Ever have an issue with your family vehicle? I know, right? Who HASN’T?! The 2012 Honda Odyssey we’d had for three years now, when we first bought it, within two months started exhibiting transmission issues, and we ended up having to replace the transmission. Took all of our savings at the time, $3,600. We next had to replace the motor in the driver’s side sliding door, for $1,500. We then had to replace the media system, (because our son stuck some coins into the DVD player slot) which also ended up frying our alternator, so, both of those together cost us another $900. We then dropped $1,000 for a timing belt job, and those are just the big expenses for fixes. 

Most recently, we came to discover that our model Odyssey has a manufacturer’s defect type of issue, with the oil seals underneath the cylinder chambers, inside the engine. They can spontaneously rotate for no apparent reason. Not a big issue, but, when all three oil seals rotate and their slits line up, then, oil can and does leak up into the cylinder and into where your spark plugs are at. After enough time, that tiny little bit of oil leakage ruins your spark plug and has to be replaced. My “check engine” light will start flashing, and the engine code reads “Cylinder 3 Misfire” every time. I took it into Honda and they wanted a mere $4,600 to fix this issue. I have already spent over $7,500 on fixing things wrong with this van, and they want another $4,600 for a known issue they had a class action lawsuit about. Nope, don’t think so.

The more I thought about it, and spoke to my mechanic friend, asking his opinion, and gaining his understanding and wisdom about the issue, the more I came to realize, “The worst case scenario is that every few months, or however long, you might have to replace a spark plug.” No other damage is really being done, unless you continue driving your van after this issue happens, making the situation ever worse. You could ruin your catalytic converter, creating another huge fix-it job. So, I went and asked my mechanic friend, if he would show me how to replace the spark plug so that I could resolve this issue myself, whenever it occurred next. Turns out, it takes about 5-10 minutes to pop in a new spark plug. Simple easy fix. I would much rather just pop in a new spark plug however often this issue continues happening, rather than pay Honda $4,600 so I don’t ever have to again. It is always possible as well that those three oil seals will rotate back, and stop leaking the oil into the spark plug chamber.

As I thought on this issue recently, God spoke to me and revealed me some spiritual truths. First of all, this is precisely how Satan works, is it not? Sure, he is perfectly happy if “your engine blows up” and you ruin your life all at once, but normally, he is just always trying to leak a little bit of sin into our lives slowly over time. He just wants the door to our heart to be cracked a tiny sliver so that he can leak a little temptation, a little apathy, a little spiritual mediocrity, a little sin, a little bitterness, a little anger, etc… Over time, after months and months and years and years of this happening, what has he accomplished? He has rendered us useless as Christians for the cause of Christ, or possibly even ruined our testimony. All the devil mainly wants is for us to remain apathetic in our Christian walk and relationship with Jesus. Don’t “leave the door of your heart cracked” for the devil to slip something through that could cause a serious problem later on down the road.

Secondly, Satan always wants us to think the issue is WAY bigger than what it is in our life, whatever it may be that we are struggling with, or the burden we carry, or the sin, temptation, or stronghold that he keeps trying to hold over our heads. If we will only simply give the situation over to our all-powerful God, He can and will help us with it, whatever it may be. Satan wants us to think that something small is really something HUGE and that we need to go to the world to “fix it” knowing what it will cost us to do so; just like taking your van into the dealership to fix an issue for $4,600 when in reality, you can just replace a spark plug every now and then. What we need to do, is to go to God’s Word, search His scriptures for the answer to whatever solution we are longing for. I have heard Pastor Rabon say this before, “Don’t run to the world for that which only God can provide.” I did not already know how to replace a spark plug in my van, so, I found someone who did know, and I asked. Never be too prideful to humble yourself and ask another brother or sister in Christ for help. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” I Corinthians 10:12

Lastly, God showed me that, just like I am perfectly capable of resolving this issue with my van by myself, we can defeat the devil (with God’s help) and keep him from “ruining our engine” and getting oil into our hearts and lives and causing issues. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 I went to someone I knew had knowledge of the issue with my van, and asked him to teach me what I would need to know to fix it so that the next time it popped up in my life, I would be able to deal with it myself, and not have to bring my van into a mechanic each and every time, for such a small thing such as replacing a simple spark plug, ya know? I learned how. With God’s help from His Word, and from Godly counsel, we can also learn how to deal with the devil, his temptations, and problems he tries to slip into our lives. “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

Don’t let Satan leak small amounts of sin into your life. If and when he does, do what needs to be done to fix the issue. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 A little bit of oil unchecked will eventually ruin my engine, if I keep driving my van under those conditions. Just the same, a little bit of sin unchecked in our lives, will eventually ruin our life, our marriage, our family, our home, our witness, our testimony, and our effectiveness for the cause of Jesus Christ.