Over the two million miles I have driven preaching revivals, I could count on one hand the number of times I have had a flat tire—that is, until recently. Over a period of six weeks I was able to practice my tire-changing skills three times! Culprit number one was a nice sharp screw that had embedded itself in the tread of one of Goodyear’s finest. Changing a tire is not really all that difficult, but when you discover the problem at the Los Angeles International Airport after an all-night flight, it can be a bit challenging.
The second and third flats were identical in the source of the problem. These tires “separated” on the inside. When they became hot, they leaked air very quickly. The first came at the end of an 800 mile day in the mountains of Colorado and the second on a desolate stretch of freeway in Arizona after 2,000 miles in thirty-five hours. As it was explained to me, there was a defect in these tires and when they became hot from continuous use, the problem was exposed.
I can tell you this: It does not matter how good every other part of your car is—if you have a flat tire, you are not going anywhere! Air is a plenteous substance and for fifty cents or so, you can use a machine at a local gas station and fill up your tires to the suggested amount. However, if there is a problem with the tire, the air escapes and you are grounded until the tire is fixed.
As Christians, we are commanded to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The Holy Spirit is readily available to all who ask. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13) But while the Holy Spirit gladly empowers us for the road of life, problems from both within and without cause that power to seep out very quickly.
Ephesians 4:30–31 says, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” It is interesting that this verse lists both inside and outside problems that grieve the Holy Spirit. The devil is constantly aiming his “fiery darts” at our lives, endeavoring to puncture our hearts with the temptations of the world. When we give in to that temptation, the power of God is quickly lost.
Life’s road is also filled with numerous pressures and stress. In today’s complicated and fast-paced schedules it is easy to “run hot” as we struggle to balance the challenges of life. We may not detect the sins that Satan subtly plants on the inside, but they are there, nonetheless. We may go for days, weeks, and even years before the pride, bitterness, worry, or other inner sins surface. But you can bet that Satan is waiting for just the right moment to expose the defect in your heart.
The cost of getting right with the Lord may be steep, but if the Holy Spirit is convicting you of problems in your life, you will never regret the time and effort you spend to confess and forsake that sin. Without the Holy Spirit in your life—you are headed for a flat tire! And rest assured, the devil will leave you out alongside some desolate highway in life when it happens. Fix the problem now. I will see you on down the road.