We recently purchased a 2014 Jeep–loaded with the latest safety technologies–because my 16-year-old daughter just got her license.
As I was driving recently an analogy occurred to me between these advanced safety features and the role of the Holy Spirit (a result of too much blogging I imagine!)
I decided to take the idea for a test drive.
Automobiles are the leading cause of death in adolescents for a reason. There is power and freedom behind the wheel, and many teens, as a result of inexperience and a desire for risk, greatly underestimate the danger.
The same can be said of our journeys through life. Regardless of how long we’ve followed the Lord, it is easy to overlook the pitfalls, potholes and hazards that can cause us to swerve off the path of righteousness and away from what is safe and good and true. (Jesus Take the Wheel)
Fortunately God knew these risks and put some guardrails in place for our protection. The first are our “rules of the road,” the 10 commandments, found in Exodus 20. He also gave us a model to follow in the life of Jesus. But He did one more thing that is very important: He gave us His Spirit as a guide, the Spirit of Truth, to direct us in the way that we should go.
Rules of the Road
As Jesus approached the end of his earthly ministry He wanted to help his apostles stay on the right path. His parting words resemble those of many parents as they hand over the keys to their children:
1. Obey the rules of the road.
If you love me, keep my commands.
2. Don’t get lost.
You know the way to the place where I am going
3. Come back home…safely.
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
Advanced Safety Features
The Holy Spirit operates like our onboard navigation system and safety package, keeping us moving in the right direction and protecting us from hazards along the road…if we let Him. With God everything is optional–He will not override our free will, so we must choose to tune in and turn on His Spirit to experience the full benefits available to us.
- Lane Departure Warning — Sometimes things of this world draw us into dangerous places; God’s Spirit gives us that helpful nudge back toward safety.
- Blindspot Notification — The nature of blindspots is that they are only visible from the outside not the inside. The Holy Spirit alerts us when our blindspots may be obscuring the bigger picture; He also offers an optional “expanded view mirror” that can help us see and alleviate those blindspots for good.
- Navigation — We can ask the Spirit for His help when we are at a crossroads in life and unsure of which way to go. While His route is not always the shortest, it definitely offers the best views and the assurance of reaching our ultimate destination.
- Park Assist — Sometimes God’s Spirit will simply help us to park it and enjoy some life-giving rest with a gentle reminder to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
- Automatic Braking — And when we encounter a danger zone God’s Spirit may slam on the brakes to save us.
Taking advantage of this offer is simple; it even comes with a user’s manual, The Bible, that directs us in the way we should go. As you learn and commit God’s word to your heart and mind, His Spirit will be faithful to remind you of what you need just when you need it; that’s why it is called The Living Word.
Additionally we can follow these steps to ensure safe passage:
- Share the road. We were not meant to journey alone. God encourages us to share the road–the ups and downs–with our fellow travelers to learn from one another’s experiences and grab ahold of greater joy in the journey.
- Stay calm. Even through the most treacherous hazards we can remain peaceful and calm, knowing that God has equipped us with everything we need.
- Enjoy the ride. Life is indeed in the journey. Unlike those hasty daily drives to and from work or school, life is meant to meander a bit along the roads less traveled. God’s Spirit is there to encourage us to enjoy the ride, as well as the magnificent views of His creation at every twist and turn.