“Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? Mark 8:34-37 MSG
I’ve dealt with this specific scripture once before however I am urged by God to reteach or reiterate this lesson. In the eighth chapter of Mark, Jesus address the crowd of people following him to inform them that their motives in being in the crowd were simply for their entertainment. Jesus understood that everyone in the following are not real friends nor authentic followers. Jesus goes further to say “anyone who intents to follow me must be willing to obey me. Any friend that desires to be a friend of mine must accept that I, (Jesus) am the leader. Jesus says as you follow me you must realize that I am driving, and you’re not in the driver seat.” This particular statement promotes submission, selflessness, and self-sacrifice. Entering into a new year and a new season, I am compelled to inform you that in this year, your hands being off the wheel is critical to your survival.
When God initially gave me this message it was in the Selfless Series, message one “Pass The Controller”. As we venture into 2018 the Word of the Lord to you is "You Can't Drive, Let Jesus Take The Wheel". Often times, whether I'm driving around my city or traveling out of town, I don't like to drive. Not that I am a bad driver. However, in my years of living, I have come to the realization that my life within my own hands is dangerous. I've concluded over the years that due to my phone habits, and speeding tickets, that sometimes it's best to let someone else drive. Most people are comfortable with their own driving and doing things their way. Some people make the bed up a certain way, while others may not take the time to make it up at all. Some people stop at all red lights, while others only stop at the red lights if someone is around. Some of us travel the speed limit, while others may be going slightly faster than needed. Some drivers are slow and steady, some are swift and precise, and some are fast and reckless.
However, despite your method of movement, in this season of life, God would have me to tell you 'move out of his way.' often times when faced with the decisions of our own, we tend to do what we want and think about what is best for ourslves in that moment in order to save us without considering how it affects someone else. Nevertheless, Jesus' message informs those who seek elevation in their relationship with him - that once you surrender to my ways it will be uncomfortable. Self-help is no help at all. Many times in the place of struggle, frustration, and conflict; we aid our conflict by helping ourselves. The point Jesus is trying to make is that 'what purpose is it for you to have control, if you continue to lose it?' What purpose does it serve for you to be the head and have the final say over your life, if your decisions continue to land you in pits of distress. In other word Jesus is saying let me make your decisions because I do things differently. I'm reminded of the scripture Isaiah 55:8 "For My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." Which implies that our mind doesn't operate the same way God's mind works.
In this next season, the year of 2018, we must begin to submit to authority, surrender our rights, and sacrifice our opinions & routines. And when I say surrender our rights, it isn't to imply giving up your natural rights, but the right that justify us from sacrificing, or in other words humbling our self even to the point of death. Jesus' tells the crowd, if you really want to follow me and be elevated, it will require humbling yourself to being killed. Self-sacrifice. He literally tells us, "believing in me, will cause you to be as me. Also, in being like me you will subject yourself to what I've been subjected to." In this moment Jesus, is prophetically quoting Philippians 2:3-8 which tells us "… Don’t be selfish, taking interest in the concerns of others… be like Jesus Christ, though he was God, he did not consider equality, rank, or divinity as something to excuse him…instead he release his divine privileges, taking the upon the lowest position - humbling himself in obedience to God and dying with a criminal's reputation." So what we see here, is that Jesus who was God had to do the very thing He in turns ask for from the crowd and his disciples.
As we age in this year, many individuals and leaders in positions of authority will forcibly have to surrender. Resignations, will increase. This will come as sign that the shifting has come, for those who have lived will die, and those who where dead will come alive. As for you, your life is determined by the way you respond to 2018. It's not about you this year but Him! In this timing of life, we must accept that, "although we may throw the dice, it is God who determines how they fall." Proverbs 16:33 Therefore why throw the dice without consulting God on how they'll fall first? Letting God drive isn't like letting your friend drive. God doesn't sleep, slumber, nor take bathroom breaks. He is sensitive to your feelings, knows your final destination as well as how to navigate through any storm and condition. Unlike many of the people who we have let drive us around in the past, God is able to see every bump and pothole in the road, taking better care of your vehicle than you. See it is in the safety of the hands of God that we can steer our life into the right direction without being overwhelmed. 2018 will be unorthodox and will be detrimental for many individuals who are not willing to submit, surrender, and sacrifice. Nevertheless, grace and favor will be found in humility. For the ability to be humiliated, is an indication of humility through selflessness. Now I understand why Grandma said "Jesus take the wheel!" It's not a matter of choice, but rather seasons.