I’ve been thinking as I drive to work how our Christiam walk can be a lot like how we drive on the highways. On the mornings when I am more or less alone, it is easy for me to maintain the speed limit. I set my own pace, drive my own speed. I’m not distracted by what other’s are doing and so I can pay more attention and be more deliberate about staying right at the speed limit. I don’t have cruise, so I don’t have the luxury of just setting it and relaxing.
Isn’t that how it is in our Christian walk? I mean, as long as there aren’t other’s around to distract us, we don’t find it hard to maintain our Christian values, pay attention to our words, live like Christ. It’s just not as hard to do when we don’t really have to deal with other people, now is it? But that’s not typically how it is.
On the days when there is a lot of traffic, I find myself going with the flow. I start out paying attention and not going over the speed limit, but before I know it, I’m doing what every one else does. It’s not like I hit the gas and zoom forward, it’s a gradual thing, it creeps up on me. When I catch myself, I slow back down, but it isn’t long till that speed has crept back up on me. Of course, it’s not my fault, if everyone else would slow down, I wouldn’t have a problem. That’s just obvious since I just stated that I don’t have this problem when other’s aren’t around. But who’s fault is it really?
Just like in our Christian walk, we start out with what we believe and we stand on our convictions, but before you know it, we are just going with the flow. We say, well, that isn’t so bad, this won’t hurt anyone, this is only a one time thing, etc. But you know what the problem is? Once we start to go with the flow, it never really stops. Ever notice that, a group of cars will stay together until eventually each car has exited, but the whole time, other’s are joining in. And as much as we want to blame the others for leading us astray, it’s not their fault. All we have to do is keep to our beliefs and our convictions and let the other’s go right around us. So why don’t we?
Have you ever given much thought to speeding? I have, only because of an 80 year old man who smacked me with some conviction. He said the Bible tells us to obey the laws of the land as long as they do not go against the word of God. He said that speeding was not obeying those laws and that it did not go against the word of God, so we shouldn’t speed. I’ve never studied that scripture and do not mean to imply that it really means exactly that, but I do know that even 5 miles over the speed limit is illegal and can get me fined, penalized, and arrested under the right circumstances. So there is no question that it is wrong. Have you ever considered that when you see a car driving down the road with a police car behind it with it’s lights on, you really don’t know why that person is being “chased down?” They could have robbed someone, ran a red light, been in a hit and run accident, been speeding, or many other things. Either way, the same cop will take the same actions to stop someone for any of those broken laws. How much more evidence is needed that by speeding, we are, well, *gulp* criminals? A criminal is someone who has broken the law. And anyone who breaks the laws has a consequence. Hmmm, not sure I like being called a criminal. But we think it’s not a crime because we get away with it a lot. Or we think it’s not a crime because there isn’t a cop around to stop us. But does that really make it ok?
And yet, we do the very same thing in our Christian walk, don’t we? We think, well, it’s only a little white lie. Or, I only swear/curse when I’m really upset. We think because no one sees us, it’s really not that bad of a sin. But you know what, we are just speeding Christians. Again, just like in civil law, when you break the law, you are a criminal and will be chased by police. As a Christian, a sin is a sin, sure some seem bigger than others, but they are all a sin. It’s just much easier to fall into some than others. We are breaking the law, period. And guess what, God sees it all. We not think He does because it seems as though He isn’t right there, but He is. He’s like a city with traffic camera’s everywhere, there’s no way you won’t get caught when breaking a law.
Know what makes staying within the speed limit easier? Cruise control! Yeah baby, put on the cruise and it’s all good. No need to worry about going over the speed limit. Or, if you don’t have cruise but you do have a GPS, some have a feature where they will warn you when you exceed a set speed limit. I use mine all the time. So much easier to stay within the speed limit then.
Guess what, we have cruise control or a GPS built right into us to help us stay on our Christian walk as well. HUh?? Are you looking at me saying, “Whacha talkin bout Willis?” Seriously, Jesus installed one in us. It’s called the HGS, yep, our one and only Holy Ghost/Spirit. The thing is we have to choose to use Him. Just like we have to choose to use the cruise control. He’ll put a little pressure on our brakes when he sees we’re getting into something we shouldn’t. Or we have to use Him like the GPS and listen when he shouts, STOP!! You’re starting to go with the flow, go over the speed limit. You’re on your way to being a criminal/sinner. Problem is, all to often we are in a hurry or we don’t like being left behind as other’s speed off past us. Or we are just in too much of a hurry to get where we are going and we don’t care how many rules we have to break to get there.
Try, for one week, try to just stay at or below the speed limit, no matter what speed it is. And as you do, think about how hard it is to do. But that is what we are called to do as Christians in this world. James and Peter both made that clear. As you try not speeding on the road way, check to make sure you aren’t speeding on your Christian walk. Check to see if you are staying within the spiritual law as well. You may be surprised to find out that there are some roads in your life where you are just, going with the flow.