Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
God brought that verse to my memory this weekend, and with it an experience from my past. When I was 14, I signed up for Drivers Education Training (drivers-ed) at my school. Now back then (I’m a little older than you think!) Drivers ed was taught in two parts, the first of which was “The Range”.
The Range was a massive fenced in lot, which was laid out with roads, intersections, railroad crossings, merge lanes, parking lots, stop lights, cross walks, and a host of other various situations a driver might encounter in their day-to-day travels. The coolest part about drivers ed was the cars that were used there. The driver’s side was equipped as usual with a steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal. However, the passenger side was equipped with a steering wheel and a brake pedal as well! That meant that anytime the passenger felt like the driver was about to loose control or steer them into disaster, he could yank the car in a different direction or bring it to a screeching halt! Now you understand why The Range was fenced in!
I quickly began to realize why God had brought this to my remembrance. For most of my Christian life, I’ve tried to live with the resolve that I would go wherever God would ask me to go and do whatever he would ask me to do, and for the most part I have. However, there have been situations, moments when I was sure God was leading me in the wrong direction, or worse about to crash me into the ditch! In those moments, I yanked the wheel. I hit the brakes. I attempted to steer my life in another direction. Oh I still let him sit in the “drivers seat,” but I had taken over the controls!
Maybe you can relate! Maybe you thought the solution to your relationship crisis was to respond one way, but God seemed to be steering you in another. Maybe you thought God was giving you an opportunity to accomplish a particular goal in your life, only to discover he had a totally different destination in mind. Maybe you felt the speed at which God was answering your prayer was a little slow, so you jumped in and “stepped on the gas” to speed things up.
If we’re honest, we’ve all had moments where we’ve failed to trust God and instead “leaned on our own understanding” and taken over control of the vehicle of our lives. In the verses above, the word “acknowledge” literally means, “to know by observing and reflecting, and to know by experiencing.” With that in mind, here’s the Jason paraphrase of Proverbs 3:5&6! “With all that is in you, trust in the Lord instead of yourself. In all your ways, observe his direction and guidance, reflect on his character and ability, and in so doing experience him steer you in the right direction time and time again!”
Question: Is God just “sitting” in the driver’s seat of your life…or does he actually have control of it?