When I was asked to speak at Wildfire – HopeNYC’s dynamic teen ministry service – I was absolutely terrified. At first I thought I was afraid because teenagers are just intimidating. However, when I prayed and dug deep into the Spirit I realized what I was so afraid of was not delivering the word of God in a way that was pleasing to Him. It brought to mind one of my favorite verses: Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
So I asked myself, “are you really getting so worked up about what these teens are going to think about you? Get worked up about pleasing God!” Romans 8:5-6 says “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Did you hear that? – the mind governed by the flesh is DEAD, but the mind governed by the Spirit is LIFE! So many of us are living to please ourselves and to please others. We may be living to win approval or living to gain affection. My question today is what are you living for? Are you living in the fast lane because you care about what people think? If that’s the case, where is that fast lane taking you? Where are you taking yourself? You’re driving your vehicle on a fast road through life, but again I ask, where are you going? You might find that the road leads to a dark place where depression cripples you. You might find yourself living with severe anxiety that turns your stomach into knots. You might find yourself waking up in yet another strange bed after a night of partying. You’re driving yourself to these places, but what if you had a different driver? Not a backseat driver who thinks they know better than you but a driver who would take the wheel of your vehicle and lead you to a place of rest, a place of safety, and a place of peace. I’m here to tell you there is such a driver and his name is Jesus! Someone say Jesus take the wheel!
When you say Jesus take the wheel, something happens. You’re probably used to knowing it all; in fact you’re smarter than anybody you know. You’re independent. So when you say Jesus take the wheel, you’re not in control anymore and that’s scary. But you’ll see you life begin to change. The things you cared about, the things that you knew weren’t good for you, you shun them. You will literally feel sick when you encounter them. The things that use to bother you, the things that caused you severe anxiety, now you could care less about. Those people who were your friends, the backseat drivers, who tried to take the wheel, they’ve disappeared. Actually no, they’ve just migrated to another vehicle and they’re trying to run you off the road.
I mean I get it, it isn’t popular to choose Jesus. You’re not gonna make tons of friends by choosing Jesus, in fact you’ll lose a bunch of them! But that’s exactly what the Bible says – it’s exactly what Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:9 “you will be hated by all nations because of me.” You’re gonna be persecuted and ridiculed for His name but you shall be blessed because you have been persecuted. Because the Bible also says in Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The kingdom of heaven??? Yes, the kingdom of heaven is ours! That is our inheritance because we are in Christ! Why throw it away to build our own kingdom on earth? Why throw that chance away by living a life displeasing to God!
When my husband and I first met, he drove a 1995 Honda Accord. It was champagne colored and he kept the paint job on it spotless. That car had neon lights hooked up on the inside. The lights were attached to the radio so when the music played, the lights would blink in the same rhythm of the music. He kept the rims super shiny; the tires were treated with ArmorAll regularly. He did all that because he thought that car would impress me. Meanwhile I was impressed with the driver! I’m telling somebody today to get impressed with The Driver!!! Get impressed with Jesus Christ. Get close to him! Tell Him – “Jesus take the wheel!”