Can you remember learning to drive?

I have this vague, strange memory of being at the ripe, young age of 15 or so, and admitting to a friend that I just couldn’t figure out how to keep the car going straight. I felt like I was constantly moving the steering wheel to stay in between the lines… and I didn’t think my Driver’s Ed teacher was going to smile, wink and pass me if I kept it up.

That friend was a year younger than me, and I’m still perplexed as to how he knew what advice to give because he should not have been operating motor vehicles at the time. Nevertheless, he had some wise words that helped me overcome that pesky wobbling-wheel syndrome:

You have to look further down the road.

That was it. Instead of looking at the lines directly beside the car on either side of me, I needed to look in the direction I wanted to drive. That change of focus naturally stopped me from constantly correcting course every ten seconds.

Last week, I started a conversation about the word inheritance. It’s a word that took on a lot more meaning when my Dad passed away, and it’s a word that I found with overwhelming frequency, as I searched for it and noted every instance in my Bible, from cover to cover, in the years that followed. 

To review, we know that there are things that we inherit because of Jesus. The Son of God, and heir to everything in creation, died for us and paved the way for us to become adopted into the family of God — children of God, and therefore, co-heirs in the inheritance.

Now, Paul wrote on the subject of inheritance more than a few times, and in his letter to the Ephesians, he explained:

 In Him [that Him is Jesus] you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. {Ephesians 1:13-14}

Now, I had my heart set on giving you three bullet points to ponder today on this subject. But the first bullet point I scribbled out to help me remember it challenged me to think that hurried pace through.

Based on those words from Paul, we know that the Holy Spirit is a guarantee — some versions say it’s a pledge of our inheritance, or a deposit of our inheritance. The Holy Spirit is that earnest money you put on the table because you have every intention of buying that house. 

In our lives, the Holy Spirit can be a whisper we occasionally nod toward, or maybe sing about, or just furrow our brows about because we don’t feel super comfortable with our understanding of the Third Person in the Trinity.

So instead of the three bullet points I was ready to hurriedly type for you today, I want to share with you just one.

  • Slow Your Pace

Paul wrote to the Galatians:
Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. {Gal. 5:16}
The Holy Spirit is this promise that God deposits in us, that we have a good inheritance, that He is just getting started — but that He is very far from finished with the work that He plans to do, right here in our own hearts and lives. (Remember what we talked about last week? We’re still in Act Four!)

Matthew Henry commented on this and I hope you’ll forgive the fancy, formal language and dig in for a moment to these powerful words:

“Accordingly the duty here recommended to us is that we set ourselves to act under the guidance and influence of the blessed Spirit, and agreeably to the motions and tendency of the new nature in us; and, if this be our care in the ordinary course and tenour of our lives, we may depend upon it that, though we may not be freed from the stirrings and oppositions of our corrupt nature, we shall be kept from fulfilling it in the lusts thereof; so that though it remain in us, yet it shall not obtain a dominion over us.”

So I offer you a simple challenge this week. Remember how looking a little further down the road helped me stop wobbling between the lines and steer straight?

The Holy Spirit — that beautiful still-small voice, that wonderful deposit of God that whispers till we know-it-in-our-knower — He can whisper to you this week. He can lead you. He can guide you. He can see further down the road than you can.


My guess is, especially if you’re anything like me, you might have to slow your pace to hear His voice. You might have to step back from a snap decision (perhaps to fuss at a kid? not that I’m speaking from experience, ahem, this is just an example) — step back from the quick decision, the quick word, the quick yes or no. 

I read some beautiful words a few weeks ago that I was reminded of again, just before writing this today:

“The ability to choose cannot be taken away or even given away–it can only be forgotten.” {Greg McKeown, Essentialism}

Way back in Act One, when God gave us the Garden and the work, and the beauty of life with Him, He also gave us the dignity of choice. He didn’t create automatons or robots — He created human beings with options to choose from.

We still have that dignity — we still have choice — but He has also given us the Holy Spirit, to whisper to our hearts, a secret weapon, if you will, to help us to choose well.

What’s weighing heavily on your heart this week? Where does your soul feel a bit stuck? I’d love to hear from you and to know how I can encourage you. I’d also love to encourage you right now to slow your pace so that the Holy Spirit can help you see further down the road, hold the steering wheel firmly, and live this very precious day accordingly.



I hope you’re encouraged today, friend.
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