Christ On A Bicycle
Double or Nothing
By Phil Scovell
She was a self mutilator and just 15 years of age. As an intercessor, I deeply wanted to reach her, through prayer, with the truth that would set her free in God. My mind was touching on all she was currently facing and I wondered what I might do to make it easier for her. My thoughts, therefore, were on God and what He could do to reach her where she was.
When I saw it, I smiled. It was a pleasant memory. Shortly after losing my sight at 11 years of age, my mom found a used tandem bicycle. Friends and family all took turns with me so I could still enjoy bike riding. It had been my all time favorite thing to do as a kid, besides flying kites and fishing and ice skating and climbing trees and playing ball and swimming and building model cars and, well, you get the picture.
When I was outdoors, I normally was on my bike. I rarely walked anywhere, even to school, but instead rode my bike. I lived too close to school to be allowed to ride but since I was a member of our traffic patrol squad, protecting the little kids crossing the streets, in other words, I was granted a waver. Thus it was I was able to ride my bike the four blocks to school.
When banana seats came into style, my uncle purchase for me a red stripped down stingray bicycle with butterfly handlebars and a long banana seat. Now I was able to give my girlfriend from church a ride.
I well remember, shortly after getting my new bike, riding several miles out into the country to see my girlfriend. I just couldn't wait to show off what my new fire engine red stingray could do with its fancy speedometer, tremendous speeds, laying rubber power stops, the long banana seat so she could rid with me, and popping wheelies as I navigated just on the back wheel. She was, I'm sure, spellbound. Yeah, sure!
She lived at the bottom of a very long, and high, hill. I remember the first, and only time, I pushed my bike up to 40 miles and hour, Becky holding on to me for dear life from the back, as I did my best to keep the bike from tipping over due to the sensitivity of the fast downhill speed. I never was able to accomplish 40 MPH again unless I was on that hill near her home.
"What does all this have to do with Jesus?"
I'm glad you asked. To refresh your memory, I was thinking about my up and coming prayer session with this 15 year young teenage girl who had become a self mutilator. My heart went out to her and I wanted the Lord to direct me in every way possible in order to help her to the best of my ability. The only way I knew of doing such a thing was to make sure God was in charge of the prayer session. So, again, I was thinking about the prayer session soon to come when a childhood memory of the tandem bicycle popped to the surface of my thoughts. It was a pleasant memory and one I often enjoyed in my array of adolescent memories. This time, the memory event, for some reason, was different. First, I saw just the picture of the tandem bicycle in front of me. Then, as I peered into the memory, or what I thought was a memory, I focused on what I was seeing. I assumed, and rightfully so, I would be on the back seat of the bicycle built for two but I wasn't. I was on the front and doing the driving, as it were, and, believe it or not, I saw Jesus, yes, you heard me, Jesus sitting on the back seat peddling. I could see a large shining headlight mounted on the handlebars for conditions of darkness, obviously, and an old fashion horn, twisted like a pretzel, sporting a large trumpet bell for the sound to exit as you squeezed a big rubber bulbous ball to make it honk loudly. I smiled again but in my thoughts, I protested. "Lord? Shouldn't you be on the front and my place should be on the back? After all, you are the Lord of my life so you should be doing the steering, directing, driving, and leading."
To my amazement, the picture in my mind remained the same and the Lord said, "No. What you see is correct. I am on the back and you are doing the navigating; I'm along for the ride. I see where we are going; don't worry."
I attempted to protest further because this picture had to be backwards. When the Holy Spirit reminded me of the truth, I accepted what I saw with understanding and greater appreciation of the Lordship of Christ.
If you've ever heard me teach, read anything I've written, or even listened to some of my online audio recordings, you likely have heard me teach on this familiar passage of Scripture:
Quite simply, this passage of Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus wants to do whatever we want to do, (I.E. It is His will for our lives)
Let's read this passage again and examine carefully its individual parts.
3. In all your ways acknowledge him,
4. And he shall direct your paths.
The meaning of the passage is self evident.
1. Trust in the LORD with all YOUR heart. (Attitude).
2. And lean not unto YOUR own understanding. (Agreement).
3. In all YOUR ways acknowledge Him. (Awareness).
4. And he shall direct YOUR paths. (Application).
Did you notice the word "YOUR" is used in all four statements? If not, go back and read it again. In every case, this passage refers to "YOUR heart," and, "YOUR" own understanding," and, "All YOUR ways," and the final statement of, "YOUR paths." It is impossible, therefore, to interpret this passage without putting focus on yourself.
Attitude (Trust in the Lord with all your heart).
This is a position of total belief; "With all your heart." "Trust" is who you are in Christ and no one can take that relationship with God away from you because it has been sealed by the Holy Spirit. The attitude is where we stand, that is, what we believe. Do you believe God can do the things you ask of Him? If not, then you haven't a good understanding of a covenant relationship with Him through Jesus Christ who is, by the way, God's covenant with us.
Agreement (And lean not unto your own understanding).
The word for "lean" is (rely) and the word for "understanding" is (discernment). In other words, don't try and figure things out on your own, using your own logic, or judgment. Trying to understand God's is like asking the question, "Can God create a rock so heavy, He can't lift it?" Agreement is much more easily understood, or should be, because it is a simple position of submission to Christ. No, it doesn't mean He is above us; that's a given. It means we are in agreement with Him through personal identity, thus, submission to his will, or, agreement with Him in identity.
