Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Car Trip (07/18/05)
- TITLE: Disabled In The Breakdown Lane
By Doug Laird
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Depending on one’s location, such an event can place its occupants in harm’s way.
The sight of a police car’s flashing overhead lights in one’s rear mirror is usually not “good news” for a motorist, but when it is an indication that help has arrived for a motorist in distress it can be a much welcomed sight.
Being sidelined by a dysfunctional vehicle can present a great analogy for what happens to many Christians in their walk with God and explains why it is that so many of us fail to make the necessary repairs to get underway once again.
The obvious occurrences such as running out of gas or getting a flat tire does not take the skills of a mechanic to identify the cause of the breakdown or what has to be done in order to make the vehicle operational again.
This is analogous to obvious and overt sin in the life of a believer. No one needs to acquire a whole lot of discernment to know when he has committed the type of sin that is a violation of commonly excepted principles of morality such as lying or stealing. These “flat tires” and the required repairs (1John 1: 9) are obvious.
Motorists or passengers can simply choose to spend their time bemoaning their situation, blaming themselves or others, or they can acknowledge the problem, make or arrange for the necessary repairs, and get under way once again.
When a believer is sidelined in the spiritual life as a result of an obvious sin(s), he too, can enter into self-pity, bemoan his situation, or he can acknowledge, confess, and forsake the sin and get under way in his spiritual life once again.
The same principle applies when motorists get lost and off course. They can spend their time pointing fingers of blame, or they can seek directions from a reliable source and get back on course.
Most men have a problem with the sin of pride and hate to stop and ask for directions. This requires humility to admit that he could use help. Even when they succumb to the inevitable, they are suspicious of whatever directions they receive from the one they perceive to be an “idiot”. Our hurt pride allows us men to commit these mental attitude sins and develop such negative appraisals of others, yet it is we that are the ones who are lost!
The spiritual analogy is that human nature in both men and women will try every known cure to “fix” spiritual problems through human means. God will allow us to do so in order to teach us the futility of such activity. When we finally come to the end of our options and resources, it is then that He will intervene in the situation.
In the spiritual realm, the Bible is the “map” and source of spiritual directions. When it is “read” and properly applied, our way will be clear to us. When we “make the wrong turns” it will also provide us with the information we need to get back on course.
Where problems get to be complicated, is when we pull off the road due to a dysfunctional vehicle and we cannot determine the cause or care to address the real problem and solutions to our circumstances. The fact remains, that until we do, we are going no further.
The spiritual analogy is similar. Sin is sin and once we are disabled in the spiritual life by it, we can go no further along the road to spiritual maturity until it is addressed.
It may take a while for us to discern exactly what the problem is, but it is usually the refusal to deal with it that consumes most of the time we waste sitting on the side of the road.
Once God the Holy Spirit reveals an issue to us, we can go no further along the road to spiritual maturity until we address it.
We can try to compensate by polishing up the overt parts, but unless we fix the one “under the hood” that He has revealed to us, we will spend the rest of our “trip” disabled on the side of the road.
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