Sunday, January 11, 2009

Two Analogies, About Cars Nonetheless!

So, for discipleship right now I am reading Disciplines of Grace by Jerry Bridges. Side note, I would highly recommend the book, even though it is kicking me in the behind on many occasions!

The chapter I am currently reading is on obeying the great commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Mr. Bridges is really breaking that down to talk about what it really means. He gave two analogies of cruise-control obedience and race car obedience. First he describes the purpose of cruise control on a car: to maintain your speed while allowing you to sit back and relax a little. You don't have to constantly watch the speedometer so you don't get pulled over for speeding and you don't have the fatigue that comes from constantly pushing the accelerator. Now, in looking at our walk with the Lord, Bridges says we tend to obey God in the same way. We press the accelerator of obedience until we have it up to a certain level or "speed" and then we cruise. He says that "the level is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. We don't want to lag behind them because we want to be as spiritual as they are. At the same time, we're not eager to forge ahead of them because we wouldn't want to be different. We want to just comfortably blend in with the level of obedience of those around us...Our particular Christian culture then takes over and keeps us going at the accepted level of conduct...we certainly don't have to experience the fatigue that comes with seeking to obey Him with all our heart, soul, and mind." He then describes a race car driver as one who pushes all the limits and uses his understanding of the track, his car, and the other drivers to do the best he can to win the race. In Scripture we are often admonished to "make every effort" much like the race car driver does.

I can honestly say that in most instances of my faith, I have fallen into the cruise control obedience. I want to obey, but why should I obey any more than the other believers around me? Because God has called me to HIS standards, not their standards.


Erika said...

This is one of the best books ever!

Teresa said...

I don't think I've enjoyed it as much as Pursuit of Holiness, but that might be because I just have to concentrate more on it than I did the other one.

Erika said...

we have not read pursuit of holiness yet.