The Bike Ride: Pictures of discipleship

The Lord has shown me a picture of a bicycle on a number of occasions; the last one being three days ago. I’ve been thinking about the relevance of the idea of riding a bicycle to our walk as disciples, and the more I have considered it the more aspects I have seen. I am going to try and draw the threads together here over a few posts, because I believe that the Holy Spirit will quicken specific aspects of them  to different individuals. As you read it ask Him to speak to you.

Keep Moving

You can’t sit still on a bicycle: if you do you will fall off. We are encouraged to “press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). Our faith is dynamic, not static. The Holy Spirit moves, and He wants us to move with Him. Now more than ever God is uprooting and tearing down old strongholds and old ways in the world and in the Church, because He is clearing the ground to build His Kingdom. Ephesians 5:16 encourages us to “redeem the time, because the days are evil.” We don’t achieve this by being static, but by engaging with God’s purpose for us, like the chain engages with the cogs to move the cycle forward as we put our weight on the pedal.  There are times when we doubt this purpose, and so we stop moving. The next thing we know, the faith that was so solid yesterday feels like quicksand today. But the doubt that floored us did not actually arise because the truth of what we believe is in any way questionable, but because the evil one chose that moment to send a fiery dart into our heart. We need to remember and believe the words that God has spoken to us in the past, because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29). If we just get on our bikes and start cycling again in these “quicksand moments,” despite the cloud that has descended, we will find that the path becomes solid again and the way clear once more. The shield of faith will extinguish the fiery dart.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor 15:58)

We are seated

Even though we are moving, we are seated – in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Because we are seated, we are at rest – even though we are moving. Jesus tells us that if we take His yoke upon us, we will find rest for our souls. If we have lost our rest and our peace has left us, the chances are that we have left our seats as well. All authority proceeds from His throne, and we are partakers of that authority. He has given us His name, and He has given us His peace. If we can just remember that we are seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph 2:6), anxiety, impatience, stress and many other negative states of mind have nowhere to settle.

(He) raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Eph 2:6)

Stay focussed

On a bicycle one has to stay focussed and concentrate on the task of staying on the road. If we have a lot of interests and responsibilities it is easy to get distracted, and the next thing we know we are, spiritually, lying on the ground along with our bicycle, and no longer wanting to cycle. But this doesn’t mean that we shirk our responsibilities or (as long as they are healthy ones!) give up our interests: God has put us where we are, and in addition He is the creator and sustainer of all things, therefore there is not a moment when we cannot find Him, and nothing in which we cannot serve and worship Him. The secret to staying on our bikes is in Proverbs 3 vs 6: to actually seek and acknowledge Him in everything we do. If we share everything with Him, as the friend that we are cycling with,  He will direct our paths, according to the rest of Proverbs 3:6. And if God is directing our paths we are not going to fall off our bikes.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct  your paths.
(Prov 3:6)

Next time: uphill, downhill.

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