I have this push mower with powered front wheels. For a long time, the power to the front wheels did not work. When I lived in Greenville, it wasn’t a big deal. Most of the property was flat so the power assist would have been nice, but I could get by without it.
Then we moved to the mountains in Zionville. The whole property is on the side of a mountain and there is not a flat piece to it. Using the push mower on that property was a real chore! I still hadn’t figured out a way to get the power assist on the front wheels of my push mower to work until one time when the mower clogged, and I had to clear it. As I did that, I noticed a belt had come loose. I didn’t know there was drive belt there until then. That’s when I realized what it was for: the front wheels. (Duh!) So, after clearing the debris that was clogging the mower, I got the drive belt back where it needed to be. The front wheels worked again! The difference was night and day. With the wheels working, it felt like over half the weight of the mower was gone. It’s still a chore to get the lawn mowed, but it is so much easier now that there’s power to the wheels.
That little life lesson got me thinking about how often we go about our Christian walk and our Christian ministries woefully underpowered because we are not filled with the Spirit. Scripture makes being Spirit-filed a command: “be ye filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18b). When we are saved through faith in Christ, we are automatically indwelled by the Spirit. He is the “down payment” on our place in heaven. Paul refers to Him as the “earnest” in 2 Corinthians 1:22 where he says that God has sealed us “and given the earnest [down payment] of the Spirit in our hearts.” So, we have the Spirit in us, but having Him in us is not the same as having Him empower us. It’s like trying to use a mower with power-assisted wheels, but not having the drive belt connected. We have to make that connection with the Spirit through prayer and submission to His leading if we want to see real power in our lives and ministries. Otherwise, we’ve got no power to the wheels.