Today I am sharing how the Gas Pedal Test taught me how to seek direction for God’s will in my life.
Real Life for me always means making minor adjustments. Sometimes they are adjustments we think about with great diligence. Other times they happen slowly, and we hardly notice them.
It reminds me of the conversation I had with my son, Nathan, years ago. I was driving down the road and he started asking me about the foot pedals. He wanted to know about the one on the far right, and I told him that it wasn’t really a pedal, just a pad for resting my left foot, while the right one does all the work.
Then he asked if it was hard to adjust my speed.
“No, I’ve been driving for so many years … and I suppose it’s natural now. I do it without thinking. I think ‘slower’ or ‘faster’ as I read speed limit signs, or take in the road conditions, but then my foot works without me really thinking about it.”
Then, I told him about the brake pedal. It works the same way … I’m used to the right amount of pressure to slow me down and bring my vehicle to a stop.
Lessons in Our Walk With God:
Aren’t we the same way in life? We read the signs, take in the conditions, and speed up or slow down. For example, if I notice one of my kids seems “disconnected” I may suggest a lunch date. Or, if an editor approaches me with a project, I may “speed up” my writing goals to fit it in. It’s part of our lives we don’t think about much often.
The problem comes, though, when we want things to speed up (such as publishing goals, potty training, adoption paperwork) and it doesn’t. Or when we want things to slow down (such as dirty toilets, kids’ activities, and the ticking clock) and they refuse to comply.
Life, it seems, isn’t as easy to control as a gas pedal on a car.
I was thinking about all of this, when I came upon two short verses in Acts,
“Then [Paul] began preaching daily at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for the next two years so that people throughout the province of Asia–both Jews and Greeks–heard the Lord’s message.” (Acts 19:9-10)
For two years, Paul preached DAILY. That must have been a big challenge. Did he come up with a new sermon every night? Did he feel stuck … wishing he could move to another place, and wish the people’s acceptance would “speed up” so that he could move on?
Or maybe Paul wished things could slow down. That he could cut back to three days instead of seven. Did he lament that he didn’t have time to garden or bake like he used to? Or that he didn’t have a day when he could just kick back and do nothing?
I’m sure that both things could have occurred. Paul was human after all. What we do know is that people throughout the province of Asia heard the Lord’s message.
Here are three things I’m taking away from this today:
Three Things to Learn From The Gas Pedal Test:
1. Speeding up and slowing down should be the Lord’s business. If we are centered on Him, reading the signs He gives us through the Bible, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the church, we should know how to adjust.
2. If we KNOW we are at the right speed, then the Lord’s message should be communicated through our words and lives. It’s Jesus’ directive after all: to spread the Good News and to make disciples. If we’re on the right track and at the correct speed, our lives should naturally be doing both.
3. We need to speak the Lord’s message to those who God brings to us. Paul was in one place, and the Bible says, the “people throughout the province of Asia” heard the Lord’s message. Obviously, this meant that the people came to Paul.
Who has God put in your life? Remember NO ONE seeks after God unless God is doing a work there. If God has put someone in your life who is seeking answers, do what you must to minister to that person.
This recently happened to me. A young mom recently called to tell me she’s getting married and she wanted to bring her boyfriend to meet my husband and I. It was very clear from our dinner and the conversation on my couch that this young couple was eager to be mentored and had open hearts to hearing about God. Seeing this, John and I knew what we had to do. We invited them to come over weekly until the wedding in August, just to talk about marriage and life and God.
John and I only had to make eye contact to know what we were both thinking. One look at him, and I knew it was okay to add this commitment to our lives.
And ever so gently the speed of our life altered. It was a small adjustment, but it was made with ease. Clearly, it was God at work and we had to join Him.
So, today, what is God speaking to you? Keep the pedal steady? Slow down? Speed up? Break? As you seek Him, I trust that You will know. As you use the gas pedal test the Lord will direct you. And the more minor adjustments you make, heeding His voice and adjusting the gas pedal, the easier it becomes.
Almost like second nature.
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