The Check Engine Light


The check engine light has been on in my car for a while. Like most people, I’ve ignored it. The car has run well and has not given me any issues, so I’ve continued to drive it. This month, it’s time to get the annual inspection done and you can’t get it inspected with the check engine light on. I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend trying to figure out what the problem is. I’ve been able to clear all the problems except one. I’m continuing to try to solve that one so my car will be in perfect working order.

I started thinking how many of us have our spiritual check engine light on. We ignore warnings that there is something not right in our lives. We see the light, but we keep going because we either think we’re fine or that it’ll be too costly to fix. I know because I’ve done it. The Holy Spirit would let me know that there was an issue, but I’d counter Him by saying, “It’s all right. This is a one time thing. I’m not going to make a habit of this.”

After we continue to ignore His warnings, it becomes like that light in my car, we hardly even notice anymore. We continue on in our lives, knowing what is right and continuing to do something else. What we said was a “one time thing” becomes a root for something even bigger. Sin rarely starts off big. It starts as a small step and leads to another small step. We justify each step until something happens and we realize we’re a long way away from where we should be.

We should each perform inspections like we do for our cars. In I Corinthians 11:28, Paul tells us to examine (inspect) ourselves before we take communion. For some churches, that’s every week. For others, once a month. However long it is between for you, that’s a perfect time to see if your spiritual check engine light is on. It’s also the time you need to figure out why it’s on and to do what’s necessary to get it turned off. The good news is that the price has been paid, we just need to do our part to replace the things in our lives that are causing it to be on.

What I’ve found is that the longer I continue to go without examining or inspecting myself, the more I have to repair in my life. Typically, it’s relationships that I have to repair, and my relationship with God is the first one that needs to be repaired. After that, I go to others whom I’ve ignored or offended and seek forgiveness. It’s not easy and it requires time and effort. I have to put things in place that keep me from going back and doing the things that caused my spiritual check engine light to come on in the first place.

What about you? Is there something in your life that you’ve ignored that God has given you a warning over? Have you continued on in your life so much that you hardly even notice anymore? How long has it been since you’ve done an inspection of your life? Let me encourage you to do it today. Don’t go another day without fixing the issues in your life that are causing God to warn you that something is wrong. It starts with repentance and ends with a life running full throttle for God.


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2 responses to “The Check Engine Light

  1. Love the idea of a “spiritual check engine light”. It is easy to ignore our spiritual check engine light the way we do the warning lights on our cars. We get busy and focused on our plans and our agendas and tune out what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us. When we slow down enough to listen, we hear from the Lord and can be greatly blessed by His course correction.

    • Amen. The Bible is full of verses like in Psalm 139:23 where David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Most of us are afraid of those course corrections by God, but they’re necessary to live out our spiritual lives to their fullest.

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