a must in the family of God. Only when each member is doing their part does the body grow (Eph. 4:15-16). It takes effort, time, and energy to make the extra effort of showing affection and considering how to stir one another to love and good works. But when we do so, little by little, we remain closer to one another and the body functions at its highest level. (Heb. 10:24) Nurture your relationships!
Some Acts of Spiritual Maintenance
Prayer – Stay connected with God on a regular basis! Pray without ceasing. (I Thess. 5:17)
Private Worship – Away from building! Make time for God personally. Make opportunities to talk to your kids about God while on a walk, or even something you might see on TV that sparks a “God-talk.”
Sing – Is any among you merry, let him sing (James 5:13). Sing in your car, while working in the yard,
while taking a shower, while doing chores, or walking a golf course. Praise Him at all times!
Public Worship – We feed off of one another in worship. We edify and encourage one another. Do not neglect so great a gift. (Heb. 10:24-25)
We know we should get that check engine light looked at and not ignore squealing brakes or laundry and
dishes that are piling up. We know by putting it off we are getting ourselves into worse shape! The
same is true spiritually. Do the works of spiritual maintenance. Your soul depends on it.