This morning I read an article by A.Z. Tozer on driving a car as it relates to our spiritual walk. I found it rather interesting that I wrote on a similar theme just a couple of weeks ago (under my ‘heart thoughts’ category). It makes sense, however, that we would find spiritual correlations throughout our life, for after all, that’s what Jesus’ parables were made of–moral lessons, examples, and guidance based on daily events and routines common to people of that time.
Tozer’s article compares resentment, as well as other things we harbor, to the brakes of a car–hindering our progress, halting our forward motion. Here’s some excerpts found in the book, The Next Chapter after the Last:
“Many Christians live like a man driving with his brakes on. The car running with its brakes set is not standing still–not quite, but it is making a hard job out of an easy one. It is labouring unnecessarily, using more fuel than it should and sending up a stench from its overheated brake linings. And if the situation isn’t corrected, it will not be going anywhere very long.
“It is, of course, friction that retards the car’s progress, for all brakes work by friction. The car is temporarily at odds with itself; one surface wants to revolve and another surface in contact with it wants to stand still. The clash of purposes set up friction; and friction always wins at last. Nothing can continue to move if it is opposed by enough friction….
“…there is kind of friction which retards spiritual progress and does real injury to the soul. It is the friction created by inward maladjusment.
“Our Lord had this in mind when He spoke of the value of the “single eye,” and James referred to the same thing when he told of the wavering man of double mind who was unstable in all his ways. While the heart is at cross-purposes with itself, there can be no inward harmony, only discord and carnal heat that slowly wear out the life.
“One source of friction is resentfulness. To hold bad feelings against another is to put the brakes on; no matter how sincerely we desire to go on in the holy way, we are held back by the grinding of resentment within us. Resentment is static and will brake to a stop any soul that will harbor it. It is vitally important to remove the pressure that is checking forward motion. This we can do by forgiving our enemies, and taking pardon and cleansing from the Lord.
“To name all possible causes of inward friction would be to list the works of the flesh in their entirety. The flesh wars against the spirit; that is, it seeks to stop the motions of the growing heart and bring it to a standstill. Or, failing that, it will put as much pressure as possible on the life and slow its progress as much as it can. The sad thing is that so many of us seem willing to let things go on that way. We ‘grovel here below’, creeping forward painfully and at a snail’s pace, when we might be racing unhindered toward the prize.
“Let’s check up on ourselves. Possible we may need to take the brakes off.”