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Devotionals : God In the Driver's Seat
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God In the Driver's Seat

By Michael Lane, Executive Director, Delve Christian Ministries
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"If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat. But if you keep turning away and refusing to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!" - Isaiah 1:19-20 (NLT)

Last week as I made my way to the office, I felt a familiar "thud" as the car approached a red light and the automatic transmission down-shifted. It was a symptom I knew all too well, since the same problem three years earlier had necessitated a long and costly rebuild of the transmission. Now with over two-hundred-thousand miles on the odometer and a whole host of other small mechanical problems, I knew it was time to retire this car and start shopping for a new one.

My wife and I discussed which manufacturers we would consider and which we would not. We solicited recommendations from friends and family and spent hours on the Internet reading reviews. Finally, we narrowed the list to two manufacturers. Since each had only one model in our price range, we essentially had two cars from which to choose. I test-drove each one and carefully priced them with the options we needed. We considered safety, reliability and fuel economy. We calculated the monthly payment based on the available interest rate and finally made our choice. I went in to the dealership knowing exactly what I wanted and what I was willing to pay, and gave the salesman one of the quickest and easiest commissions he would ever have. Four days after the first signs of transmission trouble, we had signed the paperwork on a new car.

As I lay in bed that night waiting to fall asleep, I considered how thorough and efficient I had been in choosing the right vehicle for our family's needs. I had not succumbed to emotion, nor had I impulsively purchased the first good deal I found. No, I had made a very well-educated and informed decision. "What a smart and responsible man I am", I thought.

Just then, I heard the small voice which I have come to recognize as the Holy Spirit. He whispered, "You never asked me what I wanted you to do."

I immediately felt convicted and ashamed. It was true! During the entire four days, I had not even once stopped to pray and ask God which car was right for us. I never asked for His guidance or assistance. I never even asked God if we should be buying a new car at all. Worse still, I never thanked Him for allowing us to have the ability to buy a new car at a time when so many others are suffering financially. For four days, I never once spoke to God about the situation even though it was the most important issue on my mind at the time. I simply forged ahead, relying on my own limited judgment to guide me.

I should know better. In the three years that Delve Christian Ministries has been publishing devotionals, I have written frequently about the need for relying on God, surrendering to His will and allowing Him to be in control of everything we do. Yet, here I had a perfect opportunity to put these concepts into action and failed miserably. As a result, I may never know what God intended to give us or what consequences we might face as a result of not seeking His will. I don't believe that God punishes us each time we wrestle with Him for control over a situation. No, he does something much worse - He leaves us to our fate and permits us to bear the full brunt of all the consequences of our choice.

We must not make the mistake of thinking that surrendering to God is something we do once and never again. Total surrender to God is not a state of being which we can achieve and then ignore. It is a moment-by-moment way of living that we must practice every day of our lives. Some are better at it than others, though with practice, each of us can become more experienced at living this way. Yet, even those who have become very good at daily surrender still need to put it into action at every opportunity.

We should not think that surrender is an abstract, intangible concept with little practical application to our daily lives. Every choice you make, no matter how small, presents a real opportunity for you to surrender your desires to God and to seek His will. The practical application is this - before you contemplate the decision before you, pause for a moment and speak with God about the issue at hand. With every choice, there will be something you desire and something you do not. Tell God that what you want is not as important as His will and that you will accept and embrace His will, even if it is not what you desire for yourself. Next, ask God to reveal His will to you. Pray for the wisdom and discernment to know what direction He would have you take. Ask Him to reveal the paths you should follow, and hide those which you should not.

Once you have done all this, take some quiet time alone and carefully listen for God to speak to you about the issue. Be patient, and await the arrival of that sense of peace which informs us that we have understood the message which God is trying to convey. Do not act until you have that peace to guide you unless the matter is urgent and you need to move quickly. Even then, do not act until you have at least taken a few moments to call upon God and request His help.

All of these I failed to do as I considered my purchase. It would have taken mere moments for me to spend some time in prayer, but I was too wrapped up in my own cleverness and my own desires for a new car suited to my liking. Thankfully, today and tomorrow will present new opportunities for me to surrender, and hopefully I will have learned my lesson. I also hope that each of you can learn from my mistakes, and that you will be able to recognize your own opportunities to surrender to Him.


