June 12, 2017
You Were Not Meant to Live Life in Third Gear
[Jesus said], “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When my husband and I were first married, we purchased a five-speed Honda Civic. It was a snappy silver stick shift with high gas mileage and low horsepower. The conundrum was that I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. Steve gave me a lesson on driving a car with a manual transmission, but I was scared to death to change gears. Step on the clutch. Slowly release while slipping the stick into first gear. Step on the clutch again. Slowly release while slipping the stick into second gear. It was just too much for me to remember.
We lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the time. The primary word being hill. There were lots of hills. When I pulled up to a stop sign at the top of one of those hills and had to do the clutch-gear trick, I panicked. I feared that I would roll backwards into the car behind me before I could move forward. I was a mess. That was on a Saturday.
The following Monday I had to drive the car to work all by myself. I made it out of the neighborhood and all the way to third gear. However, when I pulled out on the highway with commuters whizzing by, I was too afraid to let off the gas, push in the clutch, and shift into fourth.
First gear. Second gear. Third gear. Even though I knew there were two more gears to go, I was afraid to engage. Third was enough for me. So I drove the poor little Civic twenty miles at highway speed in third gear. It was not good for the car. It was not good for me. When I confessed my wicked ways to Steve, he was not pleased.
Are you driving through life in third gear? I daresay some never get out of first. Some walk the aisle, raise the hand, or perhaps fill out a commitment card. But then putter along in first gear when their spiritual lives are meant to be driven in fifth. No wonder our engines wear out.
Now listen, we are not meant to slide along in neutral either. Relying on the power of the Holy Spirit does not mean we sit back and do nothing. We have to take hold—to engage the power of the Holy Spirit to do all that God has called us to do and be all that God has intended us to be.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth,” (don’t you just love it when He says that?) “anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). Now that is a commission to live bold if I’ve ever heard one. But how? How do we do that? We do it by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us.
Take a glove, for example. A glove is powerless sitting on a bedside table. But put your hand in the glove and it can do many things: play the piano, paint a picture, scrub a floor, or plant a garden. But is that the glove or the hand in the glove doing the work? Of course, it is the latter.
You and I are nothing more than gloves—powerless on our own, yet powerful when filled with the Spirit. The glove can’t do anything if it is merely near the hand. It must be filled with the hand—controlled by the hand. And it is the same for us. We have power to do everything God has called for us to do when we are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul prayed that we would believe in and take hold of the truth that we have great power as a child of God and co-heir with Christ. He calls it “incomparably great power”
(Ephesians 1:19). Immeasurable. Unlimited. Inexhaustible. He doesn’t pray that you will have more power, but that you will realize the power that you already have. But we must engage the gears to experience that power.
So what do you say? Let’s get out of third gear in our Christian faith and be about the business of living life to the full…the life Jesus came to give!
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me spiritual gifts. Thank You for giving me everything I need to lead a godly life. Lord, I pray that You will help me to see when I am functioning on my own power, and driving through life in third gear. And when I see that I’m not accessing the power You have given me, help me to take hold of all that You supply.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
God can use whatever you have . . . but you’ve got to use what you have.
- David just had a handful of rocks, but what did he do with those rocks? (1 Samuel 17:49)
- Shamgar just had an ox goad, but what did he do with the rod? (Judges 3:31)
- Moses just had a big stick, but what did he do with the staff? (Exodus 14:16, 21)
What is God calling you to use, that you’ve already got? A measure of faith? A measure of courage? A measure of boldness?
If you’re ready to get out of neutral, first gear, second gear, and even third…if you are ready to get into high gear and live the adventurous faith…click over to my Facebook page and say, “I’m ready to live bold!” Let’s do this together!
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from my book, Take Hold of the Faith you Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. A mediocre, mundane faith is not what you were made for! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith, living less than what we had hoped. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to TAKE HOLD of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you! Click on the book cover to download a sample chapter and view a quick video. And if you’re looking for a new study for your women’s group or individual study, Take Hold includes a Bible Study guide in the back.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Monday, 12 June 2017.