When we take the wheel
Are there some things that you know you are doing that are wrong? Again and again you promise God that you will never do it again, but before you know it you’ve failed once more. How many times have you promised yourself never to enter a porn site again and the next night you’re sitting alone in front of the computer … click, click, click…
Time and again I’ve promised myself to keep calm when my wife and I disagree, just to go completely ballistic around the next corner, which leads to a small battle. So unnecessary and followed by an ice-cold ceasefire that nobody enjoys – and all of that simply because I took control.
Having the best intentions, only to fail again around the next corner.
One morning I woke up with this image in my mind. Life is like a rollercoaster passing by again and again. More or less the same events happening over and over. And we will stumble over exactly the same things as before if we do not learn how to deal with it. Problems buried alive never die.
Children play an electronic game where a little man has to jump across some obstacles. As the game progresses the obstacles come rolling in from all sides, faster and faster. You must learn to jump over them, because if your foot catches on one of them, you’ll fall down and will have to start all over again.
To get back to communication between married partners. I realise that disagreements will come rolling in from different directions over and over and over again. I realise that I’ll have to learn the skill to deal with them, otherwise my foot will catch, I’ll stumble and start a small battle once more, leading to a cold ceasefire in the end. And worst of all: I’ll have to start again, right from the beginning.
The question is: Which skill should I acquire? What is the common skill or technique that I should master to keep me from making the wrong choices over and over? What should I do not to put my own needs first? What should I do not to give the victory to sin?
The Bible says I must hand over control. When I look back at my own ability to control myself the evidence doesn’t look good. I’m not a good manager of my own life. I fail the learner’s test every time. My story is actually a very sad tale of someone who is totally unable to take the wheel of his own life.
God knew this. God knew we’re unable to hold the steering wheel of life. Life is simply too difficult and we have limited ability to make the right choices. So He gives us the following advice: 16My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.
This sounds like an excellent plan, a simple solution. But it’s not that easy, because we long to get behind the wheel. Like a child who wants to sit on dad’s lap to pretend drive, we clamber onto the Holy Spirit’s lap and take the wheel. And the result? A cold ceasefire or even bigger chaos.
Ask the Holy Spirit to take control of the steering wheel of your life. If after the dust has settled, you realise that in the struggle you’ve tried to take control once again, confess it immediately, let go of the wheel, and try to keep your hands away from the wheel.
We must practice letting go of the steering wheel. We must keep on allowing the Holy Spirit to take control. You can trust Him for a safe journey.
Is the Holy Spirit driving your life?
Where do you take over the wheel?
How can you give it back to the Holy Spirit?
Lord, I must confess that I often take the steering wheel of my life. I don’t want to do it. I want the Holy Spirit to take control. Please help me not to grab the wheel again. Amen