man driving in car

The Driver’s Seat and the Passenger Seat

My truck, Woodrow, is now 8 years old, and the driver’s seat of that truck is one of my happy places.  I enjoy driving that truck on the freeway, but I really enjoy exploring ranch land, discovering a new pond, or just watching deer in the distance through the window.  If I’m going somewhere, I confess that I like to be in the driver’s seat.  I make the decisions about how fast the truck travels, which route I take, and even feel in control of the tunes that play.  The driver’s seat is the center of leadership for that truck.

Adjacent to the opposite door is the passenger seat.  The material is identical.  It has the same console, the same side mirror, the same height, depth, and width, and it faces the same windshield.  But it is completely different from the driver’s seat.  If the driver’s seat is the center of leadership, the passenger seat is the position of trust.  When someone else drives and I’m in the passenger seat, I have given my trust away.  I am dependent on the skill and wisdom of the one who occupies the driver’s seat.  And in most cases, I’m a little uncomfortable.  It’s not natural.

It occurred to me that those two seats provide a great picture of the difference between someone who believes the facts about Jesus, and someone who has trusted Jesus with their lives.  Even the demons know the facts, but they are not followers.  Following Jesus is a much bigger issue than believing facts.

The driver’s seat is only big enough for one person, one driver.  Only one may occupy that seat and role.

For a long time, I wanted to take Jesus on a ride with me.  I had a nice, comfortable place for Him.  In that seat He was welcome to come along on the ride with me, but I was in charge.  I called the shots, and it would be nice for Him to agree to them.  He was still God, but He was not my Lord, my Leader, nor my Savior.  

His saving power was only applied when I gave HIM the driver’s seat, let Him take the lead, trust Him with my life.  He would be only a figure of history until I was willing to surrender the driver’s seat of my life.  And shifting to the passenger seat was scary.  I had to choose to trust His judgment, His intentions, His awareness.  And I had to allow HIM to lead my life.  It was a watershed moment that I will never forget.

Jesus told the disciples, “Many will say to me on the last day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we do great things for you?’  But I will say to them, ‘Away from me.  I never knew you.'”  He painted a picture of people who touted him but didn’t trust Him.  He can’t be the Lord of your eternity without being the driver of your life.

So where do you sit?  Only one can occupy the driver’s seat.  If that’s you, then it’s not Him.  Choose your seat carefully; EVERYTHING hinges on it!

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