What Are You Running On?

May 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Christian Life, For Her

By Jerri Phillips –

My car died. It did a herky-jerky sort of death throws dance, let out a hideous grumbling moan, and died. Too late I realized what was wrong. In my frenzy to get where I needed to be, I had put diesel in my gas-powered car, and now it was dead.

I see hauntingly familiar dance moves in my home. Sarcastic comments when someone’s question annoys one’s superiority complex. Bickering barbs thrown at each other over miniscule offenses. One person in this room. Another in that one. Four people spread to the winds. The herky jerky movements of a family not running well. In the frenzy of getting where we have to be, we have carelessly overlooked what gets us there. These are the beginning of the death throws of cherished relationships, values, and heritage.

I know exactly what to do.

When my car sat dead on the side of the road, my uncle came to my rescue. He drained the useless diesel, filled it with the right fuel, and patiently primed the carborator until the system was fully infused with the right gas. With my uncle’s patience and attention, the dead car bumbled and gurgled back to life. With a bit of time and care, the motor purred beautifully, and I was again on my way to where I needed to be.

I go to my True Power Source. “Lord, remove from us anything that is driving us away from you, that is killing what is important to you. Show us how to refuel with you, what is needed to run smoothly, where love has been exchanged for the lie.”

I stare at the priorities on the calendar and in my heart, and I listen…my white out tape in my hand, the blood of Jesus in His.

Too many trips for coffee with friends…and not enough painting nails with the daughter in need of sharing her heart. Unnecessary time on Facebook, and not enough time face to face with the other half of me making sure we are whole. Time to let go of the latest best seller and play Legos with the man in the making we are growing down the hall.

At first the list is obvious and easy. Joyfully I erase activities, rearrange plans, and create white space on the calendar. When I am done, the Lord speaks—His words not so easy.

“Do not give school the first fruits of your day. Give them to me. Worship me. Sing praises to me. Write your gratitude prayers. Take in my Word.”

I groan silently to the world, loudly to the Lord. That will push school back nearly an hour.

“Instead of merely filling their brains, ask me how to fill their hearts. All man’s knowledge will be a snare if they don’t have my wisdom to wield it well. Take a walk…and listen. They want to know you and be known. They are learning from you that I want to know them deeply. Teach them well.

“Turn off the TV and the computer and turn to me. Open my Word and open your hearts…to me and each other.”

When He is done, the staggering death march has become an exuberant dance…the kind people do when they are filled with the joy of the Lord, rejoicing in His presence and loving each other.

And that is right where He wants them to be.

Jerri Phillips is a wife, mom, writer, speaker, and passionate worshipper of the Lord Jesus Christ. To find out more about her amazing adventure with the God of the universe, visit her blog at www.jerriphillips.blogspot.com

About Jerri Phillips


23 Responses to “What Are You Running On?”
  1. Heather Arbuckle says:

    This is filled with extraordinary truth. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Heather, thank you! May your day be ordered with love, peace, and an exciting explosion of HIM! Hugs, my friend!

  3. kimberli brackett says:

    as always God uses you to speak straight to my heart…your gift is His…

  4. Kimerli, you always bless me. May your day be ordered, abundant in blessings, and full of smiles as you bask in His presence. Love you, my friend!

  5. Diane Cook says:

    So very true…..thank you for being God’s vessel !!!

  6. Debra says:

    Oh my … words spoken to me from Him through you. I am putting this in my journal. So good! So much I need to remember and submit to. Love you!

  7. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    Whoah! Slapped up the side of the head (lovingly)! I tossed the Lord a few hurried affectionate words this morning, figuring He’ll understand how much has to be done. He used your words to place a big STOP sign in front of me. He wants all of me. He gave all, and He’ll give all. Why shouldn’t I?

    Thank you, Jerri, for reminding me of the sweetest and most important part of my day. I’m going there now.

  8. Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your relationship with Father. Too many times we hear that we need to cultivate that relationship, but we aren’t shown how to do so. Somehow we missed that lesson in church or Sunday School. It should be obvious, but as you know, some days, it just isn’t.
    Sometimes we just need the practical, 1-2-3 steps.
    I needed them this morning. Thanks!

  9. Wow, Jerri! What a wonderful article. It really blessed me this morning.

  10. Kam Hunt says:

    Sorry if men aren’t suppose to read this but what a vivid illustration of our lives. Thanks Jerri for an article that convicts and heals.


