Last night at church, my pastor was preaching from Matthew 16. Prior to attending service, I had prayed that God would open both my heart and my fiancés heart to hear the message we needed. Although we are followers of Jesus, we have both been slacking on building our relationship with God recently, and I knew we needed something to set that spark back on fire in our hearts for the Lord.
My pastor read from Matthew 16:21-22, which says:
21 “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!””.
As he preached on this sermon, he discussed that Peter was mistaken in the scene above because he had believed Jesus was thinking incorrectly. Rather than listening to Jesus and seeking wisdom about why He needed to sacrifice Himself and be raised from the dead, Peter insisted that Jesus would never endure something so horrific.
Instead of letting Jesus guide him, Peter tried to guide Jesus.
At this point, my pastor asked a question. My honest answer to the question shook me to my core and truly made me check my heart.
He asked, “Do you view Jesus as hand-holding (guiding you through life) or heavy handed?”
My answer? Heavy handed.
I was stunned by my answer. However, that question and the shock of my honest answer humbled me in that moment and brought forth great realization. Instead of letting Jesus take me by the hand and guide me through my life, I had been grabbing Jesus’ hand and attempting to pull him in whichever direction I wanted to go.
I can only imagine how child-like God viewed that. Rather than listening, I have been behaving like a stubborn toddler, trying to pull my Father in a direction that He knows is not good for me.
I am not sure who needs to hear this, but let me tell you something: We cannot do this on our own. We do not know what is best for us. We cannot guide our own lives.
Seriously. Take a moment and reflect on a time in which you took your life by the wheel and tried to steer, without any help. How did that work out for you? If I were being honest – which I am – I would have to admit that anytime I have tried to guide my own life, it blew up.
We have to stop trying to take the wheel from Jesus. Jesus is the captain of our lives and we must let Him guide us.
Sweet friend, if you are struggling to try to keep up, if you feel like the waves just keep knocking you down… let go of the wheel. Turn to Jesus and ask for His help. Surrender your life to Him. It may be scary to give up your perceived control, but trust me God has this!