How Life is Like a Truck – Part 3

gear shift on truck

By: Tom Wolff

The trucks I drove over the years had a variety of transmissions. Typically, they would have either eight, ten, or thirteen forward speeds. The grain truck I drove has what is called a “super ten” which specialized in making the driver (me) crazy at times, but that’s another story. 

Why so many gears?

The truck must gather its speed in smaller increments due to its massive weight. Fully loaded it could take six gears just to get through an intersection! In each gear you are accessing the full power of the vehicle but not its full potential. To continue, you must keep shifting to the next higher gear, one shift at a time. Eventually, you reach the “big hole”, or overdrive. This is where you access all the power of the truck and also experience the full potential of the truck. This is my happy place – a fully loaded tractor-trailer, the hum of a large diesel engine, overdrive and an open highway!

This mirrors our Christian journey. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, He gives us the Holy Spirit to live in us. He comes with the fullness of His power. Paul tells us the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us at the moment of our salvation. (Romans 8:11, Eph 1:19,20)

Welcome to first gear! We have access to the fullness of the power of Christ from day one! We have all of Jesus, but He doesn’t yet have all of us. We have some growing to do. The key to growing and accessing God’s power is surrendering to His will and His word. The more we surrender to Him, the greater we experience His power flowing into our life.

God has a purpose and plan for each of us. His plan is not awaiting our approval. If God had shown me 45 years ago the journey I would take and where I would be now, I would have been thoroughly convinced He had the wrong guy. I would have opted out.

This is what overdrive looks like! This is life in the “big hole.”

That’s our goal, but our new life isn’t all roses and airhorns. Just as when we’re driving, we need to be careful as we can easily get stuck along the way. There are many obstacles and roadblocks that can keep us in sixth gear, when we have the potential for four or six more! 

What gets in the way? What gets us stuck? Some of the more common obstacles are: 

Sin – Our sin has caused a separation and God will not hear –Isaiah 59:2.

Busy – The opposite of “Be still and know that I am God.” “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy” (church sign in Waco TX).

Spiritual oppression – We are easily lost in what John Eldredge calls, “the fog of war.” We need to utilize the “weapons of our warfare” (2 Cor 10:3-6, Eph 6:12-18).

Pride – The root of most “stuckness” – (James 4:6).

The good news is that the apostle Paul tells us that we are not ignorant of the schemes of the enemy. We can and must learn how to wield our weapons and live fully in the victory Jesus won on the cross.

Growth is a progression and ultimately God wants us in the “big hole” – living our best life in the fullness of the Spirit. Day in and day out in continual communion with God – enjoying His fellowship and having the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing we are living in the fullness of His purpose and calling.

I love the prayer Paul prays for the church at Ephesus, and it is a prayer that is certainly appropriate for us today, so I leave you with this –I pray you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms (Eph. 1:19,20).