A good challenge from Jerry Bridges in his book, The Disciplines of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness:
So what is new? What did I learn from my study of Matthew 22:37 and Deuteronomy 6:5 that I didn’t know before? What I saw was the intensity and wholeheartedness with which I should obey God. If we are to love God with all our heart and soul and mind, and if obedience is a major part of such love, then it follows that we are to obey Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. We are to put everything we have into obedience to Him.
My observation is that most of us who are believers practice what I call a “cruise-control” approach to obedience. Many cars today have a convenient feature called cruise control. When you are driving on the highway you can accelerate to your desired speed, push the cruise-control button, and take your foot from the accelerator pedal…It’s very convenient and relatively relaxing. It’s a great feature on cars.
However, we tend to obey God in the same way To continue the driving analogy, we press the accelerator pedal of obedience until we have brought our behavior up to a certain level or “speed.” The level of obedience is most often determined by the behavior standard of other Christians around us. We don’t want to lag behind them because we want to be as spiritual as they are. At the same time, we’re not eager to forge ahead of them because we wouldn’t want to be different. We want to just comfortably blend in with the level of obedience of those around us.
Once we have arrived at this comfortable level of obedience, we push the “cruise-control” button in our hearts, ease back, and relax. Our particular Christian culture then takes over and keeps us going at the accepted level of conduct. We don’t have to watch the speed-limit signs in God’s Word, and we certainly don’t have to experience the fatigue that comes with seeking to obey Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. This then is what I call “cruise-control” obedience, and I fear it is descriptive of many of us much, if not all, of the time.
So what do you say, Christian? Maybe there is no flagrant sin in your life but you are simply living in a cruise-control mode of obedience. Have you lost the commitment and intensity in your love of God? Are you seeking to obey God’s Word with all of your heart, soul, and mind? Or have you instead settled into a comfortable routine, in which there are no blatant sins but neither is there an all-out effort to love and obey God in every area of life?