061. How Can I Grow Closer to God in the Car? (Part II)

07 Sep, 2012

So last time we talked in Part I, I made an analogy that getting into your car was like going to a gym in your spiritual life.  A nice, controlled environment where you can work on certain muscles. But it’s more than just getting into the car and getting caught at a red light and saying to yourself, “God is teaching me patience.” There’s a couple more levels you need to take it.

The first step of course is identifying the muscles that God wants you to work on.  In most cases in the car – that muscle is patience. That’s because the most people on the road are total idiots.  So I guess in my case my muscle that needs to be worked on is kindness or gentleness.

Which of those categories do you think throwing my milkshake at another car falls under? In the case where you get caught at that red light, if you can say, “Oh, God can use this to teach me patience.”  That’s like Step  1. Step 2 would be you actually being patient there.  That would be like doing one set of pushups.  Then you get caught behind the slowest driver ever, and you’re patient – that’s another set of push ups.

But we have to go on to step 3.  Step three is making a real connection between your workout and God. God is in control of the universe and for some reason He allowed you to get caught at that red light.  And if God allowed it, then it is somehow intentional on His part.  Unless you want to believe that things happen outside of His control. So part of Step 3 is understanding that God allowed it to happen – and for a reason.

RO 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

So Step 3 really is only completed when you can not only understand that God is in control but He’s doing things for our good AND… you can back up this belief with truth, with scripture.

If you can’t back things up with scripture, then you’re just making yourself feel better with no regards for truth. You might as well just say, “God allowed this to happen to me because He wants me to transform into a pepperoni pizza.”

So to back up your beliefs with truth, simply take verses like Romans 8:28 or James 1:2-5. So when you get caught at that red light or get stuck in traffic, say to yourself, “God had me hit this red light for a reason, maybe it’s to teach patience, maybe it’s because He wants me to avoid a certain situation on the road, but He’s doing something for my good cause it says so in Romans 8:28.” That’s when you’ve completed Step 3 because you have accepted God’s use of this situation in your life – and you’ve backed it up with truth, with Scripture.

And once you get home and out of the car, that’s when you can work on becoming a pepperoni pizza.

JAS 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, [3] because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. [4] Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Take Time To Pray: Ask God to help you remember the truth in Scripture when issues come up on the road. Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Take your pick, patience, self-control, gentleness, kindness. Since our last talk, I’ve been doing a lot of growing in the car.  Mainly because other people keep trying to crash their cars into me.