My dream car is a burnt orange 1968 Chevy Camero (insert your own favorite). I remember pulling up behind one at a car wash when I was in High School. My dad was with me and I told him how I wished I had the money to buy one just like it. He said, "Wait till you're older. Someday it won't seem so far out of reach."
I've talked to my wife about this long-lost dream and she said, "Even if you had such a car you wouldn't likely drive it because it doesn't fit who you are or how you've lived your life." How does one argue with such wisdom?
But, let's Image for a moment that, at last, I bought the car anyway and had it sitting in my garage, and that every day I went out and sat in the car and daily took a chamois cloth and wiped all the dust off its shiny surface. Imagine also that I studied the owner's manual and could quote sections of it from memory. And, that I went so far as to order the blueprints and schematics so I could study every detail of my Camero. And, that I joined a Camero club and attended conventions, and even once traveled to the place the factory once stood. And, imagine that I so loved the car that I talked about it all the time.
I'm sure you would think it quite odd if I had a car I loved that much but never actually took out for a drive.
In many ways, that is what we've done with our modern expressions of Christianity.
We've been saved. We have Christ in our hearts. We are his and he is ours. We love and adore him. We enjoy sitting in his presence. We sing songs about him and in praise of him, as we should.
We love the Bible and love to listen to experts who know the Book so well that they can quote portions of it and tell stories of what the Lord has done in the past. Some of us have even traveled to the Holy Land.
But while we do all that, like someone with a 68 Camero that never experiences its roar as it cruises down the highway, we often fail to so pray and believe Christ that we actually experience the power of God's saving grace.
"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4:31)
Stan Lee, the head of Marvel Comics changed the game for superheroes when he decided to make them flawed and have weaknesses instead of being God-like. People took to it because they could relate to them in a way they couldn't with Superman. A great article on Stan Lee describes this story.
From Moses striking the stone in anger, to David's tryst with Bathsheba, the Bible presents God's people as flawed individuals who trust in a flawless God. As such, they are examples with whom we can relate.
How about you? Are you humble about your flaws and shortcomings?
"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10).
The power of a locomotive boggles the mind. Some trains are more than TWO MILES in length, yet the locomotive can pull these cars across the entire country – loaded with coal and oil and lumber and ore and manufactured goods and all manner of heavy cargo. And they pull them up steep inclines, through mountain passes, and over all manner of terrain. It seems as though nothing could stop them. The combination of the sheer power of the locomotive and the focus of placing that strength upon two narrow rails results in a mechanism that can accomplish tremendous things.
But do you know what can render a locomotive completely ineffective? It’s easy – simply remove it from its tracks. Despite its great power, if the train’s engine is not on the tracks, it will be unable to move the train (or even itself) a single inch! Unless it is returned to its tracks, it will never accomplish the purpose for which it is intended.
So it is with those of us who follow Christ. God has filled us with the power of the Holy Spirit, and has equipped us to accomplish amazing things for His kingdom. But unless we remain “on the tracks,” we will become completely powerless. We must be on guard for anything with the potential to derail us and thus remove us from our God-appointed mission.
"Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons" (1 Timothy 4:1).