I’ve heard a lot of people say “let Jesus take the wheel,” meaning Jesus takes control of your life and “steers” it where he wants. I have also heard someone compare it to Jesus being in the passenger seat. He tells you where to go, and you can either obey him or go your own way. I kind of feel like “Jesus take the wheel” isn’t realistic because you aren’t forced to obey him. What do you think? Which view is more realistic?
This raises a good point about cliches and colloquial expressions. The argument isn’t “Jesus Take The Wheel” v. I’m in the passenger seat or we’re forced to obey.
Acts 1:8 is a great baseline. As a fulfillment of the New Covenant, God would send His Holy Spirit to indwell the believer. We have an advocate – the paraclete – and He is the permanent indwelling person. John 14:15-17; 26 gives us clarity on the Holy Spirit’s role in the disciples. That said, one of the major foundations is Ephesians 5:18 filled with the Spirit would be more accurate, controlled by the Spirit in that we do not abuse an external substance that will “take control” of us but rather, submit to the control of the Holy Spirit.
So, how do we know we are submitting to being controlled by the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 “fruit”… so as we submit to His Spirit, we will see a change in attitude and action. Love is the first manifestation of the fruit. It is noteworthy that all the following, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control “fall under” the fruit of love.
Finally, if we love God, we want to obey. Sin is pervasive. We all sin more often than we care to admit. So the question of sanctification is what churches may tend to ignore or turn into cliches. Romans 12:1-3 would be a great landing point, too. If we love God, we aren’t forced to obey, we’re free to obey. And obedience always results in a clear conscience.
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