A Road Test of a Different Kind
John P. King, cbn.com
I have great respect for those people that run a driving school and teach others how to drive (I also give those cars with the “student driver” sign on them A LOT of room). I taught both my son and daughter how to drive, and let me tell you, it was a real adventure for me in patience, understanding, and anger management. New drivers tend to brake hard and start fast, nearly park sideways in the parking space, drift into other lanes, and “wobble” by over-steering, then over-correcting, then over-correcting the over-correction, and that’s in an empty church or school parking lot. They still need real time on the road and, hold your breath, the INTERSTATE!
The moments came when I had to reach out and take the wheel or give a “firm” word to preserve life, limb, and the paint job on the car (all in loving grace and mercy, of course). But as we drove around, I began to understand that for me, the great lesson was in knowing when to say or do nothing. The only way they would truly learn to drive is if they did it themselves without my constant intervention. Mistakes would have to be made and the handling of the car would certainly be less than comfortable on my and any other passenger’s part, but learning would take place, and that was the goal. Understanding that helped me see something about how the Lord moves in our lives, or doesn’t, as the case may be.
Without a doubt, just as I always sat next to my kids as they learned to drive, the Lord is always with us. Jesus, in giving the great commission in Matthew 28:20, concluded by saying,
“… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NASB)
Hebrews 13:5b-6 echoes that truth when it says,
“… for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (NASB)
Our Father will always be with us and can come to our aid when we need Him to. However, I also believe that there are those times when He will simply do nothing and say nothing. How else will we learn? How else will we grow? That’s why James 1:2-4 says,
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (NASB)
We have no money to pay the bills. We hate our jobs, or worse, can’t find one. Our relationships at home more resemble a battle zone than a family. Persecution breaks out all over the place, and the devil hits our weak spots so hard we can hardly think straight let alone live straight. It feels like our lives are “wobbling” out of control. If we didn’t know better we might say that the Father has abandoned us, but we know He promised he would never do that. He’s simply doing nothing and saying nothing so that we can learn and grow. Our faith is being “road tested.” If things get too out of hand, He can, and will, take the wheel. But in the meantime, we need to find that joy that James wrote about because, in the end, we will be those people “lacking in nothing.”
Spurgeon at the New Park Street Chapel: 365 Sermons
The personality of the Holy Spirit
By: Charles Spurgeon
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16,17
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 2:32-39
Observe here, that each person is spoken of as performing a separate office. “I will pray,” says the Son—that is intercession. “I will send,” says the Father—that is donation. “I will comfort,” says the Holy Spirit—that is supernatural influence. Oh! if it were possible for us to see the three persons of the Godhead, we should behold one of them standing before the throne with outstretched hands crying day and night, “O Lord, how long?” We should see one girt with Urim and Thummim, precious stones, on which are written the twelve names of the tribes of Israel; we should behold him crying unto his Father, “Forget not thy promises, forget not thy covenant;” we should hear him make mention of our sorrows, and tell forth our griefs on our behalf, for he is our intercessor. And if we could behold the Father, we should not see him a listless and idle spectator of the intercession of the Son, but we should see him with attentive ear listening to every word of Jesus, and granting every petition. Where is the Holy Spirit all the while? Is he lying idle? Oh, no; he is floating over the earth, and when he sees a weary soul, he says, “Come to Jesus, he will give you rest.” When he beholds an eye filled with tears, he wipes away the tears, and bids the mourner look for comfort on the cross. When he sees the tempest-tossed believer, he takes the helm of his soul and speaks the word of consolation; he helps the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds; and ever on his mission of mercy, he flies around the world, being everywhere present. Behold how the three persons work together.
For meditation: Salvation is all of God—the work is all done by him. And yet he grants to believers the privilege of being co-opted as his fellow-workers to advertise the gospel on his behalf (2 Corinthians 5:18-6: 1).
Streams in the Desert – January 21
- 202221 Jan
None of these things move me (Acts 20:24).
We read in the book of Samuel that the moment that David was crowned at Hebron, “All the Philistines came up to seek David.” And the moment we get anything from the Lord worth contending for, then the devil comes to seek us.
When the enemy meets us at the threshold of any great work for God, let us accept it as “a token of salvation,” and claim double blessing, victory, and power. Power is developed by resistance. The cannon carries twice as far because the exploding power has to find its way through resistance. The way electricity is produced in the powerhouse yonder is by the sharp friction of the revolving wheels. And so we shall find some day that even Satan has been one of God’s agencies of blessing.
–Days of Heaven upon Earth
A hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head winds right for royal sails.
Tribulation is the way to triumph. The valley-way opens into the highway. Tribulation’s imprint is on all great things. Crowns are cast in crucibles. Chains of character that wind about the feet of God are forged in earthly flames. No man is greatest victor till he has trodden the winepress of woe. With seams of anguish deep in His brow, the “Man of Sorrows” said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”–but after this sob comes the psalm of promise, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The footprints are traceable everywhere. Bloodmarks stain the steps that lead to thrones. Sears are the price of scepters. Our crowns will be wrested from the giants we conquer. Grief has always been the lot of greatness. It is an open secret.
The mark of rank in nature.
Is capacity for pain;
And the anguish of the singer
Makes the sweetest of the strain.
Tribulation has always marked the trail of the true reformer. It is the story of Paul, Luther, Savonarola, Knox, Wesley, and all the rest of the mighty army. They came through great tribulation to their place of power.
Every great book has been written with the author’s blood. “These are they that have come out of great tribulation.” Who was the peerless poet of the Greeks? Homer. But that illustrious singer was blind. Who wrote the fadeless dream of “Pilgrim’s Progress”? A prince in royal purple upon a couch of ease? Nay! The trailing splendor of that vision gilded the dingy walls of old Bedford jail while John Bunyan, a princely prisoner, a glorious genius, made a faithful transcript of the scene.