  11. Diane, thank you, my friend. Bless you!


    Debra, it’s an every day thing, isn’t it, my friend? Is this of God or of good? What do we mindlessly do just because we always have, and Oh!, the freedom when we walk away from what has been the “just because” to the “for eternal purposes”! Love you, too!!!


    Robin, I am so with you! I am ashamed to confess how easy–and often–the best part of the day, the most healing and life-giving part of my day is skipped because of the “important things”!!! I don’t use that term, though, because if I did, I’d never put them first because what is more important than Life, the Way to order our lives, or the Truth of what really matters? Oh, my friend, may the Lord be so loving as to slap us upside the head any time we misalign our days or our hearts and forget HE is the most important thing. Bless you, dear one!

  12. Trisha says:

    This is wonderful, Jerri! I hear those voices calling me everyday to everything else besides HIM. It’s a constant battle to choose what is lasting over what is not. Time in His Word simply isn’t negotiable, and the more I’m with Him, the more I hunger for His truths. Such encouraging words you’ve written.

  13. Mary Brinton says:

    Jerri, that was great. Thank you! The nice thing is that HE drains out the wrong fuel, fills the tank with the correct one, primes the carburetor… all with a smile on His face and in His heart for you.

  14. Jenny B. says:

    Thank you, Jerri! God’s been reminding me that I need to spend more time with Him than I do. This is a good push in the right direction!

  15. Love this article, Jerri! Beautiful job, sweet friend!

  16. Lisa, thank you, dear one. I am so glad it blessed you. As you know, I’m all for practical. Unless theology moves beyond theory, it is simply a nice religious standard with four alliterated points that creates dogma but does nothing to help disciples. Love and appreciate you, my friend!


    Paula, so good to “see” you! I’m so glad it blessed you. Your kind words blessed me, too. Thank you!


    Pastor Kam, glad you came by. We’ll just invoke the “no male or female in God’s eyes” rule for you. :-) I love what you said–“convicts and heals”. Isn’t it true? If we would really dump the stuff that God doesn’t care about and focus on Him, His plans, His desires, and His people, healing would abound. Imagine the healing in our own families if parents quit filling the calendar with stuff and started giving their selves. Sure would make your job easier, my friend. Bless you!


    Trisha, “those voices that call me away”…And they can be so obnoxiously loud! But nothing, nothing replaces that sweet quiet Voice of the Lord. He speaks to all not only our hearts but tells us how to value others. My friend, you are right. It cannot be negotiable. After all, it really is everything. Hugs, my friend!

  17. MaryB, powerful words–“with a smile and a heart for you.” Isn’t that what draws us in, calls to us when we’ve wandered? Not a fear of harsh reprimand, but a promise of embrace and warmth, the heart of the Father standing in the yard waiting…whether it has been a day, a year, a lifetime…a smile and a heart for us. Yes, sweet friend, that is the heart that calls us home. Love you!


    Jenny, may your time with Him be sweet as the Lover and the Beloved, and may He speak deep heart words to you. May He share even more wondrous aspects of His kingdom, and may your every senses be filled with Him. Hugs, dear one!


    Lisa, thank you, sweet friend! You are a blessing and a treasure. May the Lord bless you greatly for your investment into the hearts of the many you choose to value and make a priority. Love and hugs, my friend!

  18. Tonya says:

    What a great post, Jerri. Allowing the Lord to rearrange your schedule is a bold move-yet it is so rewarding. Your post has caused me to look at my to-do list. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Michele says:

    Beautiful Jerri! Thank you for the timely reminder. : ) Totally changed my agenda for tomorrow…rather later today.

  20. Victoria says:

    Wow, you will inspire so many to greatness in HIM!!

  21. Jan Parrish says:

    I think we can all glean lessons from this. Thanks for sharing Jeri. :)

  22. Tonya,
    Thank you for coming by, and thank you for the encouraging words. I am learning to take my to do list before Him EVERY day, which is harder than I would have thought, and then I find things that He says no to but they feel non-negotiable because I’m afraid someone will get mad, and He simply says, “You should have asked me first before you said you could.” Sort of like when one of the children invites a friend over, gets all excited, gets the friend’s hope up, and then finds out we have other plans. Ouch. But He is always faithful! He amazes me.

    Michele, glad it blessed you. May your day–all of them–be divinely arranged for the edification of your heart, mind, sould, and those of your family as well!

    Vicki, you bless me so much!

    Hugs to all three of you beautiful ladies!!!

  23. Jan, thank you, my friend!

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