Life At Its Best: Gear up for God's best

By Jim Graff
Feb. 3, 2012 at midnight
Updated Feb. 2, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.

Jim Graff

Jim Graff

I have a friend who owns a powerful four-wheel drive truck. Recently, his daughter and some of her friends were going on a trip through some muddy roads. He knew that if they took his daughter's car, there was a good chance they would get stuck, so he insisted that they use his truck instead.

Not long after they'd left, his cell phone rang. It was his daughter calling to tell him that she and her friends had gotten stuck. As she talked, he could hear the truck's engine revving in the background. He wondered what could be keeping the truck from getting free.

Finally, after offering several solutions, he asked, "Honey, have you put the truck in gear?" There was a short silence on the other end as his daughter looked down at the shift. Sure enough, she had been trying to drive forward while her truck was still in neutral.

Of course, it sounds funny to us since we know that shifting gears was the obvious solution to the girl's problem. But the truth is that we often do the same thing in our lives. We try to move forward on the outside without making the changes necessary on the inside. So instead of advancing, we find ourselves stuck in the same place, facing the same struggles.

But guess what? We, too, can shift out of what's holding us back. And when we do, we can shift into God's best. Like my friend's daughter, we may not always know what it takes to get there, but thankfully, we have a Father who does.

He knows the places he's called us to and wants to reveal the inward changes we must make to get us there. If we'll respond by making those changes, we'll begin advancing down roads we never thought we'd experience.

In the Bible, we see that the Apostle Paul also knew what it meant to make a shift. In fact, he knew what it meant to make a major shift. After spending the first half of his life as a persecutor of God's people, he shifted into a preacher to those people. But it wasn't until he had an encounter with God that his life began to change.

God showed him that to advance down the road he had for him, he was going to have to get out from under the condemnation of the law and into God's unfailing grace. Once Paul chose to make that shift from rules to a relationship with God, he began to experience the new, great things God had for him.

The same is true for us. God wants to show us the areas that are holding us back from entering new and better places, but, like Paul, we must make the choice to respond. So what shifts is God asking you to make? What incredible new paths could your obedience lead to? Let's not be content pursuing our own path, but let's gear up for God's best.

Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.



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