Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Devil in Disguise


Psalm 119:10
I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.

I am so grateful to God that He has graced me with an even-keeled temperament most of the time.  When life's punches come at me, more than likely, I will duck and roll with them, desiring to placate a situation instead of fueling the fire.  But Lord, forgive me!  When it comes to being behind the wheel of my car, I'm the devil in disguise!

Please don't get me wrong.  I'm not the one who incites road rage of any kind, but if someone in another vehicle pulls an inane or dangerous stunt, my first reaction is one that in no way mark me as a child of God.

So naturally, I am drawn to this passage in Chapter Nine of Jerry Bridges' book, The Discipline of Grace, where the author describes being frustrated by living in a tourist town, and exasperated by these visitors' lack of familiarity with it when he is in a hurry to get to work, at a Christian organization, no less:  "If I would be ashamed to have a tourist identify my impatient driving with a Christian, how much more should I be ashamed before God.  After all, He is the one I have committed myself to, to seek to please in all my thoughts and words and actions.  So our commitment to pursue holiness must embrace every area of life and must include both the significant and seemingly insignificant things we do."

Oops!  If we are committed to following the Lord and His commandments, are we setting that same example for all those who observe us in our daily lives?  Or are we negligently content to allow that devil-in-disguise persona to rear its ugly head?

Bridges offers more welcome advice as to how we can overcome weak spots in our lives that could lead to others not seeing us as Christ-followers:  "In addition to an overall commitment to pursue holiness in every area of life, I find it helpful to make specific commitments in areas where we are particularly vulnerable or prone to sin."

Specific commitments . . . Mine?  Here is the decal I've placed as a bold reminder on the rear window of my car.



Talk about a wake-up call!  You better believe displaying this Christian statement grabs my reins before that wanton, intemperate horse can even think of escaping its stall.

Some days, behind the wheel, are harder than others.  But as the psalmist declares above:  I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.

Haven't we all, as Christians, vowed to follow Christ, to be His hands and feet in this world, to set an example of the love and grace found only in Him?

I know we have.

Is it ever easy?  No!  But it is, with God's help, ever possible.

~

In what area(s) do you need specific reminders to keep the commitments you have made to God?

Prayer:  Father, we thank You for Your help when it comes to keeping our oaths and commitments to You.  We will fall and we will fail, but we can rest assured that You will correct our steps and keep us on the paths of righteousness when we confess our sins and ask, with penitent hearts, for Your forgiveness.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

14 comments:

  1. I like the analogy, Martha - being a tourist of God as opposed to being a resident. Do we just stop by, enjoy the sights, see the attractions, and then return to our regular lives - or do we move in?

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    1. Great observation, Glynn! If we are to practice commitment, I guess we'd better plan on taking up permanent residence.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Hi Martha! Isn't it amazing how grace plays out {or not} in all of our everyday experiences? It's not just a Sunday-go-to-meeting thing.

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    1. No, Linda, it's definitely not limited to Sundays, that's for sure!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Some days behind the wheel are really very hard, especially you're driving on M25 (the highway taking you out of London to the countryside)Some people are really very reckless and don't bother about the others' and even their own safety.

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    1. Sounds scary, just like our expressways here in the States, Portia. I really think with texting/cell phones, traffic foul ups have gotten worse than ever. Stay safe!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha, I used to live in a tourist town and the struggle is real! :) Seriously, I've been dealing with my own outbursts behind the wheel for months. Like you, it's not a road rage thing, but angrily calling out other drivers for stupid things (even worse with my kids in the car) is a lack of self-control and yes, I have a choice. For the last several weeks after making a commitment to not let that anger control, I simply talk to the other drivers! Ha! His grace helps me take steps in the right direction. Thanks Martha!

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    1. Sounds like God's grace is truly working for you here, Jason. Also, I must admit, I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this anger issue behind the wheel. Being aware of the sign on my back windshield has definitely helped me to straighten up and fly right, though I still, as you do, talk to the other drivers. Lol!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Martha, I so understand where you're coming from in the driving thing--due to others' bad choices I've had some close calls. That said, I'm sure I've been some not so good choices at times too. Hmm...I seem to need reminders in how I use my time better in the whole of life.

    I'm finally getting the hang of sharing your posts on Google+ and Twitter...Facebook too. :)

    Love and blessings!

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    1. We all need those reminders, don't we, Kim? I must admit, I've made some pretty dumb moves behind the wheel when I was lots younger. With age does come caution. :)
      Glad you are sharing my posts in so many places. I so appreciate that!!!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. i have my yearly bible verse taped to my dashboard. Good reminder and interesting discussion starter when passengers ride along. I am liking the daily reminders on my smart phone to praise God and say thank you too. Actually need something to trigger me every minute. LOL

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    1. I love the idea of taping a favorite Bible verse to the dashboard, Jean. I'll have to give that a try.
      It's so cool, too, that you get those reminders on your smart phone. Let me know when you have the chance how to get that app.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I need so many reminders...I don't even know where to start. But God does.
    I'm constantly amazed by how great God is. This past week has been a challenge as a stomach bug went through my family. It's hard caring for others when you're sick too. But each morning God gave me encouragement through my brief Bible times with Him that helped me through my days.
    God is faithful. He will answer when we seek Him. Sometimes not as we would like...but He answers.

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    1. Oh, I'm so sorry there has been sickness at your house, TC. That would happen too often when my children were young. Glad to know God encouraged you through it all. And yes, He will answer, but sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
      Love and blessings!

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Pray!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ...