Fill ‘er up – The Discontentment of Gas-Station devotions


More than once I’ve been told to prioritize morning devotions because I need to ‘fill my spiritual tank.’ The risk of skipping them is that I may not have enough to make it through the day. 

What a horrible metaphor.

You fill your tank with gas, put the nozzle back, and drive away (OK – hopefully, you also pay…) You now have enough gas to drive and you only need a gas pump when you need more fuel. (which for some people is when they hit 1/2 a tank, and others when they are sure there are still some fumes left). 

This is pretty far from the image from the Bible’s invitation to remain constantly connected to God. 

“Abide in me” is what Jesus said. As branches, we remain attached permanently and continuously receive nourishment from the vine. That’s not a one-and-done kind of relationship.

We become discontent when we think God has let us down. We spend some time reading his word, squeeze in a prayer, and then move on with ‘our day.’ But that’s not what he asked us to do. Not what he told us. 

Paul said “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” That’s about as ongoing as you can get. 

Continuous, constant, ongoing.

Remember, we can’t just go running to God every time we have a problem, and then become discontent with our relationship.

It’s not a matter of ‘spending more hours’ with a devotion book open – it’s about realizing our whole life is His. 


The Greek word adialeiptós {ἀδιαλείπτως} – unceasingly – is used only 4 times in the Bible. Once in Romans 

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you Rom 1:9

The other three are all in the short book of 1 Thessalonians:

1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father

2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

What can you practically do today to make that more realistic for you?

  • set your watch to chime on the hour as a reminder to pray
  • say “help me see this person through your eyes” every time you step into a meeting
  • instead of pulling out your phone the second you are bored, spend the time praying for someone you know is going through a tough time
  • skip a meal and spend time reflecting on His Word


God of constant abundance,
you are always there for me,
help me to remember.
Give me wisdom to see my life through your eyes.
GIve me kindness to see others with your heart.
Give me compassion to see problems with your grace.
Give me mercy to see problems with your love.
All throughout the day – remind me you are here.
Help me be mindful of your presence, love, and mercy.