My first car was a used 2002 Pontiac Grand AM.
It had over 100k miles on it when I bought it, but I got a good deal.
Or so I thought.
It seemed like every other week something would break on that old jalopy. At one point I was spending so much on repairs that I started to wonder if it would have been more economical to drive this one off a cliff and just buy a new car.
The previous owner had simply not taken very good care of that car. The smell of cigarette smoke pervaded the interior, there were red stains all over the driver’s seat, and there was good reason to doubt if that poor car had ever even had an oil change before.
The real cherry on top though was when the driver’s side window stopped working. When my mechanic took the door apart to fix the window he discovered that someone had tried to cover up the fact that the door had been riddled with bullet holes at some point!
I guess that explains the stains.
The truth is maintenance matters. It matters for our cars, and it matters for our spiritual life as well.
Spiritual disciplines are like maintenance for our spiritual lives. Not much changes when you stop reading the Bible and praying for a few days but neglect them long enough and you’ll start to see yourself becoming more and more distant from God. Old sins will raise their ugly heads again.
When these things happen, we should remember the words of the psalmist:
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”Psalm 119:11
The reason we hide God’s word in our hearts is not so that we can dominate at Bible trivia night. It’s that we might not sin against Him.
Spiritual disciplines are preventative maintenance.
It’s worth the effort to make a habit of reading the Word and praying each day, and attending a local church. They might not feel so important at the moment, but they are the means God uses to grow you, preserve you, and even protect you when the spiritual bullets start to fly (Ephesians 6:16).
Maintenance matters. Don’t neglect it.