Responsible Driving Part 1: Who's In Charge?
On Sunday 3rd February we started our series 'Responsible Driving'.
In this blog you will find a summary of the talk.
To listen to the talk, please click here.
I have written off 2 cars. Not exactly a sign of responsible driving! I could blame the car, the tyres, the weather, anything but ultimately I was in charge of the car. It is easy to blame others or our circumstances but we need to take responsibility for our own lives.
Last time I spoke about getting and giving others support in their life with God. I believe that, but I also believe that you cannot rely on others to grow you spiritually. People may support, challenge and advise.
But it is you that has to make the decisions that shape your life.
I have a Satnav and love it. It is really helpful. But I can choose to follow or ignore it. Sometimes it is wiser to ignore, like the time it took me to a quayside and told me to drive straight on. Other times it is good to follow. But who is in charge me or the satnav?
In the same way that we need to take responsibility for our physical health we need to take control of our spiritual health and development.
We need to take responsibility for our life with God; we need to take responsibility for our own soul.
For a follower of Jesus this is really important to get hold of. Jesus makes it clear in his interactions with individuals that it is up to them. In a letter that Paul one of the founders of the early church to Christians in Rome he made it clear that we are each accountable to God. Paul talks about God being at the centre of our lives and having to give an account of ourselves to God at the end of our lives. If you are not a Christian you may not think that this applies to you, but the idea of you being in charge of your life and not blaming circumstances or others does. You can read about this by clicking here.
Paul, an early convert to Christianity, has an amazing attitude to his life with God. Whether he is dead or alive it is fine. He lives for God. He believes that whether alive or dead he will be centred on God. He recognises as well that we all have a tendency to look at and judge others. This shifts our gaze from our own responsibilities. But he reminds us that we will all have to give an account of ourselves before God’s judgement seat. Each one of us has to realise that “I am responsible for taking care of my own soul”. Our centre must be in God. A soul without a centre feels constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances. But the soul comes alive when it is centred on God. For the soul to be well, it needs to be with God. Our souls were made to walk with God.
We need to spend time in his presence, listening to Him, talking to him, worshipping; because We am responsible for taking care of our own soul.
When the soul is not centred, one is never sure what temptations are worth resisting and what sacrifices are worth making. The lines become blurred, and we allow circumstances to take control but we need to take control of our circumstances.
Dallas Willard, a Christian writer, says; “YOU must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy and confidence in your everyday life with God.” arranging our days means setting priorities, not drifting. It means purpose. We all have those choices to make in life, whether it is about looking after ourselves physically, or spiritually. What we choose to say, watch and listen to and the people we choose to spend time with affect the people that we become. I am responsible for me, and you are responsible for you. Our choices will be different - but we are all accountable to God. So let’s be loving and encouraging to each other to do the things that draw us closer to God. Let’s grow together to become more like Jesus.
Imagine if we all took control and ordered our days to spend vital time with God. Not feeling vulnerable to people or circumstances, But centred on God and knowing the temptations to resist and the sacrifices worth making. All experiencing deep contentment joy and confidence in our lives with God. And at the end of it all ready to give an account of ourselves to God
1. Read the passages through a couple of times.
What word or phrases jumps out at you. What is it and why do you think that is?
2. A soul without a centre feels constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances. Do you feel constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances? If so are you happy with that or wold you like to be stronger? If you do how do you think that getting closer to God would help?
3. If our souls were made to walk with God, what does it look like to do that?
4. When the soul is not centred, one is never sure what temptations are worth resisting and what sacrifices are worth making. Does this resonate with you? if so think of some examples and if you are able share them.
5. Can you think of occasions when you have been clear about what sins to resist or what sacrifices to make? Can you think of occasions when you have been unclear about what sins to resist or what sacrifices to make? Why was that?
6. How are you taking care of your soul, are you ordering your day or is your day ordering you?
7. What is the thing that you find most challenging about this?
8. As a result of looking at this passage is there anything that you would like to change in yourself. What are you going to do about it?