Manual or Automatic?

” . . . so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”  I Peter 3:7b

Everyday on the way to school my boys race to point out the shiniest, fastest, turbo-charged car on the road. They point, come out of their seats and drool over the “coolness” of these wheels.  If one of these spectacular sites happen to make their way next to us at a stop light then there’s no stopping the irresistible starring and obvious endless comments about the car next to us.  So much so that it, without fail, will draw the attention of the driver and invoke a revving of the engine and challenge to duel.  Problem is, dad’s in a Prius.  Ever try to rev an electric motor?  Impressive!  Thanks guys!

All this talk about cars has prompted a few questions from my boys about what car might be acceptable to drive when that glorious day arrives.  Of course, I’ve pointed out as many rust-buckets as possible in an attempt to divert their attention away from those hot-rods.  At one point, my eldest asked if a particular car would be suitable and I noticed it had a manual transmission.  I went on to explain that a manual transmission means you’ve got to do the work to make that car move.  Your hands and feet have to work together and every one of them performs a different job at the same time to pull it off.  It’s an art, but once mastered, can be your friend!  It’s nice to feel that power in your hands and feet!  Many more of us, however, enjoy the peace and assurance of the automatic transmission.  It just works!

I think I’ve thought similarly towards my pride.  Thinking that although I see that it’s there, large or small, that it will dissipate with time or have little consequence and light enough to be easily moved when necessary.  But I’ve come to learn — the hard way — that my pride is not something that moves on it’s own.  In fact, it sticks around, sets up camp and makes itself right at home — regardless if it’s welcomed or not.  It’s so much easier to deal with it than convince it to leave.  But soon, and it doesn’t take very long, it consumes me and among many things, occupies the room reserved for the Spirit who lives inside me.  Pride becomes my personal squatter!

Here’s my point . . . pride is something that must be moved out of the way so as to make room for the Spirit to work inside and through me.  It just gets in the way of the work He has in store for me — and others!  Paul Miller in his book A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World states that “the point of prayer is shifting control from you to God.”  The act of “shifting” happens manually — not automatically.  It is imperative that I make the efforts to “put off” my pride which is found in my old self and humble myself before the Lord and others “in true righteousness and holiness.”  By not making room for the Holy Spirit inside me grieves Him (Eph. 4:30).

Lord, may I always make room for you in my life.  My pride means I am in control.  My desire is to shift control over to you all the time.  Teach me what it means to actively choose to make room for you by dismantling my pride so that you can move in me — and others!

“You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.  Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:20-24

by:  Mark Cruver

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Filed under Belief, Christian Living, In Christ, Prayer, Pride

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