Do you ever feel like there is a backseat driver in your mind? A voice that is constantly giving you bad directions, sending you down roads you really don’t want to travel; a constant distraction and an unwelcome companion? It speaks a devious mixture of truth and lies that challenge our beliefs about what we know to be right. It might even feel like he’s the one driving the car sometimes. The enemy loves to tempt us in this way, and the worst part is that he may have locked himself inside your vehicle!
In Romans 7:15-20 Paul tells us “For I do not understand my own actions, I am baffled and bewildered by them. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity … It is no longer I who do it but the sin nature which lives within me.”
Living in this broken world, we are constantly bombarded with temptations – from within and from without. It can feel like we are constantly striving to avoid temptation and sin. But the Bible tells us we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but against demons in the spiritual realm. We need to recognize WHO is responsible for driving mankind’s sinful thoughts and behaviors. Even after we recognize the WHO, we sometimes can’t seem to get that chatty, embittered little demon in the backseat to quiet down and be silent.
Some believe that Jesus came to kick out that backseat driver, but that is faulty thinking. The Bible tells us that we must play an active role to strip ourselves of our former nature and put on the new nature of God. And the good news is that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross gave each of us the power and the authority to do the kicking out ourselves. We need to understand that Jesus is the “key” we need to unlock the door and kick that backseat driver to the curb!
We need to understand how the invisible, spiritual battle interacts with our lives on a daily basis. We need to recognize sin’s work in our own lives. The battle between our ears is just as insidious as Eve’s encounter with the snake. Are you seeing signs of sin’s work in your life? For example: 1) broken relationships with God, self or others, 2) health issues, or 3) not seeing evidence of the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control – in our lives?
It’s time to take responsibility and use the power tools that Christ has put in our tool belt. Use the key, unlock the door and throw that backseat driver out onto the street. Strip away the old sinful nature and put on the new blessed nature of God! Let God’s Word and Godly thoughts fill your mind instead. As Philippians 4:8 tells us “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”