Who’s driving this car?

A short poem about an errant child goes like this:

A fly entered into our room,
And I decided to kill it with a broom.
So when it landed on Mama’s head,
I hit it hard and was sent to bed!

We, as followers of Christ, want to do the right thing. I’ve heard on more than one occasion a person at the altar crying out to God, “Oh Lord, help me, please help me to overcome the weakness in me. Please help me Lord to deny myself, take up my cross and follow You!”

Most of us honestly do want God’s will at work in our lives. That’s not the problem. The problem is how we go about God’s work.

As the little poem points out, it’s not enough to kill the fly; we must use an acceptable method to carry out the demise of the fly. We see examples in Scripture where the right thing was done the wrong way with a tragic result.

Moses loved God. Moses loved the people God gave him to lead. Moses wanted to do the right thing. But, as we know, there was a time when he did the right thing – getting water for the children of Israel – but the wrong way; he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. God’s judgment was immediate, and the result was painful for Moses.

David is called a man after God’s own heart. David’s love of God is powerfully evidenced in the Psalms. David wanted to do the right things. But there was that time when he wanted to move the Ark of the Covenant. It was the right thing to do, but he did it the wrong way, and the result was death.

We are told to “study to show yourself approved.” We are told to work that we “…may have something to share with those in need.” Are we studying God’s word with a purpose? Are we working to give?

Jesus said in John 12:24, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” A single grain of wheat is of no use at all.

A bird would starve on a single grain of wheat. The only purpose for it is to die. The sole purpose of our lives is to die to ourselves that Christ might live through us. That is what we symbolically demonstrated when we were baptized: our death, burial, and resurrection mirror Christ’s obedience to the Father. As Jesus worked, so must we.

It all comes down to who’s driving the car. We want to be the driver. That’s what got Moses in trouble. That’s what got David in trouble. And that’s what has gotten me in trouble so many times. Only as we surrender ourselves to God’s way of doing things, scoot over, and let Him drive, will we ever see the increase in God’s kingdom which we long to see.

Photo by Malik Shibly on Unsplash

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