“I know where I came from and where I am going.” (Jesus, in John 8:14, NIV)
The morning Ben turned six, he sprang out of bed, breathless with joy the day would hold. Presents, new books, cupcakes and balloons! Was this the beginning of a new life of adventure?
He raced to his bike to go on an explore, but to his chagrin, he discovered that his father had removed the training wheels. Ben’s look of betrayal said, “You broke it!” He mounted the seat and pushed off the ground with one foot. Then he shakily started, wobbled, and stopped every few feet down the road.
“Why can’t I keep the training wheels?”
“Because without them, you can ride faster and farther.”
Ben’s response was double-scrunchy Doubting-Thomas eyes.
His dad grinned. “Trust me.”
James 4:7 promises that when we submit to God and resist the devil, he’ll flee from us. To “submit” is to yield to authority. God’s authority is released as He blesses submission to His will.
To yield to authority, we need grow in wisdom, which is peace-loving, considerate, and submissive (James 3:17). Okay, but keeping it real, I can get downright thoughtless, self-centered, and rebellious. Submission isn’t that easy.
In a nasty argument I recently had with Tim, my ugly attitude and harsh words partnered with the enemy.
The devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy what God has ordained. When we rebel, we open the door for the enemy to step right through. When I’m angry, my pride revisits past offenses. My mind defaults to thoughts about my husband’s weaknesses and experiences of past hurts. I pray, “Help me want to forgive him.” I need to open my mind to the God-possibility of a stronger relationship.
Sometimes you and I are like Ben, relying heavily on the third and fourth wheels of his bike. On our spiritual “bicycles,” one of those training wheels is knowledge, which we’ve learned from classes, books, church messages, friends, and lots of other resources. The other training wheel is experience—the sum of our life stories. God reaches over with His divine wrench and takes the wheels off. He chuckles and says softly, “You won’t be needing these. I’m showing you a whole new way to tear up the road.”
And then He adds, “Trust Me.”
After we exchanged words, Tim and I stopped and prayed. Did I feel like praying? No. I was still frustrated and hurt by his words. But when I did, I came into agreement with Father God, who showed me that forgiveness is part of living “on earth as it is in heaven.” For the umpteenth time, I went back to the cross and appropriated His grace for our marriage. We asked for and extended forgiveness to one another.
God dreams forward. He purposes to accomplish the impossible in long-term relationships. I pray that as you and those you love prepare for the next stretch of asphalt, you’ll explore, shaky as they may be, wheels-off God-adventures, faster and farther than you’ve ever encountered—together.