I was with two friends, returning from some Native American ministry in the Southwest. We had a rental car and a four hour drive to the airport in Phoenix. And we needed every minute to make our connections. Which made the lurch pretty annoying. Every time the driver would get the speed up to about 60, the car would start shuddering and lurching. Now with a 75 MPH speed limit, that was frustrating - and we weren't sure if we'd even make it with the shake, rattle, and roll mobile we had. Now everyone who knows me knows I'm no mechanic - but I did have a semi-technical idea. I said, "He did you check the emergency brake?" Answer, "No." I had driven that car the night before, and because I was parking for the night on an incline, I engaged the emergency brake. But neither our driver or I had thought about that brake the next morning. Well, from that point on we flew to Phoenix with no more lurching, but first we had to release what was holding us back!
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Driving With Your Brake On."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Hebrews 12:1 - not about driving full speed, but same idea - running full speed. "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
Let's focus on that "everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" - for some reason, that makes me think about our lurching drive with the emergency brake on. We had the capability of going much faster than we were going - but first we had to release what was holding us back.
It could be that something like that is what would literally unleash your life to be all God means for it to be. Every one of us has a fatal flaw. But these fatal flaws are those weaknesses, those sins that just keep recurring, that have been virtually a part of who we are most of our lives. Often, they are sins that we grew up around - weaknesses that our mother or father had and we picked them up. You may be so used to this sinful attitude or mindset or action that it's almost second nature to you - a word that you just kind of accept as describing you. But your fatal flaw is your emergency brake, holding you back from going full speed.
Our spiritual brakes may be the way we handle money, or our temper, or our problems, our relationships. Whatever it is, it "hinders," it "entangles."
The spiritual breakout of your life comes when you decide not to accept or tolerate this sin anymore - you are tired of driving with the brake on. And how do you release a spiritual emergency brake? Well, the Bible says, "throw it off" - that's a final discarding. That involves several steps - a process.
- Repent of that sin. It's bringing it to the cross and leaving it there, feeling so bad about the sin that you set up your life in such a way as to not be doing it anymore.
- Release the sin. Admit to Jesus your powerlessness to beat this weakness, then make it His battle, surrender it to Him each new day for that 24 hours.
- Resist the sin. Run from any opportunity to do it, to feed it. Fight it the very first moment it appears again.
- Restore what that sin has damaged. Apologize to anyone you've hurt, pay back anyone you've wronged, make things right.
These are powerful steps to a new freedom you've probably never tasted before. That day in the lurching car, we made so much more progress when we realized what was holding us back - and dealt with it. If you're tired of your bumpy, slowed-down trip, then this may be your day to reach once and for all for the brake that has been holding you back - and finally let it go.