Awareness (In all your ways acknowledge Him).
God consciousness, which creates spiritual intimacy, is accomplished through prayer. Prayer is exchanging your thoughts for God's. It is the experience of oneness with Him. Trying to use our own discernment is a waste of spiritual energy and creates circular reasoning. In short, don't bother trying to reinvent the theological wheel based upon what you think is truth. Quite simply, become aware of His present through prayer. No, you don't need to speak out loud; your thoughts are good enough for Him. Likewise, it is your thoughts where He will be heard and found by way of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, (See Romans -27).
The Hebrew word for "acknowledge" is a word that will surprise you. It is the same word used in Genesis 4:1 which says “And Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived." Yes, that's right. It is the word for sexual intercourse, (I.E. Sexual intimacy). The question then becomes, do we know God that well, and a good followup question would be, does He know us that well? How much do we favor God in all our ways? Are we spiritually intimate with Him? I realize this is a concept impossible for most of us to believe, let alone apply to our daily lives, yet, there it is; big as life. Right in the Bible. So what are we going to do about it? Do we explain our way around and away from such Biblical exegesis? Surely it isn't what God really means; is it? If God does not say what He means, how are we going to confess His promises which He has spoken to us and for us for our spiritual benefit? Without a doubt, Proverbs 3:5 and 6 is a promise to God's children. Should we explain it away in order to escape personal embarrassment? How about sweeping it under the rug and just not talking about it? Better yet, let's just take a sharp pair of scissors and snip out this radical passage of Scripture and then we won't even have to worry about explaining it. Instead of doing any of this, why not just explain it and except it and receive it since it is God's truth?
Sexual intercourse, within the limitations and boundaries of marriage depicts oneness. The Bible, for that matter, calls it "One flesh," (See Genesis ). Jesus furthermore confirmed such is the case in the New Testament, (See Matthew 19:5). The act of oneness in marriage is a demonstration of identity between a husband and wife in love until parted by death. So, what in the world does it mean in this passage when it says we are to acknowledge Him in all our ways?" Beside, aren't we supposed to be following Jesus?
Shepherd And Sheep
“But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:2-5 AV)
Here is a wonderful passage of Scripture which not only confirms Jesus leads His sheep but He knows them individually by name. Words once carried with them power and authority. In fact, words are so powerful, one day God spoke and said, "Light!" The Bible says, "And there was light." Unfortunately, in today's society, words have been reduced to symbols printed on a page whereby our signature is required to legally confirm we will abide by the contract. Let me ask you this question. If you are married, did you sign an agreement, and, no, I am not speaking of a prenuptial, to confirm your love for each other? Of course, the real truth is that we spoke what is known as vows, words, to one another and we, from that point forward, live by those words which we spoke before God and man. Thus, a wedding is still a good picture of how powerful words can, and, should be.
The difference in King Solomon's explanation of God awareness and that found in John's Gospel concerning the leading of the sheep is Lordship verses leadership. The act of sexual intercourse is often called the "consummation" of those vows we verbalized, that is to say, words confirmed intimately. John 10:4 is in reference to following Him by His voice. Proverbs 3:5 and 6 relates to our identity with Christ through oneness.
Jesus leading His sheep by name is to take them to a place where they will be safe, have plenty to eat, and a place they can grow. Our Proverbs passage is not referring to our growth but of our relationship with Him; it is in reference to our identity in Him. In short, our oneness with him as we acknowledge Him in every way in life. That's personal; that's love!
Application (And He shall direct Your Paths).
When I realized the Lord was telling me that He wanted to do what I wanted to do, this final phrase of the passage came to mine. I wouldn't have believed it otherwise but there it was, big as life, and offering total theological confirmation of what He had just said within my thoughts as I prayed. You see, I always thought it was the other way around, that is, we gave up things, and sacrificed things, in order to be closer to Him. We, in other words, wanted to be with Him when the real truth is, He wants to be with us. "Why?" You are going to hate yourself for missing this one. Because He loves us.
When I share these things I see in the Spirit, I'm referring, of course, to the Holy Spirit, people often find what I say theologically ridiculous. This is generally due to being taught the opposite of who, and what, Jesus is, and what He wants to do. He wants to be with us. He wants to do what we want to do.
Let me target something worth accentuating. If what I'm saying is true, wouldn't believing God, and His promise in His Holy Word, be that much easier to embrace? Hence, answers to our prayers; our petitions, the things we ask of Him through prayer. He will direct our paths, not His paths; He knows where He is going. He confirms, in this passage, He will direct our paths. What happens if we make a wrong turn? That's easy. He will point us in the right direction because He is our Director. It's like riding a bicycle; you never forget.
One final thing worth mentioning. Have you ever ridden a tandem bicycle alone? I have, just to be silly, and there isn't much to it, other than being more than a little awkward. Plus, you cannot gain as much speed as you can when someone is on the back pumping in tandem with you up front. Your balance, especially when making sharp turns, needs more alertness and caution as well. Not only that, people seeing you riding alone on a tandem bike, point you out, laugh, and comment on how stupid you look riding alone. Get the picture? Riding alone isn't safe, looks dumb, and your speed capability is cut in half. And you thought having Jesus riding on the back was dumb. Think again and read Proverbs 3:5-6 a few times and see if what I said make sense. You might as well not ride at all than to ride by yourself without the Chief Director on the back giving instructions: "And He will direct your paths." It’s double or nothing. So, which do you want?
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