How to Get Hit By a Truck (or God)

This past weekend we had Don Whitney* speak in each of our worship services on the topic of spiritual disciplines.  One point that Dr. Whitney made has especially stuck with me this week.  He asked, “What would you do if you wanted the experience of being hit by a truck?”  That statement caught my attention!  You wouldn’t stand in the middle of the worship center at church to get that experience.  Why?  Because trucks don’t drive down the middle of worship centers.  If you want to know what it’s like to get hit by a truck, you have to go stand in the middle of I-40.  That’s where the trucks are.

The same is true of experiencing God.  If we want to get “hit” by God- and by that I mean grow in conformity to Christ- then we have to go to the “highways” where God is travelling.  These highways are the spiritual disciplines.  Bible study, prayer, worship, fasting, giving, serving, sharing, etc. are the paths on which God is travelling.  If we want to grow in Him, we need to be disciplined to be on these paths in our lives.  Having such discipline to do these things is hard work, but so very worth it since in these paths lie value for this life and the life to come.  Paul reminded the young pastor Timothy of this truth in 1 Tim. 4:7-8- “Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Our discipline is not the ends of godliness, but rather the means.  God is not impressed by anything we have done, but in what Christ has done for us.  Yet we labor and strive in spiritual disciplines so that God can mold us and shape us to be more like His Son.

If you want to get hit by a truck you have to go where the trucks are moving.  If you want to grow in your relationship with Christ you have to get into the paths where He is working to change lives.

*Don Whitney is Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

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