My youngest daughter drove a Jeep Wrangler when she was in high school. What a fun car to drive! One of our favorite activities was to go 4-wheeling. Getting off the road and muddy or climbing or dropping off a steep hill made our blood pump a little harder. I remember one particular afternoon when we were following a trail and came across a particularly muddy path. There were two tire paths filled with muddy water where Jeeps before us had gone. We ventured in. About halfway through we encountered a large rock in the center of the paths. It lifted the car so we could not get traction. We were stuck! We called it being high-centered. But for the one rock everything was fine, but that one rock held us up.
A few weeks ago I preached on Luke 20:9-18, the parable of the vineyard owner. This was a parable Jesus told to the scribes and Pharisees about how they were not honoring God. The conclusion in verse 16 is: He (meaning God) will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others. (meaning those who will honor God)” We must remember that God doesn’t extend us His grace so we can continue life as it was, He offers us a chance to begin to learn how to live and honor him.
I think our individual spiritual lives are like that parable. How often is there is only one thing where we don’t really want to submit to God? The rest of our spiritual lives can be right on track, but our spiritual lives get high-centered on that one issue and we don’t go anywhere. We can be regular in worship, Bible reading and giving but it just seems like we’re not going anywhere. We wonder what is wrong. For each of it is a different thing. But it is an area where we have trouble giving God His due, Lordship and obedience. We have gotten stuck.
In the devotional for July 10 in My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers suggests that having Christ formed in us is a choice of our wills. It is something we can choose to let God do. The problem is when there is one issue or another where we need to say, “I may not want to do this, but God calls me for obedience and I’ve been resisting.” If we want to go on in the life of discipleship, we have a choice to make. Will we submit our wills to Him?
I remember that day my daughter and I got stuck. After spending several hours trying to get out ourselves, we had to find another four-wheeler who had a chain. They pulled us off the rock and we had a wonderful afternoon. I began to wonder why we spent all the time we did trying to get off ourselves before asking for help. God offers to build His Son in us, but when we refuse to follow Him in even a small area, I believe it gets us spiritually stuck. When we choose obedience, God pulls us off the stuck spot and we get moving again. We cannot build Christ in ourselves. God’s Spirit must do it. When there are times we refuse to go on, God waits. The key to getting unstuck is yielding to the work of His spirit in us–getting His help to go on to the next level. The next time you fell like you’re stuck, ask yourself if there is something in your life you need to yield to God in; it might get you unstuck!