Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Do you remember the day you learned to ride a bike without the training wheels? The sensation of trying to balance on two wheels without toppling over. Those first tentative pedals as you gratefully felt your parent’s hand on the seat of your bike. The first fall as you tried to take off on your own. The second fall, the third… Then, finally, riding on your own.
The training wheels taught you how to balance and gave you support as you learned to pedal and steer. They helped you trust in your abilities as you learned to ride faster and faster. Yet, they were never intended to stay on forever. They were simply temporary supports as you developed the skills to ride on your own.
The Christian life is learned, much like learning to ride a bike.
As we begin growing in faith, God often gives us training wheels. We lean into community with other Christians, we study the Bible, and we learn to pray. In time, we learn to hear God’s voice and listen for his direction. As we learn to go to God for everything, we learn to rely on following where he leads. At some point, though, he wants us to take off the training wheels and learn to use what we’ve learned.
Training in faith sets us up to live more confidently as Christians
That’s the thing about training. You learn as an apprentice for a time, with the intent to learn to it on your own eventually. When our kids are little, we guide each and every step, but as they grow we push them ever closer to independence. As much as we love helping them, we know it’s our job to equip them to live on their own, making sound decisions based on the values we’ve instilled in their hearts. God does the same with us. He wants to train us and guide us, intending eventually for us to be able to make some decisions on our own.
The Christian life is learned, much like riding a bike. Sometimes, we need to remove our faith training wheels and practice what we've learned. Is it time to remove yours and put what you've learned from God into practice? God wants us to trust him and stay close, but like a good parent he also wants to train us to make good decisions
It’s not that God doesn’t want us to ask for guidance and help, but he does want us to develop the wisdom and good judgment to make some decisions on our own. He wants to set our hearts in the right direction and let us take off.
Dear Lord, thanks for the guidance that you give to each of us. Help us to take the training wheels off and use what we have learned. Keep us learning as we travel through this life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.