Steering and Direction: Jesus Take the Wheel
You’ve probably all heard that song from back in 2005. While some found it to be an encouraging reminder to trust in Jesus with everything in their lives, many people simply found the concept a bit too…well, cheesy. I tend to fall in the latter camp, in spite of my own views of Divine Sovereignty.
But I was asked a question yesterday that has got me thinking about direction, whether that be in my own life or in the context of this blog. Yesterday, I was asked how I was letting the Spirit of God guide my day-to-day life. Aside from not really knowing how to have a conversation about that (what do I say? “Prayer, and, um, ‘being open’?”), it did provide me with a bit of a springboard to jump into these thoughts.
Here’s the thing. I happen to stand at a place where I put a lot of emphasis on the sovereignty of God. Some have labeled me a Calvinist, and they would be right, provided they employ the right understanding of the term Calvinist (I am by no means a Hyper-Calvinist, who does things like deny free will). So when someone asks me how I’m letting the Spirit of God guide my life, I kind of think “Okay, so, I’m pretty sure that the things I’m doing in my life right now are good. And since I also think I’m currently acting in such a way that continually desires to please God more, I’m fairly certain this is precisely where the Spirit is ‘leading’ me.” The person who asked followed up by asking how I was going to be open to the Spirit over the summer, when I’m working full time, going to school, and keeping up with various responsibilities (including blogging here). My gut reaction is simply “Um…by doing those things?” The things I am doing are actually the things I think I should be doing, by God’s design.
Time to step a bit away from the personal reaction to the question. The interesting bit of this post is not that I think I’m in a pretty good place, but rather that I’m pretty confident that Jesus gave me the wheel. You see, even as I place a high emphasis on the sovereignty of God, it seems clear to me that we are given power and strength to act. What would be the significance of Pentecost of we were to never go out in that power?
What my argument boils down to is this: do not let your desire to ‘follow the Spirit’ push you into a place where you do not act. Too often have I seen people paralyzed by their fear that they were not acting properly because they did not receive an audible or obvious word from the Spirit. Do not let your beliefs about the Spirit destroy your ambition. It is possible to take this too far, and we must not ignore the Spirit or ignore the teachings of Scripture. But too often have I seen people ‘sit on an idea’ for far too long, because they felt like they lacked direction. Sometimes our passions are that direction, and we should just go try something.
In some ways, even blogging is an expression of my own action in regards to this argument. I felt a passion for writing, and decided to try my hand at it. It very well could have been fruitful or a complete waste of time. So far it has been the former, but who knows what will happen in the next year or two? The point is, sometimes we just need to go act. Don’t make Jesus take the wheel. He’ll take care of it when you pass out, but for now? Keep driving.
Note: While referring to the song “Jesus Take the Wheel,” I am specifically referring to the mentality of the chorus, not the verses. While the verses talk about specific instances of asking for Divine Intervention in daily lives, the chorus reflects the idea that we are to ask Jesus to guide our lives in both a daily and practical sense. While Jesus certainly needs to save us from the road we are on (to use the language of the chorus), it is also true that we are to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling.’