Knowing God’s Presence Pt. 1 – Don’t take a back seat?
Don’t Take a Back Seat To God!
A lesson in Brokenness
Before I begin, let me just tell you a quick story. I have a son, his name is Addison V, and he is the cutest little booger I’ve ever seen (it’s not like I’m biased or anything). One day not too long ago, my wife finally had enough faith in me to leave him alone with me so that she could have a little “girl time,” and as she was hurriedly getting everything laid out for me, she gave me a few instructions. Among them were “nap and dinner” in that order! I could do that, right? Nap and Dinner… and the great thing was, she had already laid out and packaged what he was supposed to eat! Easy peasy.
Well my wife left and after Addison and I had both gotten up from our fantastic naps (the joys of fatherhood), I buckled him into his highchair, microwaved the roast he was supposed to eat, and proceeded to try and feed it to him… key word being try.
I never knew the struggles of motherhood! My boy wouldn’t eat. He usually would pack it away, but I couldn’t get anything down this kid’s gullet. I can’t let my wife come home and see that I couldn’t hack it as a “Fommy,” I thought to myself. But I finally did something that changed the game, something revolutionary! I turned the spoon around and took a big ‘ol bite. After he saw me eat it, he had no trouble horking down two or three bowls of the stuff. I tell you this story in order to say, somethings must be tasted before they are served. This is something that God has been working on me and in me with. Something He is continuing to teach me, something I wish to share with any who will hear. So please read on graciously. What is written below is from the heart.
I MUST ADMIT, the title may be a little confusing, but it isn’t untrue. It is exactly where I stand.
For many years I’ve heard different phrases concerning our yieldedness to God ranging from: “Let Jesus be your GPS,” to “Jesus should be in the driver seat and you in the passenger seat,” and even “Don’t even get in the passenger seat, get in the back seat and let him drive!” And while all of these have a sliver of truth in them, I don’t believe it encapsulates fully what must be done in the Christian life.
God has not called us to step out of the driver’s seat, but out of the car itself! You say, “that makes no sense!” And you would be 100% correct in human thinking, but His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts! God has not merely called us to be displaced but replaced by Jesus Christ Himself. Check out Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Christ beckons to the Christian who would follow him to “take up his cross daily” (Luke 9:23), and Paul illustrated this beautifully in his own life, “I die daily,” (1 Cor 15:31).
It is never easy to take our hands off of the steering wheel and let Jesus simply steer, but even then our Adamic ego will still say, “At least I’m in the passenger seat so that I can still see and give some input.” The old man is bruised but not broken.
We could get a little more spiritual and say, “I don’t even trust myself in the front seat so I’ll jump in the back,” To which the Adamic ego says, “At least I’m still in the car!” Bruised but not broken.
Can I ask you to be honest with yourself? Would you be ok stepping out of the car and watching Jesus drive away? Letting it be not “Christ and” but “Christ alone?” Are you willing to see NOTHING of you in that car so that Christ might have all and be all?
This is revival and this is brokenness.
A brokenness over sin in every form and a brokenness of our will. It is us saying not I but Christ! Jesus did not ask you to take a back seat to Him, He asked you to die. How does that make you feel? Whatever it is in you that bucks against that thought is “self.” It wants to stay in the car! And any thought of self being removed totally, will bring resistance. Are you willing to be a living SACRIFICE?
The cross and the altar are not pretty places… they are places of death. Everything that gets on the cross, dies their. When was the last time your ambitions, your desires (whatever they might be), your “you,” climbed onto the cross and died?
Revival is when you finally step out of the car and let Jesus fill it. Revival is death so that the life of Christ may live in your vessel. It is painful, but it is beautiful.
Paul said that Paul was dead. He died on the cross with Christ, and this he did many times a day. My friend you have victory not by trying but by dying. When a sinful desire threatens to draw you away (James 1:14), realize that victory comes not by fighting, but by surrendering to Christ and His will.
“So how do I live?” one may ask. The same way Paul did… “Christ in us the hope of glory,” “When Christ, who is our life.” When Paul was asked who lived his life his answer would have been…”Not I, I died, But Christ lives in me.” Don’t worry, don’t spare any part of you, let it all die! Any essence of you that needs to be in the car is already in Christ raised in newness of life. There is no room for Christ and… simply Christ, and that is all.
Paul had stepped out of the car and let the fruit, not the works, but the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit be wrought in and grown in him by Christ Jesus.
So, will you get out of the car? Will you die to self and self-will?
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:24)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” -PAUL (Romans 12:1-2)