It's Just A Car…
“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.”
As children of God, dearly loved, we are to be a reflection of the heart of the One who is called Holy. We are to be set apart for His Glory. What does it mean to be set apart? What does it mean to shine like Christ and to be Holy?
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
It comes with the death of our flesh. What does that mean? It means that if we are to be a Christian, then Jesus needs to shine through us. If people cannot see something different about us, or become attracted to us because of Him, then they will not want what we have. The shine of Christ does not come from our comfort zone. We have to get out of our comfort zone and do everything the Holy Spirit directs us to do...Living in the Faith Zone.
Leading up to the sale of our home, little by little, God asked everything of me….literally. (He still asks everything of me to this day, but I was learning then, how to trust Him completely with absolutely everything) I had to one by one sacrifice everything I held dear or thought I needed. He may not ask this of you, but he did ask this of me.
Because he had so much He wanted to give me and He knew I wanted what He had to share…ALL OF IT.
I was never one to want only a portion of my blessing or to settle for mediocre. I wanted my entire inheritance. I could care less if I were rich. I didn’t care if I had accolades or praise of man. Seriously, I was hungry after God’s presence.
I recall the last object of my flesh he asked of me before I was launched into the realm of the miraculous. What does that mean, “object of my flesh?” Our flesh is any thought, will, action, desire made from our own wants, desires rather what God wants for us. Sometimes what we want is exactly what He wants for us, but it has to come in His order and His timing. For me, at this time, it was a car. I had a car that I purchased without praying about it first. I used logic, reason, budget and “need” and went to the dealership and bought it. The purchase of that car was and is, to this day, the last choice I have made without God being a part of it. As soon as it was purchased, it hadn’t warmed the driveway but 30 minutes and I knew in my gut I shouldn’t have bought it. My husband knew, too, but we had it now. I learned that day to deeper level how God wanted to be in my every decision, even the ones that seemed good but were born in my heart, not his. Have you ever made a decision to only realize later God had another way? Do you remember that feeling you had with the realization? Yeah, I know I do, I didn't like it enough to never want to have that feeling again. So, to this day, I obey to please God but to also avoid that feeling!
It was a 2007 VW Jetta…red. It wasn’t a fancy car, but it was new and it was nice and I enjoyed it. I bought it when I had Alex, my first born. Everyone wants a new and reliable car to start their family, nothing wrong with that. God used it to teach me a valuable lesson in living by faith, trusting God with everything and never making a single decision apart from him. I’m the type that likes to please God. One of the things I hate most is disappointing the people I love, so why should my greatest love, God, be any different? It wasn’t. I care very much what God thinks of me. I know he loves me, but that doesn’t mean he always likes the choices his children make. I care about what he thinks and it drives me to make good choices.
Despite all I have shared, the car was an enormous blessing. We never had any trouble with it. The gas mileage was great and it was perfect for our little family of three, which grew to four. It was a great little car.
There came a day when God asked for my red jetta… this is my story for today.
John and I know a family, a large family, who live by faith. They found themselves loosing a car and only having one. They asked everyone to please pray for them and the provision they needed because it was a challenge to have only one vehicle. I want to say it was like six months before God answered their need (but I may be mistaken on the time frame). I remember many times standing at the dishwasher (I tend to spend time with God while I do dishes) and asking the Holy Spirit if we should give them our car? We had two cars, but God knows my heart and if he desires it, it is his…all that I am and all that I have. The Holy Spirit told me, “The burden on your heart to give them your car is indeed from me, but not yet.” I didn’t ask any questions, but complied. I confess, I was glad he said no, it would have been a big sacrifice to go down to one car. It was a few months later, the burden to help them still on my heart. They seemed to really be struggling to only have one car. This time, the Holy Spirit said, “yes”.
John and I talked and decided to give them our Nissan. It was a great car full of extra features. Our friends were delighted and the husband came over that evening to pick up the car. When he got in to start it, it wouldn’t start. It was the strangest thing. We drove that car all the time, no trouble! The battery was good. After much tinkering with it, still the trouble was not evident. John and I were heart sick as we watched our friend in front of our home, in the dark, with a flashlight trying to work on the car we had given him. John and I agreed with our feelings, “Some gift. Who gives someone a car that isn’t running?” To us, that was no gift at all and it left us confused because we hadn’t a single trouble with it and knew God wanted us to bless these people.
As I lay in bed that night, pondering the car, I heard the Lord speak to my heart. He said, “The Nissan doesn’t work because you are suppose to give them the jetta.” I knew what I heard. God wanted us to give them our best car…the jetta. I won’t lie to you and tell you I didn’t remind the Lord that we, ourselves, needed the jetta. Would God ask us to sacrifice and go without the most reliable car, down to one car, so someone else could have two cars? His reply, “yes”. I said, “ok, God, ok.”. I didn’t say a word to John but slept on it in my effort to digest what God had asked. I loved my jetta.
The next morning I was getting dressed when John entered the room. He walked toward me, gingerly, clearly with something he wanted to say. I looked up at him. He began to explain, as delicately as he could, “Nicole, the reason the car won’t run is because we are suppose to give our friends the jetta instead.” I looked him right in the eye and without batting an eye I said, “I know, the Holy Spirit told me last night.” He let out a huge sigh of relief. He was so frightened to tell me what God had been telling him because he knew it would be a huge sacrifice for us and he knew how much I loved that car (as much as I could love a car anyway, I don’t get all excited about cars like many people do).
We called our friends and let them know. They came over and got it that day, no troubles. It’s funny though. They only had the car for a month or a little more before they had car trouble beyond what they could afford to repair. This, again, perplexed me because we hadn’t ever had any trouble with it at all. That is when God made this portion of my journey complete. He revealed to me how buying that jetta was the last thing I did without God being an active part of my every decision.
Ever since then I don’t do a single thing without the direction of the Holy Spirit. He guides me, leads me and instructs me. The fruit of my obedience is the amazing clarity with which I hear his voice, lead and instruction as it flows through me and lines up with the word of God always. There are many things he asks of me that I do not want to do or want to say (like even writing this is out of my comfort zone, but I must be obedient and know it is for a purpose that I share it).
This is how we die to our flesh. This is how we become radiant as the Lord who shines brilliantly through us. Not by giving our stuff away…it will be different for everyone. But by the willingness to do, say, go anywhere for anything that he declares. It is our willingness for total and complete obedience that produces un-measurable fruit and a shine that is bright within us. The kind of obedience Paul demonstrated through out the New Testament. That’s the kind of Bride he is coming for…pure, spotless, radiant…with all of HIS glory. All that is required of us is a willingness, the rest is all him.
Know that you are blessed and highly favored. God will never ask you to do anything that he hasn’t equipped you for, but the Word of God is clear:
“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask more.” Luke 12:48
Take up your cross, shine brilliantly for all to see, and carry on…carry on.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
There is a beauty locked inside you that your Lord sees and he should desire that all the world should see it, too. I see it inside you with the eyes of the discernment. Grace, mercy, and pardon flow from the depths of me…my cross to carry as well.