I am currently teaching the youngest of my four children to drive. If you have taught anyone to drive, you know the somewhat scary feeling of being a passenger in a car piloted by a new driver. You the passenger have little control, other than using your voice and hoping the new driver is listening to you, that they are ready to act on your commands, and that they able to act on your commands. Did you ever have the experience of sitting in the passenger’s seat, watching the road in front of you with growing concern as you get closer and closer to a car in front of you, but the new driver is not braking at the time you think they should brake? Then have you had the experience in which, without telling it to do this, your leg reaches out to push the brake pedal in front of you, except that there is no brake pedal in front of you. You’re the passenger! And you start thinking, “Where can I get one of those driver’s education cars with a brake pedal on the passenger side?”
What I have told my kids as they are learning to drive is that they should try to drive with their passengers in mind. They should try to think about how their driving is affecting their passengers. The principle I try to get across to them is that they should drive in such a way that their passengers should not be thinking about their driving. Their passengers shouldn’t feel scared or concerned, and their passengers shouldn’t have one of those automatic leg reactions. Their passengers should feel so peaceful that they don’t even notice the way the driver is driving. My wife will tell you that she does not feel that peacefulness when she is the passenger of a car I am driving! So I have some learning to do as well.
I’m telling you this today because I wonder how God feels as our passenger? Of course, we are not driving a car in which God is the passenger. But we are living a life in which God’s Spirit lives with us. What kind of ride are you giving God? Does God feel concerned or saddened? Does he feel elated and excited? Is he wishing he could push the brake pedal? If you are a true follower of Jesus, his Spirit lives in you, and that means he is along for the ride of your life. How do you think he would evaluate his experience? Then take a moment and read Ezekiel chapters 40 through 44. Yes, we’re going to cover five chapters this coming week, but I think you’ll see why, and I think you’ll see how it relates to God’s Spirit living with us.