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All to often I do the "little" things on my own... What a wake up call! We need to (I need to) look to God for everything, not just the big things!

3/30/2009 4:16:09 PM - anonymous

God is good and I believe that we should trust God to guide us through every decision that we have to make. If this means praying about every thing we ought to do then so be it. I love God and i have experienced times when i did things and did not ask God what was best. Well you would know i regret the decisions i made. But I have also experienced times where i asked God for his help and he came through for me and always does. Trust God!
4/3/2009 8:51:39 AM - anonymous

Thank you for printing this article and the application I can use. Most helpful !!
4/7/2009 11:11:25 AM - anonymous

I'm currently struggling with the application of this Godly truth. I took time to read Isaiah 1 for the sake of hearing the verses in context. I know it's what God wants and that humbling myself before God is the 1st step. Every time I open the link to this devotional I'm challenged anew. Thank you for your honesty. It helps to see others "being real".
4/18/2009 8:43:56 AM - anonymous

As I read this devotional....I pray!!! Lord gude me completely....wholly. I want to listen to your still small voice. I ask for your help. As the world swirls around me in all it's worldly things....I want your direction in my life. I only listen for your wisdom and guidance. Lord, here am I....send me!!!! Amen.
4/20/2009 12:12:46 PM - anonymous

Wow so many times I have relied on self. God is amazing that no matter what He still cares for all His children. Your will not mine be done! Simple but powerful.
4/29/2009 6:00:57 AM - anonymous

This is so true... we focus soooo much on what we want that we forget to even listen to what The Lord may have in store for us. I love this devotional. It makes so much sense. :-)
5/5/2009 9:14:33 AM - anonymous

This all happened for a reason and you sharing this story will help everyone who reads it. May God keep you in the palm of his hand and bless you!
5/9/2009 4:35:02 PM - anonymous

wow! amen. agree. the tendency to set somethings aside as "what i can take care of alone" is huge. only ever goin' to God as a last resort, when all else fails. thank you for blessing me with this word
5/10/2009 6:16:21 AM - anonymous

yes ...God is the alfa and omega.......
5/11/2009 5:31:51 AM - anonymous

Amen to every comment left before mines. I'm blessed that the Holy Spirit guided me to this devotion. Your testimony has really opened my eyes to the fact that I don't consult and ask God what he wants for me on every aspect of my life, just the big stuff and to be honest I ask then, but I don't always wait for God's answer. What a shameful,and selfish act I have been committing before Jesus. But thats ok, because God is merciful, gracious and just in all his ways and he loves me(us) inspite of. So your testimony was a blessing sent straight from Jesus to help all this children who have been in the driver's seat a little to long or to many times. Thank you for this devotion and may God continue to bless you real good. Sister-in-Christ, Ms.C.Jakson
5/11/2009 11:48:54 AM - anonymous

I know that God is good and that He loves me and will never forsake me. I am seeking His will for us but it has been one road block aftere another. I ask for His peace in making the right decisions and when I think I am doing the right thing, another road block. I am getting really confussed.
6/28/2009 8:04:06 AM - anonymous

Thanks so much for sharing this story. We are to acknowledge Him in all our ways and He will direct our paths. Call to HIm and He will answer you.
7/2/2009 12:09:25 PM - anonymous

I read the Scripture you enclosed with your devotional. What I got from that is GOD is asking us to be obedient to Him, and live Justly & Fair to People, I am sure that is attached to us seeking Him, because His WORD Declares That if we seek HIM First & His Righteousness. All of what we need will be given to us as well.

I believe that in to mean He would have the best for you.
11/5/2009 10:05:04 PM - anonymous

Faithful everyday in the small things.God will entrust you with more.

This is so true.we need to bring God in to every aspects of our life.

At this moment right now, i recall that i have to thank my Father in heaven for everything and in every situation.Im taking things for granted.This is really a wake up call.He is the one that provides,he is the one that knows our best.So often im seeking Him in prayer,but forget to thank Him for and in everything everyday.
when we pray we should spend some time thinkin about all the things we can thank him for during the day.
And ask him what his will is for us.

God bless you!
2/17/2010 8:11:13 PM - Frelse, Member of Delve into Jesus since 10/24/2008

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