Believing in God vs. Believing God
Michael Patton provides a useful illustration for measuring God’s prominence in our lives…
“Most people I know have God in one of four places in their car:
1. Trunk: In this sense, God is the “go-to” God when we are in trouble. Like with the spare tire, the tool kit, or the flashlight, we only call upon him when we are in desperate need. Other than that, he has no part to play in our daily living. We believe in him, but we don’t believe him enough to let him out of the trunk.
2. Back seat: This represents a heightened conviction about the need for God in our lives, but we don’t really want him bothering us. He is like a back seat driver who is constantly whining about what direction we are going, telling us to turn here rather than there. We would like him to just be quite, but we are willing to put up with his disruptions in order to feel better about our conviction that we need him in our lives.
3. Passenger seat: This person is very convicted about their need for God so they allow him to be right beside them. In fact, this person likes God quite a bit. They enjoy the conversation and even ask for suggestions about where to turn and how fast to go. We are so proud about this level of involvement that we create bumper stickers to let others know that “God is my co-pilot”.
However, God is not calling us to any of these first three. I am not saying that if you find God in your passenger seat, back seat, or, even, trunk you are not a Christian. That is not the issue. I am talking about what it means to believe God.
4. Driver’s seat: This is where God wants to be. This is where we graduate from believing in God to believing God. This is where we hand control of everything to him. This is where he is no longer just a god in our lives, but our God. He says to us, ‘Give me the driver’s seat of your life. I want nothing less. Believe me; I know much more than you do. I want control of your passions, your plans, your family, where you are going, and where you have been. My way is the best. I know you better than you know yourself. I know you believe in me, but will you believe me. You sit there in the passenger seat and I will take care of the rest. And please…no back seat driving.'”
Read the whole post here.