by Rick Anderson
I thought of the road and I started to get this vision of a highway. It was a hundred lanes wide with traffic as thick as Los Angeles but without the gridlock. It was going at 80 or 90 miles an hour with no rules, with no congestion, with people cutting in front of other people and being rude to each other. There was a car towing a toy hauler, towing a boat, towing a quad trailer, and a motorhome towing a boat, a quad trailer, and a car. They had no regard for anybody. Everyone was out for themselves. I saw exits that were 10 lanes wide with giant, jumbotron exit signs marking them saying:
SIN CITY - STAY ALL YOU WANT JUST LEAVE A LITTLE SOUL
And huge signposts over the freeway that said:
HOOTERTOWN - 5 MILES
LUSTVILLE - 6 MILES
GREED AND AVARICE JUNCTION - NEXT RIGHT
As I passed exit ways where the cars came back on the freeway, I noticed a little tiny signpost and a one-lane road taking off into a place unknown. The signposts were hard to spot. They were like a street sign compared to a huge billboard. Their streets changed.
One said: HOPE.
Another said: PEACE.
The final one said: REDEMPTION, SALVATION, FORGIVENESS.
I tried to work myself to take one of those roads, but I kept getting blocked off; sometimes by other people, sometimes by own anger, or my own desires for greed, for sin, for lust. Finally, I got myself ready to take one. It didn’t matter which road I took as long as I could get off the road I was on.
And so, I took one of the exits. Mine said hope. The scripture that God gave me for this is in Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, but small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” (NIV)
There are some translations that say that the wide road is an easy road and the narrow way is hard. And I think it’s the first junction that we come to in this narrow road when we find out exactly how hard it is.
As I took this narrow road, I came to a merge lane shortly after I left the highway. I had a semi-truck in my way. It’s waiting there for me. The cab is golden. It had lettering on it that said: F,S & HS, Inc. (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Inc.) The trailer that it was hauling was normal length and gleaming white. In stark letters on a background of a hill are three “T’s” with the writing Trinity, Trucking, and Transport.
As I came up to the merge lane, I tried to force my way on and say: “Ok. I”m here. Move over! Let me on!”
I heard a voice saying: “No. This is my road. I made it. I was here first. You need to yield to me.”
That’s hard to do. Yielding to God is hard. To actually stop and say: “I surrender. I give you everything,” is tough because we want to keep control of things. We want to hold onto things. We want to grasp things rather than let go of things; rather than surrender. The first lesson that we learn when we get on God’s road is to submit to the Lord. James says, “Submit yourselves to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Job says it this way in Job 22:21,22, and 26: “Submit to God and be at peace with him. In this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.”
Most of the time when I enter onto a freeway, I can do it with no semis there. But when I enter onto God’s freeway, I meet the semi right in the middle where He is still in front of me, right next to me, and right behind me. I can’t speed up to get in front of him. But I can slow down and get in behind.
John the Baptist knew that Jesus was in front of him and behind him when he said in John 30: “This is what I meant when I said a man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.” John the Baptist knew what later was written in Hebrews to be true: “that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
So, we know that He’s in front of us. We know that He is right next to us. God is also behind us. He’s been with us every step of the way. He knows our past, our present, and our future. He’s already written it in His book. When we submit to God we need to do it fully and actually be at peace with Him. We need to not fight Him anymore. To “submit,” according to Webster’s, means:
“To stop trying to fight or resist something; To agree to do or accept something that you
have been resisting or opposing; To yield to governance or authority to yield oneself to the authority or will of another; To surrender.”
When we submit to God, we can have peace with God without contention. God says that prosperity will come to us. We don’t have to search for it. We don’t have to strive for it. It will come to us. And He also wants us to accept instruction from His mouth, laying up His words in our hearts.
Read the Bible. Listen to God’s word. Take it into your heart and keep it in your heart. Then we can actually lift up our face to God.
But submitting is not easy. Opening the hand is not easy. Kneeling and surrendering is not easy. Giving yourself over to someone you acknowledge as your superior is not easy. But it’s the first step on God’s road. The next step is to get in behind and follow Him.