Thursday, July 5, 2007

Putting God in the Driver Seat

So your driving with your buddies and its somewhere not as familiar to you. And then it starts to happen, the buddy in the back seat seems to know exactly where to go and the best way to get there. "What are doing" "The left lane is faster" "Should have turned there, too late" And it finally gets to the point when you have had enough and ask, "Would you like to Drive?"

I was reading in Acts and was amazed how this applies to our walk with God. I pray all the time to God to help me live a life pleasing to Lord and according to His will, I tell Him I want to surrender all to him and put Him in the driver seat of my life. Meanwhile I turn into the annoying buddy in the back seat who thinks he knows everything. Leaning over God's shoulder, I seek to give direction and insight on the best route for my life.

God is good to give us a clear picture of what it looks like to put God in the driver seat of our life. In Acts 16 we can see how Paul truly submits the direction of his life to God and his Glory. Paul has been going from town to town preaching the gospel, working wonders, and seeing hurdreds coming to the Lord. After joining up with Timothy they move on to the next town but it is here where we see Paul take the back seat. It says they passed through the town "having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia." Alright no problem one city, but then again at the next city. They pass because, "the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them." So here Paul is moving along in his mighty ministry only to get denied in two cities and then get called to a city thats at least a 3 days travel. When Paul arrives there is not much happening till he "gets annoyed" and casts out an evil spirit then finds himself brutality beaten and in prison.

It is at this point when I would begin to start questioning the "Drivers" ability to get me where I need to go. I would probably see the path of taking a Rod to the face and my feet in chains as a missed turn somewhere. Responding something like this, "Clearly I should have stopped in those other towns, I knew it, how did I get here." But Paul, being filled with the spirit and more aware of grace then I has a totally different response, one that is both convicting and encouraging. Acts 16:25 "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God..." This is first convicting because it is far from my response but encouraging to know that there is joy to be found when God is in the driver seat of our lives. We all know the rest of the story: They are a witness to the jailer, God works , and His Name is Glorified. But all of this could have been missed if Paul did not yield to the Lord's "driving ability. "

I thank God for showing me my shortcomings but also His Abundant Grace. May I put God in the Driver Seat and sing praises in the back seat.

- Ryan -


Kyle said...

Wow ryan. Excellent post. I can very much relate to the description of the back seat driver that you gave. So many times I have confessed to God that I want Him to be Lord over my life but the next moment when He challenges me I quickly put both hands on the wheel. Thanks for the post bud. Very encouraging to see Paul's response.

amber said...

Outstanding. It is obvious that the Holy Spirit gave you some deep insight into this passage in Acts...and the analogy is perfect. The part that affected me the most was the part about Paul praising God while still imprisoned. Oh to have that kind of faith!

It's so easy to trust God, and then suddenly loose faith when events don't cater to our feelings--when our experience ARGUES with the truth about God. It's like Genesis 16, for instance. After God makes a covenant with Abram to make him a great nation, Abram and Sarai still don't have a son for an heir. They take matters into their own hands and try to get one through their servant Hagar, instead of waiting in faith for God's promise. This really puts the fear of God in me!
(idea on Gen. 16 from For the Love of God-devotional)

Really good thoughts, Ryan.