Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Governor

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,
 he will guide you into all truth..."
John 16:13

I stood, aptly listening to our brother-in-law, LD explain the intricacies
of the motor of a riding lawnmower.

The grass and weeds in our yard were growing taller by the day,
along with the pressure of needing to get it all mowed,
but our mower was having major problems.
Every time we turned it on to even the lowest speed,
it sounded like it was idling way too fast,
and soon, it would shut itself completely off.

"Why does it keep doing that?", I asked.

"Because if it didn't shut itself off while it's idling that fast,
the motor would completely blow up from the strain", LD explained.

God has gifted LD with the ability to fix just about anything.
After examining our mower, he found out there was a problem with two little springs.
He kept talking about the importance of that "second spring" and how it is the "governor",
and without it working properly, the first spring has no restraint and will just run wide open.

My wheels started turning.
Made me think of my own free will and how desperately I am in need of 
a "second spring" in my life....
otherwise I will just run rampant, full-speed, wide open.
My natural bend towards whole-heartedness is sometimes a detriment to me.
I tend to not have enough sense to know when enough is enough.
I don't know when to stop....even at a good thing.
I keep pushing and exerting and trying to the point of complete self-exhaustion.
Usually, left on my own, I don't realize I have gone too far until it is too late.
Usually when the realization finally sinks in that I have overdone,
I am already suffering physically, emotionally, or worst of all, spiritually, 
to the point that I have a real problem.

Don't we all need a governor?
The God-given free will in each one of us will go astray,
left on its own, without a harness to restrict and rein us in.
We will buy into satan's lies and take the bait he dangles in front of our eyes,
falling headlong into a miry pit of self-destruction.

Do you know that sometimes the bait he uses is to get us to completely overdo ourselves
doing good things
to the point that we are rendered incapable of being the person God wants us to be?
(That one may take re-reading a couple of really grasp what I am trying to say.)
Satan will work through something good.
The bait he dangles in front of our eyes isn't always and of itself.
It may be completely and of itself.
But, if he can just get us to over-indulge....even in a good thing....
to the point that we cross the boundaries of our own well being, he is happy.
His mission is fulfilled.
He has accomplished what he set out to do.
He doesn't care how he destroys the good things in our lives.
His sole purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy all of the good,
then to leave us on the scrap heap of life, 
sick and ailing, nerves shot, burned completely out, 
helpless to live out and fulfill our God-given potential.
He'll use something that has a premise of righteousness,
even a Biblical command,
to push us to the point of overdoing it...
to the point that we can go no more...
can do no more....
can push no further.

This is why we need the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Without Him, we have no governor.
Without Him, we don't know when to stop.
Without Him, we have no moral consciousness....
no gentle warnings of impending danger....
no still, small voice saying,
"That's enough."
Without Him, that "first spring", AKA our free will,
will lead us astray.
It will drive us to go too far....
to do too much....
to try too hard.

Not that we always listen to Him.

As I think back over my life and things I have gone through,
I realize that there have been many times that I have not listened to The Governor.
While idling too fast,
while going at top speed,
there were warning signs I have often overlooked.
Physical issues.
Emotional strain.
Red lights.
Gentle reproofs from the ones who love me most.
Sometimes, I just wouldn't listen.
I see that now.
I wish I could somehow tell Mom that I have finally taken a lot of her advice.
I didn't realize the wealth and depths of her wisdom until after she was gone.
I guess you never do.
The Governor spoke through her to me many, many times,
but often I thought I knew best....
thought I had to please others....
operated under such bondage and misery.
Until, I burned totally out.
My motor could no longer stand the strain.
So I shut completely down.

Jesus knew His disciples...every one of them....inside out.
He created them.
He was there when each one of them were being formed in their mother's womb.
Saw them take their first breath of life.
Knew their tendencies...their personality traits....the direction they were most bent to go.

He knows you, too.
He knows me.
Every tiny part of us...right down to our very core.
He is perfectly and completely aware of every one of our discrepancies,
character flaws,
and yes, He knows all about our limitations.

We all need a second spring to maintain balance.
We are all in dire need of The Governor.
To hold us back when we want to go too far,
to turn on a red light when we are heading in the wrong direction,
to prick our conscience when we hurt or offend our brother,
to check us when our tone is too snappy,
to urge us to apologize when we have acted inappropriately and unlike Christ.

When Jesus was preparing to leave His disciples,
it must have broken His heart
to know He would no longer walk with them daily...
to realize He wouldn't be there to correct their errant tendencies,
to show them the God-approved way of handling themselves and situations,
to hold them back when their overzealousness threatened to make them go too far.

But, thank God, God had a neither they..
nor we would ever walk alone.

"....behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: 
but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, 
until ye be endued with power from on high."
Luke 24:49

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,
 he will guide you into all truth: 
 for he shall not speak of himself; 
but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:
and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13

The Spirit of Truth, His Own Spirit...within them.
Governing them.
Holding them in check.
Pricking them when they were out of line.
Bearing fruit in and through their lives.
Guiding them into the path of truth.

The last "fruit of the Spirit" that is listed in the list of nine in Galatians 5:22 & 23
is temperance, original word ἐγκράτεια (enkrateia), 
which literally means:
dominion within,
and this is my favorite definition of all.....
self-control – proceeding out from within oneself, 
but not by oneself.

The Governor is here...He is faithful...always on guard...always alert.
Sadly, we aren't always obedient.
Unfortunately, we don't always listen.
We don't always use the self-control He places within us.
Humbly, He lets us have our own way,
in spite of all of His warnings.

He becomes ever more precious to me.
I have learned much by taking my own way.
I am to the point that I am willing to listen and learn from....
His gentle reproofs,
His loving rebuke,
and yes, His chastenings.
These days, I pay much closer attention.
I recognize, more than ever before in my life,
that I have a desperate and dire need of a governor.
When He gives the slightest nudge, I am now more than willing to obey.
I know that if He didn't love me, He would leave me
to follow my own path....
to do my own thing....
to completely self-destruct.

I have learned through painful life experience,
that He always, always knows what is best.

LD replaced that second spring on our lawnmower.
He made some adjustments.
Soon, the rapidly-idling motor had settled down.
It was like music to our ears to hear the regulated purr of the engine once again.
It was restrained....back to normal....
all because of that second spring.
Now, it is running great, and thankfully,
the tall grass in our yard is neatly mowed.

Come to find out, 
all it needed was a governor.

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