Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekend Worship—Are You Just Another Parked Car?

And they passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7 and when they had come to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; 8 and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:6-10 NASB

I found myself paralyzed between two choices.
I used to agonize over decisions in my life, worried that I might miss God’s answer and the consequences would be devastating (or at least unpleasant). This worry often kept me from acting because I really did want what God wanted.

I would find myself paralyzed between two choices. I’d spend days, weeks, sometimes even months waiting until to be certain about God’s path, only to miss out on opportunities that passed me by. Then I caught a snippet of a conversation. I couldn’t tell you who was talking or even exactly where I was. The thing I remember most were the words, “It’s almost impossible to turn a parked car.”


It's almost impossible to turn a parked car.
That’s what I had done with my waiting. I’d pulled completely off the path and parked on the side until I heard from God. I realized that my need for God’s confirmation before I got back on the path was actually a lack of faith.

I was, in essence, saying that hearing God was dependent on me—not God! I lacked the belief that God could, and more importantly, WOULD correct my steps if I got off track.

Paul didn’t have this problem. These verses are the start of his second missionary journey. He left on that journey with the decision to go to Asia. Reading theses verses show that God had something else entirely in mind. But nowhere in these verses do we find condemnation of Paul for having acted, even though he obviously missed what God had intended.

The key to staying in God's will is found in my heart.
What an inspiration, what comfort! I can act on what I think God is saying without worrying about Him abandoning me. The key to this is my heart—if I’m truly seeking what’s important to God, He’ll never leave me to my own devises, but always guide me back to His path.

What decisions are you agonizing over? Take a chance, our God is big enough to supply course corrections once we’re moving.  Just like that parked car, put it in gear and get back on the move!


  1. This is probably one of the most common situations for Christians to be in. It is far better to wait than to do as I often used to do. I would get what I thought was a Word from God and I would run with it. Only to find out God made a left turn several blocks back. Anymore I wait and God will make it clear what he wants me to do. The one exception to that is when an opportunity comes to share his word. The thing we need to understand about these opportunities is that they are often listening, not talking opportunities. We can learn from both. In listening we may hear the answer. I had been struggling how to start a book and not make it a biography and all about me. Posts on this blog have opened my eyes to see ways to share the experiences from my 65+ years of life. Hopefully to help others know God is always there for us, we just need to get us out of the way.

  2. Edie, thank you for this insightful post on waiting and doing. Love the parked car analogy. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. My pastor-hubby always counsels people to keep doing the last thing God told you to do until you get other instructions. I think there's a lot of truth to that which parallels what you explained in your post. Even though you might feel that God is getting ready to "move" you in some way, you don't just stop.
    Thanks for this good reminder.

  4. Edie, this post is especially good. I'm visual so I can see myself parked and waiting. Now, to crank up the engine and at least go 25. Thanks for something to nudge me to start.

  5. Spot on, Edie. I love the analogy of the parked car. I just realized this morning I'm afraid to make a mistake in some things. But if I head down the wrong road, I can always turn around.

  6. Been there...done that...more times than I care to admit.

  7. Thank you, Edie for the timely words of your blog. Never thought of you as a "parked car!" Me, yes! You, NO!
    My life's goal at this stage of life is to publish the Book of Devotions written between 2000-2006. Contract made, signed, paid, & sealed with Westbow. Over a year! Selected a sampling of them for editors. What is holding me? My own insecurities? God's timing? When do I know that impossible ?. Maybe I need a sign? What?
    Sheri D

  8. I'm with Ginger -- been there, done that -- but now this car is motion! Thank you for this timely (and wise) advice, Edie.