January 22, 2024
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It was one of the dumbest things I'd done in a long time. It was years ago. I was involved in this intense ministry on a Native American reservation. That was not the dumb thing. What was dumb was, I was missing a lot of sleep but I decided to drive. That was dumb.
One day we had our longest drive; seven hours to an Apache Reservation. My wife, knowing how tired I was, said, "Would you like me to drive?" "No, of course not! Let me drive." (I'm a guy!) See, I hate to ride. I like to drive. She kept offering; I kept declining. (You probably know where this is going.)
I realized I was getting real warm in the car, and the next thing I remember was my wife yelling, "Ron!" I had dozed off at the wheel. I was running off the road on a gravel shoulder in a jeep that could have easily rolled over. Man, I told you it was dumb! Well, I thank God she woke me up in time. But I made an almost fatal mistake. I held onto the wheel too long.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Letting Go Before You Crash."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 1:8-9. You might find some of these phrases applicable to your life right now: hardship, under great pressure, beyond our ability, despairing of life. Sound familiar? Well, those were the words used by the great Apostle Paul during a difficult time in his life. He found out the why as he tells us in these verses. "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death."
It's like he's saying, "I thought we were going to die." Maybe you'd like to find out why the pressure, why the pain, why the problems right now. "What's going on here, God?" Well the answer Paul found might turn out to be yours as well. He says, "But this happened (here we go) that we might not rely on ourselves but on God."
In modern terms Paul might be saying, "God was trying to get my hands off the wheel." Could that be what He's trying to do with you? See, most of us want to drive our lives; we want to control everything. Oh, we believe in God. We love God. We maybe even serve God. We give to God, but we maintain the real control of certain cherished parts of our life and we won't relinquish the wheel until we're running off the road and about to crash...or maybe even after we've crashed.
See, we were created to live God-dependent. We keep trying to live independent. I mean, you think about it. We don't take our next breath without Him. The Bible says, "In Him we live, and move, and have our being." But we want to make it happen. We don't want to watch God make it happen. We want our outcome. If we can depend on anything other than God we will. So our Lord lovingly turns up the heat.
Maybe you're there right now. You're stubbornly holding onto the wheel. You're insisting on driving your family, or your mate, or your child, or your ministry. God is politely asking to drive and that didn't work. You won't let go. And now things are crashing.
Listen to Paul, "This is happening that you might rely on God and not on yourself." When you finally let go and surrender control to Jesus, you'll receive power you could never have when you were driving; resurrection power available to those who have quit depending on their own power.
The ultimate disaster is when we think somehow we can do something to get ourselves to heaven, when the Bible clearly says, "It is not of works, so no man can boast. It is by grace (undeserved love of God) when Christ died on the cross to do for us what we could never do for ourselves; to pay sin's death penalty. And today He's ready to walk into your life and do what only He can do. But first, you must surrender control.
You say, "Ron, I don't know how to do this." Listen, if you're ready to turn your life over to Him, would you please go to our website and let's get it done there. It's ANewStory.com.
Listen to Jesus. He's saying, "Let Me drive. Unwrap those fingers that you have so tightly wrapped around the wheel."