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“RUNNING ON A FLAT TIRE” – July 26

July 26, 2013

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:3-4

flat tire
flat tire (Photo credit: helga tawil souri)

“Not again,” was my thought as I walked onto our porch and saw the deflated back tire on my road bike.  I have experienced a rash of flat tires.  This was my third flat tire in four outings.  Fortunately, none of the causes have resulted in a deflation that left me standing along the roadside.  They have all been slow leakers.  I get done with my ride and the tire is a little squishy but the damage has been done.  Through the night the precious entrapped air escapes.

Without air in my tires, the rim will grind into the asphalt if I were to try to ride it.  The air in the tire creates some very important separation.  Road bike tires are impressive for the very small amount of area that actually comes in contact with the pavement.  The smaller that area can be results in less friction, which means you go faster.  However, you must have air in your tires.

I have come into contact with my world for my entire life, like a tire to pavement.  I have learned a few things when pressed up against family and friends.  I am aware of the effect when the weight of interaction is applied in school, work, church, or any other social occasion.

Flat Tire

Flat Tire (Photo credit: sam.d)

The more of me that comes into contact with other people the more friction there will be.

My flesh only knows the interaction of self-interest.  The pursuit of one’s self-interest will always result in friction.  I can grind into my world with a purposefulness of my self-interest that reveals itself in rivalry and conceit.  My values can get squishy when I pursue what I feel is best for me.  I become about as effective as a flat tire when my self-interest is given the lead.

Flat repairI know that I need separation.  I know that the less of me and my self-interest that interacts with the world the better.  That is why I need to be filled with the Spirit.  It is only by the filling of the Spirit that rivalry and conceit can be banished.  It is only through the power of the Spirit that our flesh can be pushed back so we can even see the interests of others.  The fruit of the Spirit is like a tire pump.  With each sustaining pump of the Spirit into our lives (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), the amount of interaction between our flesh and others is reduced.  That reduces friction.

I have never wanted to seek other interests when I have been spiritually flat.  There was way too much of me grinding into my world to care about the interests of others.  We need the work of the Spirit in our lives to fill and lift us.  As the Spirit fills us from one degree to another, our sanctification will increase like the pressure in a tire.  I look forward to the day when my flesh is completely destroyed.  Until that day, I will rely upon the power of the Spirit to separate the remaining tentacles of my flesh from the world.

How is the pressure of the Spirit in your life?

PRAYER: Lord, I realize more each day how much I need you.  Thank you for sending your Spirit to teach and guide me.  Thank you for filling me and making me a new creature.  Father, help me to set my mind on you and not on myself.  Lord, develop the fruit of your Spirit in my life.  Transform me so that my nature will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  That is who I want to be.  Father, raise me to be that kind of man.  May the world see more of you and less of me.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

9 comments

  1. Thanks for visiting http://www.sojotales.org. It led me to your blog and this post in particular. The imagery that your words evoked in this post were especially clear and vivid for me. I especially liked your ending prayer which helped me realize how important it is to continually ask to receive the Holy Spirit.


  2. Great illustration from a flat tire! All that friction can be wearing for sure! I long for the day when this mortality shall be swallowed up by life!

    \o/


  3. This passage makes me think of relationship / community … but that is second to what I am about. And what i am about will affect / impact (?) what I bring to … the table / the community / the body … a flat spirit? or “redemptive friction” ?
    Good post. Thanks.


  4. Transform me so that my nature will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…………….. This really encouraged my spirit. Thank you for sharing this!


  5. Thank you for this devotional


  6. Reblogged this on Carol's Comments and commented:
    I found this to be a thought-provoking post, and I thought others might as well. God, let us all be filled with the Spirit.


  7. Love this! What an excellent and descriptive metaphor. Great post


  8. Reblogged this on One Starving Activist.


  9. I, too, look forward to the day when I am freed from this body of death. Thank you for the exhortation to walk by the Spirit, so that we won’t carry out the desires of our flesh. There is hope for us today.



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