The Parade


A few weeks ago I heard a man talking about a parade he and his family went to see some time ago.It was one of those big-city extravaganzas with beautiful motorized floats, bands, clowns, horses, and city dignitaries.Suddenly in the middle of the parade one of the floats sputtered and stopped.The whole parade came to a standstill.The tractor powering the float had run out of gas.


Everything stopped and waitedÖ and waited.The entire parade had to stand in place while someone went to get gas.What made this situation really ironic was the fact that the float that ran out of gas happened to belong to the Standard Oil Company.With all of the vast resources of that great oil company available to it, the float ran out of gas.


While this is an amusing story to hear, I'm afraid it illustrates a truth that is all too often true of God's people.In spite of all the spiritual power available to us as Godís children, sometimes we allow ourselves to run out of gas spiritually. As Christians we have the unlimited resources of God's Holy Spirit available to us.He lives in us.We have God's word readily available.Yet it is so easy to let our spiritual reserve run low.


All you have to do is neglect to read your Bible, study, and pray, and before you know it, you're out of spiritual gas.Neglecting the spiritual disciplines is so easy, and our spiritual reserve seeps away so gradually that we often donít realize that we are running low until we get into a situation where we need spiritual power and discernment.


When we are low on spiritual power we become susceptible to temptation and often miss opportunities to touch others for the Lord.That is why the spiritual discipline of starting each day out with prayer and Bible study is so important.It sets your sail for the entire day.In the model prayer our Lord taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread."The walk of faith is a daily walk.†† Lamentations tells us that God's mercies are "new every morning."The reason we need new mercy every day is because we sin every day.


God gave the children of Israel manna to eat daily in the wilderness.If they tried to gather enough so that they didnít have to go out and gather the next day, it would spoil (except on the Sabbath).The message of the manna is clear.God wants us to come to him daily.†††


Everyone is busy these days.Our hectic lifestyles often donít allow time for devotions.Thatís why it takes discipline to spend time with the Lord daily.It must become a priority or it usually wonít happen.Someone has said that if youíre too busy to pray, youíre too busy.I agree.As you're making your way through your busy, active life be sure to make spiritual progress.Check your spiritual gauges.