“I was out in the front yard the other day trimming some rose bushes,” Stan commented one morning, “and I saw my next-door neighbor sitting in the passenger seat of his car. His daughter was behind the wheel, but they just sat there for the longest time. I could see they were talking, but, of course, I didn’t know what they were saying. Finally they both got out of the car and went in the house.”
“Any idea what was going on?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan replied, “just as I was finishing with the roses, my neighbor came over to talk and he told me.”
Continuing, he added, “It seems that his sixteen-year-old daughter wants to learn how to drive and he was going to teach her. They were going out for the first driving lesson.”
“But you said the car didn’t move. Why?”
“As my neighbor told it,” Stan said, “his daughter got behind the wheel, put on the seatbelt, started the car’s engine, put the transmission in drive, but she wouldn’t take her foot off the brake.”
“Afraid to move, not knowing what was going to happen,” I commented. “Then what?”
“My neighbor kept telling her to take her foot off of the brake so the car could move,” Stan said, “but she wouldn’t. They just sat there with the engine idling in gear. She was just too afraid.”
“Did your neighbor get upset?” I asked.
“No,” Stan replied. Turns out he handled the situation a whole lot better than I probably would have.”
“In what way?”
“As he was starting to get frustrated with the situation,” Stan said, “he decided that was not going to help. He told his daughter he thought it might be better for her to get instruction from a certified driving instructor, rather than from him. She agreed.”
“Smart man!” I commented.
“I told him that,” Stan said. “I also used the opportunity to tell him that there was a point in my spiritual life where I was afraid to take my foot off of the brake and let God take me where He wanted.”
“Afraid to take your foot off of the break in your spiritual life,” I commented. “What caused that?”
“Fear of the unknown,” Stan replied. “I was a new Christian and I really had no idea about what that meant. I had no idea about discipleship, but as I gradually took my foot off of the break and began to move toward greater spiritual maturity, I could see that there’s a wealth or wisdom in the common expression, ‘Let go and let God.’
“Let go and let God,” I repeated. “That sounds like a description of discipleship in a very few words.”
“Sure does, doesn’t it?” Stan replied. “Deny self by taking my foot off the brake of my life. Then take up what God has for me to take up by moving on down the road, following Him wherever He’s leading.”
“And it’s a gradual process, isn’t it?” I asked.
“Sure was with me,” Stan replied. “I got myself a little out of the way. I moved forward a little bit and saw that it was just fine. I got myself more out of the way, and we, the Holy Spirit and I, made more progress. Pretty soon, I let go of it all, giving Him full control.”
“So then,” I asked, “did you put your life on cruise control, so to speak?”
“Nope,” Stan replied. “No cruise control; that’s too limiting. I have to give it all to the Holy Spirit without any limitations. He knows where He wants me to go, how to get there, and at what speed. And I trust Him!”
Bible verses to consider:
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9.
The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. Isaiah 26:3-4.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose Romans 8:28.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid ahold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want to lead and guide me in every aspect of my life while you keep me here before I step into your eternal presence. I confess that too often I am fearful and do not let go of all that holds me back so you can have total and free access to every part of my life. Please forgive that foolish approach of not trusting that you know exactly what you want to do in and through me — and that you are just waiting for me to take my foot off of the brake that is holding me back. Please help me follow every step of your lead in trusting you fully so you can and will accomplish what you want in and through me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you taken your foot off of the brake for eternal purposes in the sense that you have accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life with him forever when your time here is completed? If no, why? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with keeping your foot off the brake so God has full and free access to every part of your life? If you sense you have been holding back without complete surrender to all God wants to do in and through you, and you want to change that, how is that change going to happen?