Chasing Ambulances
by Jon Walker

«So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.» (Galatians 3:24-25 NIV)

A few months ago, I read about a state enacting a law requiring motorists to pull over to the side of the road when being passed by a lights-on, sirens-blaring emergency vehicle.

The thing is, most of us recognize this as a standard requirement when driving. We learned it in Driver’s Ed, we memorized it for the written driver’s test, and we’ve seen it modeled by drivers every time an emergency vehicle approaches.

So why would there need to be a tougher, «we’ll ticket you» law to push drivers to the side of the road? Isn’t pulling aside for emergency vehicles ingrained in usí

It may have been ingrained at one time, but I’ve noticed over the past few years that many drivers seem reluctant or hesitant to pull over. Maybe we’re less concerned about following the law. Perhaps we’ve lost sight of the fact that emergency vehicles are responding to a critical, time-is-of-the-essence, lives-may-be-at-stake crisis situation.

Then again, maybe it’s because we’ve all gotten so busy and so self-absorbed in our own lives that we don’t want to be inconvenienced by slowing down, no matter what kind of emergency crosses our paths.

When it comes to pulling over to the side of the road, a rule that used to be «in our hearts» now requires a law, written on the books for all to see, in order to get everyone to comply.

As silly as that seems, God had to do the same thing. He never intended for us to live under the law; he designed us to live by his spirit. But because we refused to comply, God sent us legislation – starting with 10 commandments – to push us toward holy living.

It means, to echo the Apostle Paul, that the law is a school of Christ, teaching us the holy ways of God. More importantly, it teaches us that we must be dependent upon God (not just his ways), that we must be guided by his spirit – or we’ll never successfully graduate from milk to the meat of an abundant life.

In short: God wants you to operate in such a way that you no longer need legislation (or willpower, or guilt) to force you to follow the rules because the rules will now be written on your heart by the very hand of God.

What now?

· Graduation day? – Whether you excel as a student or barely get by, Jesus is committed to your success in the school of Christ. He is the greatest, most insightful teacher who ever lived, and he wants you to move beyond the classroom so you can live it out! Ask Jesus to teach you: «I believe; help my unbelief!» (The five purposes are designed to balance you as you go deeper with God: worship, fellowship, discipleship, service, evangelism)

· Signs of a diploma – «So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.» (Galatians 3:24-25 NIV) What signs would show you’ve graduated from the school of Christ? If you’re struggling for an answer, start with the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

· Don’t fear mistakesí – After graduation, real life gets messy. That’s just the way it is. And that’s why God pours his grace into our lives. Focus on obedience rather than perfection.

· Pray for emergency vehicles – Next time you pull over for an ambulance, a fire truck, or a police cruiser, pray for the situation – for the people in crisis, for the emergency personnel responding to the crisis. And then thank God that he’s personally writing the rules on your heart.

© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.

Devocionales Cristianos


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