At the Helm
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
Psalm 37: 4-8
Early this morning as I was listening to a sermon on the radio delivered by Adrian Rogers, my mind stirred a bit when he asked the audience if anyone had ever taught a teenager to drive. He suspected that the first thing we show our teens as they take the helm is the brake pedal. The ability to go-go-go is great, but the ability to stop, on the other hand, is life-and-death critical. For me, the practical take-away of the pastor's teaching dealt with the role of the Spirit in my life.
Release does not require inner strength and dependency upon the Lord; restraint, however, cannot take hold without Him.
Just how in tune am I with the Spirit? Do I hear His promptings? His voice? When I consider the thoughts I have in my heart and what I utter from my mouth, do I show much restraint? When I think about what my flesh enjoys most, do I show unbridled release to satisfy these desires or do I pull back and delay?
The first step in exercising our restraining "muscle" is awareness. Using the analogy of the brake pedal, in order to stop the vehicle, our foot must logistically and literally move in the direction of the pedal, be in contact with it, and be ready to press down upon it. Spiritually speaking, as we learn to move our mind and heart habitually toward our mental and emotional brake pedal (the Spirit), we give the Spirit time to influence, prompt, nudge, and ultimately to guide us. He should be for us our spiritual First Responder.
Sometimes I think I might devour a bucket of nails more readily than train my mind and body to wait on the Lord. Though difficult, can I at least become aware that if I ever hope to show godly restraint and wisdom in waiting, I first need to make a move in the direction of the Spirit? Perhaps there will come a day when I am characterized by walking so closely with the Spirit, that my contact with Him at the helm blankets every decision and response I make. By God's gentle Spirit, perhaps I can better learn to wait or restrain instead of react.
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you
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