This past weekend, RVA had a mini spiritual life conference.  It was student initiated, and the students who organized it asked three faculty members to speak.  I was honored to be asked to speak on Sunday morning (and scared stiff at the same time).  But, the peace comes when we realize that it is not we who are speaking, but the Holy Spirit through us.  I would like to share a few thoughts from Sunday morning.

The theme for the weekend was “Limitless.”  I shared a thought from a Wayne Watson concert that Debbie and I went to in the mid 90’s.  Wayne, right in the middle of the concert, stopped and said, “There are two things I want you to remember tonight.  God is God, and I am not!”  I have remembered that so many times since that concert.  I shared that story and added, “God is limitless, I am limited, yet He wants to do limitless things through His people.”  Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

I would to share with you an illustration from the end of the talk.  Can you imagine what it would look like if our lives were similar to a car.  In a car there are four seats, one being the driver’s seat.  (There were four chairs and an actual car steering wheel set up on the stage.)  I would like to look at The Driver’s Seat.  It is the control point of the car, it feels comfortable for the most part, and when we are sitting in it, we are in control of where we go and what we do.

When we become Christians, we give our lives to Jesus Christ.  He comes into our lives and we give him the “Driver’s Seat” of our lives.  (I moved over from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat, the rider’s seat.)

As time goes on, there are conscious choices to be made.  Are we going to give Him freedom to lead and go where He sees best?  What happens when we start to feel like we can help Jesus steer a little bit?  “Oh look over here, Jesus. This friend is more popular and I know we need to turn this way. Jesus, You’re turning toward someone I don’t feel very comfortable being seen with…”  “Wait Lord, You’re turning down a lonely road with potholes and bumps!  There are not a lot of houses, and it looks like there are mountains and valleys.  This looks like it will take me out of the way…”

“Look over here, Jesus.  This road gets wider.  In fact, it looks like a new four lane leading to those bright lights.”  We reach over and put a hand on the wheel and help Jesus turn toward the city, but we don’t let go.  In fact, we slide partially into driver’s seat, somewhat crowding our Lord.  By now, both hands are on the left hand side of the wheel.  (I was illustrating in a Kenyan car.)  “Wow, Jesus, look how fast everyone is going!  This is exciting!”  But, before we realize it, we slide a bit more into the driver’s seat.  Now we move one hand onto the right side of the wheel and without realizing it have slid our Lord out of the driver’s seat.  We are now in control of our lives, all the gauges, shift, clutch (most cars are standards in Kenya), brake, and gas pedal.  We are doing all we can to keep up with those around us.

What we didn’t realize was that we couldn’t see the rear view mirror from the passenger’s seat.  But now it’s right in our view.  We happen to glance into the rearview mirror, and we are distracted by our past, what’s behind us.  What was exciting just a little while ago has now become very stressful and tense.  We try to hear the Lord’s voice, but the sound of the cars around us, the city noises and distractions, are drowning out His voice… Wait a minute, where is He?  He is not in the front anymore, how did He get to the back seat and why is it so hard to hear him?

At this point, I said, “Stop! Question: Who is limitless and who is limited? Who is God and who is not? Who would actually make a better driver in the vehicle of our lives?”

Truth: “God is God and I am not.  He is limitless, and I am limited.”  The driver’s seat of our lives is for Jesus Christ; it is God’s position, not ours.  We need to ask His forgiveness, humbly slide back to the passenger’s seat, and give our Lord His position.  We need to take our hands off the wheel and trust Him fully for the road ahead if we want to arrive safely and intact in Jesus Christ.

Verses that will help us focus on putting our Heavenly Father in the driver’s seat of our lives:

Psalm 139:16                         He is my Author

Proverbs 3:5-6             God is God, and I am not

Jeremiah 29:11             He has a dream for me

Isaiah 64:8                         He is my Designer

Ephesians 2:10             He has prepared a road for me

Ephesians 3:20-21             He is limitless and wants that for me

Hebrews 12:1-2             Fix my eyes on my Driver

Daily we need to give the Lord our driver’s seat.  But, if you’re anything like me, we still find ourselves wanting to help just a little bit, to just reach for the wheel just a little… No, we need to remember to pull our hands back. “God is God, and I am not.  He is limitless, and I am limited.”  It is when we trust Him fully, that we find a limitless God, working with His limited people, and doing limitless things through them for His honor and glory.

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