“Jesus, take the wheel.” “Let go and let God.” “God, I need more of You and less of me.”
I could not say how often I’ve heard Christians recite these and similar sentiments. Chances are better than good that I’ve said them myself.
We all understand the idea: We are fallible people who often make mistakes and just as often intentionally wreak havoc on ourselves and others. God, we understand, does not do these things. We would be better off, we conclude, if we quit trying to run the show.
Good intentions, all. But mistaken.
The Lord’s intention for human beings has never been to eradicate their will. Far from it, God’s aim with people is to mold their will, to shape it after His own heart. One way we might describe the Kingdom of God is where people actually do exactly what they want, and it is exactly what God wants, as well.
This was, after all, the whole idea behind Adam and Eve. They were placed in the garden to govern it, to keep it and to cultivate it. They were placed there as God’s images, which in the ancient world meant they were there as God’s representatives. Before the Fall, of course, it would have been silly for Adam to pray something like, “I must decrease; Elohim must increase” (cf. John 3:30). Before the Fall, also, Adam’s was not a diminished will, crushed under the weight of the Creator. Before the Fall, Adam’s word was final in the garden; whatever he called the animals became their names.
There is no question that before the Fall God’s will was done on earth just as it was in heaven. It’s just that His will was done not by overriding people’s will, but by working through them. Adam’s proper relationship with the Creator was one of partnership. And it’s that cooperative relationship the Lord is working to regain with His people.
In those moments in life when we find that we actually did it right, those times when the Lord’s will reigned in our circumstances, we may peer back with spiritual eyes to see that God did not, in fact, take over the wheel. We may be surprised to discover that actually there were four hands on the wheel.