Right motivation, wrong objective…

April 22nd, 2019

He was straining with all his might to push the car up the hill. The gas gauge on the car was not working, and he’d miscalculated the amount of fuel left in the tank of his old Ford. Now he was stranded, out of gas.

The cars whizzed by one after another. Suddenly one good Samaritan stopped and offered help. Puzzled, the nice gentleman suggested that he’d be glad to give the man a ride to the gas station down the road a few miles and bring him back so he could get some fuel.

Reluctantly the stranded motorist agreed.

They made their way to the station, bought a gas can, filled it, and returned to the disabled vehicle. After putting the gas in it, the motorist cranked the engine and after a few seconds to re-prime the carburetor; it started. 

The motorist thanked the kind individual as he drove off.

Looking in his rearview mirror the Samaritan noticed something that was the oddest thing. The motorist, despite now having a vehicle capable of getting him to the gas station to fill his tank, had the driver’s side door open and was straining once again pushing against the door frame, not making any progress whatsoever.

Silly story, right? Stupid motorist! He’d been given the means to accomplish what he sought to do but then insisted in resuming the futile process that had been unproductive before.

As odd as this sounds, we often do the same thing in our spiritual lives.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 14:12 (HCSB)

It may not have killed the motorist, but it was far from productive to try and push the car to the gas station even when friendly intervention had provided a means of deliverance.

But then, how often does God provide a means of escape from desperate situations and we insist on returning to our futile efforts to resolve the issue in our own way we think is the way to success?

Success is often defined differently for us and God. You can bet every time, God’s solution will serve the greatest benefit to us, if we will accept the help He proffers us.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 (HCSB)

God has a far superior vantage point to plot our course. Yet we seem to consistently find ourselves relying on our own ideas to run the gauntlet before us. It would make more sense to turn the key to our means of transport and let what God has provided for us, take us to where He wants us to be and fulfill His will.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6 (HCSB)

We know this!  It is the basis of our faith in Jesus for salvation. The question is, if we have faith in Jesus to save us, why is it we are so often unwilling to trust His provision for us? It makes as little sense as the motorist getting out to push his car when he knows he has gas in the tank.

There are only two conclusions I can come up with.

  1. We either are impatient and too quick to act that we don’t see the solution God is providing for us… or…
  2. We are of the opinion we know better and can handle the situation with a greater possibility of success than God can.

It is doubtful that either is something we will admit to openly. Hopefully, we will confess this serious flaw in our strategy.

The Twenty-Third Psalm should provide us a better perspective of our role in contrast to God. He is our Shepherd. He leads us. His protection is there to comfort us and keep us from harm. Yet we fear. We doubt and react rashly without cause.

If the Lord is our Shepherd, His intent is to lead us, His intent is to protect us. There is a way we may think is right, but God always knows better.

With His perspective on things and His intent to use all thing to His Glory, that faith we have in Jesus needs to translate in to trust that He’s got us covered.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 (HCSB)

Time to vest that trust in the one that saves us, we’ll find that the going is much easier if we fully surrender to the will of God and do not insist on pursuing our own objectives which only trap us in “Misdirection”.

In the Grace of Jesus!

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