For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. -- Romans 8:14 (NIV)
When I was 14 years old, my dad started teaching me how to drive a vehicle with a standard transmission, and the first lesson was to back the car out of the garage. He sat me in the driver’s seat while he lectured from the passenger side about the gear shift under my right hand and the myriad of pedals at my feet. Honestly, I didn’t hear a word he was saying because I was so excited about driving—even if it was in reverse. And really, what was he going to teach me anyway, right? After all, I’d been observing drivers for 14 years.
So when it came time to release the pedal under my left foot, I didn’t hear him say the word, “slowly.” With the car in reverse, I took my foot off the clutch suddenly. The car jolted backward and died. My first thought was, I broke the car. My second thought was, I smashed the garage door. My third thought was, my dad is going to kill me in the garage.
I glanced over at my dad. He was staring straight ahead, jaw clinched. I managed to let the word “sorry” dribble out of my mouth. Without so much as a look in my direction, he said, “Now, are you ready to listen to me?”
And with that, I gave my will over to my father.
This really is the picture of salvation. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t sit in the driver’s seat. He doesn’t control us. He offers navigation from the passenger side. It’s up to us to steer, press the accelerator, and apply the brake appropriately, but we have a choice. Will we decide where we go or will we go where He prompts us?
A submitted will brakes when God says slow down, accelerates when He says to press forward, and goes to the right and the left when the Father offers directions. At any time, we have the choice to say, “No, I don’t want to go that direction,” or “This is too slow, I’m speeding up.” But then we’re no longer submitted, and discipleship apart from submission is impossible. This is made clear to us in Isaiah 55:8, which says, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” Try as we might to make our own way in life, God’s way is always better.
I eventually got out of the garage. But I only learned to do so when I started listening to my dad. Before long, he directed me to start moving forward. He taught me to become an accomplished driver, and that growth has enabled me to drive along some of the most majestic and beautiful places on this continent; and it all began in a little garage with a submitted will.
Are you fully submitted to God’s will in your life? Is there an area that you need to give over to Him?
Father, in this moment, I submit my will to You. I don’t want to do anything without Your direction. I want to grow as one of Your followers, so I now prioritize Your voice over my own. Grant me strength to live in obedience and submission all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For Further Study
- Psalm 37:7; Mark 10:28; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
-- Robb Brewer
Taken from Created to Be, a Gateway devotion.
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