“What’s that sound?” I asked my husband as we were slowly traveling through our cove in a lake. This squeaky noise got louder then went away once we accelerated into open lake water only to appear again about 15 minutes into our trip. Dark clouds appeared on the horizon so he turned the boat around only to hear that awful something-is-wrong-with-this-boat clamor. We arrived back in our cove and creeped back to our dock. The screeching originated from the back of the boat.
No working boat meant our daughters’ times to go tubing were gone. My husband had spent a dozen Saturdays replacing the floor and wood which had rotted in places. He had installed new carpet on the boat and fixed upholstery. Now, none of this mattered.
After my husband and his dad investigated the noise, they decided the propeller needed replacing. No propeller resulted in our boat sitting still. So, they drove 30 minutes away to buy a new propeller then installed it with the boat in the water as dusk fell.
The boat is like a new one now going even faster than before.
Just replacing the propeller allowed the new propeller to work with, not against, the engine to propel the boat forward. The old propeller looked exhausted, having broken chunks and dings all over it. The new one created new thrust so we could have forward momentum across the lake.
How do you know when to replace a boat’s propeller before it breaks while you’re on the boat? The experts recommend overhauling your propeller if one of three issues are present:
“1.) Your propeller has been damaged due to impact or corrosion.
2.) You have exceeded your propeller’s operational life limit.
3. You are looking for a significant performance increase.“
The boat must have an engine and a propeller in order to work properly. Sure, we had paddles on the boat but wouldn’t need to use them since the forward momentum should happen when the engine and propeller work together.
In our lives as Believers in Jesus, the Holy Spirit provides power for service and boldness to share the good news that Jesus saves. I have realized now that we are like the propeller and the Holy Spirit is the engine. If I am spiritually healthy, my life will have a greater impact when my heart is in alignment with the Holy Spirit. God guides me, propelling me into the steps that He has planned for me. But sometimes, I realize I am not headed anywhere based on hurtful memories or damaging words from someone in my life and pressure to be everything to everyone.
In order for a boat or airplane to remain safe and healthy, a propeller assessment is needed to be sure that the vehicle works with the engine and arrives safely to its destination. We could use the same criteria that propeller experts use to evaluate our lives.
1. Have we been damaged by impact or corrosion? Have the actions of another dented our bumper? Could the corrosive effects of hurt and shame cover our forgiven and free hearts? I assure you that God heard those comments from people who hurt you. Ask Him to give you the courage to stand. Ephesians 6:13-19 reminds us of what to do when we are under fire or been damaged in some way:
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.”
2. Have we exceeded our operational life limits? Have all the pressures that pull at us caused exhaustion or a time of stalling? When we feel tired, worn out and not enough, then it is time to stop, cry out to God and lay it all out before Him.
Our propeller couldn’t stand it any longer so it screeched. Are you making comments that in retrospect show burn out? I know that God can restore even the most tired and worn out person. All we have to do is ask Him to help in our time of need. Psalm 46:1 reminds us to let God take care of us when we feel that we are not enough. He is always enough for us. Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
3. Are we looking to increase our performance?
I would like for God to help me to speak life and share truth from His Word effectively. I like to blog and pray that the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of readers. I think it is interesting that Paul asked others to pray specifically for him because he wanted to increase his effectiveness. I also desire for God to increase my effectiveness in my marriage, my parenting, my health and in my relationships with others. Here is insightful commentary on Paul’s request:
My prayer is that we will ask God to empower us to stand, to extend His grace to help in our times of need and to effectively communicate with others. I want the gospel of Jesus to be my focus so that others may know Him. A spiritual overhaul that can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit working in our lives will increase our life’s peace and joy in the journey.
If we are to propel effectively like God designed us, then we must evaluate ourselves then let the Holy Spirit do the heart overhaul.