Have you ever considered the lowly dip-stick?
I have worked on numerous car engines, and all have a dip-stick. You have probably also pulled the dipstick out to see whether you need to add a quart, or whether the oil comes up to the full line. It does not seem to matter whether the car is a Ferrari or a junk yard racer headed for the demolition derby. The engine may be a 12 cylinder well tuned smooth running purring like a lion, or a blue smoke hacking oil burner, but they all have a dip-stick.
A dip-stick is usually found in the engine oil, but also the tranny, especially auto transmission. In the power steering reservoir, the windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, etc. You could easily have ten different dip-sticks all with a series of little marks to let us know that things are where and how they are supposed to be.
The dip-stick is really important, and who of us would start out on a trip without checking out what the dip-stick is reporting. However, we would also not stop every few feet, or half a mile, or even ten miles to get out and check the dipsticks again. Most of us would be driving along, listening to the purr of the engine, and know that all is well. Matter of fact, we could actually pull all the dipsticks out, throw them in the trunk, and the engine would continue to run just fine. The engine running is not dependent upon the presence of the dip-sticks. They are just passive indicators of the condition of the engine, but they do not cause anything to happen, or change what is happening.
Even so, the Ten Commandments are to our spiritual engines, like the dip-sticks. They are the little marks which tell us whether the fluid level is correct, but they do not actually change how our engines are operating. And it certainly is not beneficial to stop in our journey every so often and check whether we are living up to the mark of the dip-sticks. No, as we drive along on our earthly journey, we learn to listen to the purr of the engine, and watch the country happily go by. We are not here to obsess about the little marks on the dip-sticks. In fact like in the car, we can gather up all the dipsticks, and throw them in the back of our spiritual experience, and their being absent in our current experience, will not make any difference. Our spiritual engine will run just fine without them, just as the engine Designer intended.
Better yet, what we are learning as the journey continues, is that we no longer even need to keep the dip-sticks in the trunk, especially since they really are sort of messy and nasty. The engine which the Designer has made, is now monitored by the exhaust, the fruit of the Spirit. That is not to say that we now set up dipsticks to measure the fruit, for as in exhaust we have only to breathe in and sense the Joy, Peace and Love of the Lord which fuels and refreshes us as it follows us along, no matter where our journey takes us.
We are indeed a new kind of engine, something the world has never seen before. Those old design techniques and rules no longer apply. We are no longer subject to the Covenantal Laws and Principles which determined all previous spiritual endeavors and journeys. We are part of a New Covenant designed by the God of Grace and Love, who has made us a New Creation in Christ. We are no longer even powered by the old spiritual fuel, but now by the Holy Spirit, who is more powerful than if we had nuclear fuel rods empowering us. He also lubricates our engines so that we never have to worry about adding a quart. We have new instrumentation, and even the windows of our car show us visions which none before us have ever seen. It is now our delight to consider so much more than the dip-sticks of our car engine. We have only begun to enjoy the journey and to consider what the Designer has prepared for us.