Have you ever heard someone say, “Just go with the flow?” Let me tell you a story about why that’s not always a good idea.
I met my husband at a Bible Study in college and quickly learned that he was a very frugal, industrious, and resourceful young man. On our first date, he came to pick me up in his ten-year-old Volkswagen Beetle that he had purchased for $725. He says it was yellow. I say it was beige. Regardless of the color, this fine piece of machinery several not-so-fine features.
It had no air conditioner, no defroster, and…wait for it…no speedometer. The speedometer broke when the odometer hit 200,000 miles and never left 0 again. So how did he know how fast he was driving? He paced himself according to the speed of the cars around him, and he knew when to change gears by judging how much the car shook. I kid you not.
So Steve traveled around town and on highways, with no earthly idea of his exact speed. He was totally dependent on those around him to guide him. Most of the time that worked. One time it didn’t.
It was about 98 degrees the day Steve drove from his hometown to mine for our wedding weekend. Because his car had no air-conditioning, he left home very early in the morning. However, because he left very early there were few cars on the road. His points of reference were missing, and he couldn’t judge his speed.
About two hours into the trip, Steve saw a blue light flashing in his rear-view mirror and his heart sank. With speeding ticket in hand, he slowly puttered for the rest of the journey for us to say our “I do’s.”
It would have been so easy to be angry at that patrolman for giving Steve a ticket on his way to get married. But the truth is, cars aren’t meant to be driven without speedometers…and neither are we. If we pace ourselves according to the speed of those around us, we will get in trouble.
It’s true of driving a car. It’s true of living a life.
Paul reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2 NIV).
I love how the New Living Translation says it:
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
The Greek word for “conform” is syschematizo and means to be molded according to a pattern or assuming a similar outward form by following the same pattern. It’s easy to just fall into the world’s way of acting and thinking. Going along with the flow has always been easier than going against it.
There are a lot of behaviors and customs that the world says are acceptable that the Word says are not.
Our culture celebrates sin and condemns constraint.
And it would be so easy to drive along without gauge of any sort, but pace ourselves according to the flow of those around us.
But there is a better way! It comes after the “but.” “But let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” And that transformation happens when we get God’s Word in our hearts and minds. Click & Tweet!
Transformation begins when we accept Jesus as Savior and our dead spirits come to life (Ephesians 2:5), and continues as we align our thoughts, beliefs, and actions with God’s Word. When we begin to flow in the current of God’s stream rather than the flow of the current culture we’re headed in the right direction. And without knowing God’s Word, we won’t even be able to know the difference.
And look at the benefit of knowing God’s Word: Then you will learn to know God’s will for you!
Steve and I kept that Volkswagen Beetle for three more years. We puttered around town to our first jobs, shivered through two winters, and never got another ticket!
Father, I want to make sure that my thinking aligns with Your Word. As I read my Bible, help the words sink into my heart and flow out with my actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Can you think of 1 or 2 ways that you have gone with the flow of the world that you later realized was not the best? Leave a comment and let’s share notes.
Today’s devotion was taken from a bad day that had a good lesson. But what if you feel like you’ve had bad chapters in your life that are a lot worse than a speeding ticket. Rest assured; God can use those too. When You Don’t Like Your Story will show you how to transform your worst chapters into your greatest victories that God can use. It also includes a Bible Study Guide in the back of the book for those who want to dig deeper. Video downloads are available for groups studying together or personal use.
Get your copy today and learn how to have a better story!
Need prayer? Want to pray for others? Click on the Prayer Wall and join prayer warriors all around the world.
When I decided a few years back to go with the flow and hang out with a bunch of “cool” university students who were not believers whom I wanted to impress. That got me into a lot of hot water, especially since they were not my friends and had no genuine care for me because “what would their friends think” if they were my friends? It was a very hard lesson for me to learn but all of what those believers meant for evil towards me, the Lord has turned it for my good, and then some!
We were traveling on the highway, my husband doing the normal 64 miles per hour with the traffic, but the speed limit was 50 miles per hour. The camera took several photos and in the mail we received a fine which we paid on the computer for Washington DC.
This was an awesome devotion and a timely Word for me. Thanking God always for you, Gwen ,Mary and all of the contributors to Girlfriends. Your transparency and genuineness blesses my life daily. Thank you and Gid Bless You
This is a good read and a great reminder.. especially one I needed here at work.
Thought you’d enjoy it.
I am still Recovering from a Blackout in my Bathroom when all my Body Weight ended up on my head … Why U may ask ?
Coz I was going with the Flow…My Daily Devotionals were getting delayed & sometimes put on the Backburner,My Quality Time with Our Dear Papa not possible coz I was too tired as ” all of a sudden” I was BUSY BUSY BUSY SS A BEE….wait a minute….I am NOT A BEE…IAM A DAUGHTER OF THE MOST HIGH GOD WITH A PURPOSE ON THIS EARTH TO FULFIL THE GREAT COMMISSION IN AUSTRALIA ( ATM) WHERE HE CALLED ME TO COME TO LIVE 14 YEARS AGO…
Am I still Tuned in to the Still SmallVoice of the Holy Spirit & being led & Consoled ,Comforted & Directed by Him …Is Jesus STILL MY 1ST LOVE…or has THE LOVE OF THE WORLD CHOKED OUT MY LOVES TENDER MERCIES & LOVINGKINDNESS THST MY HEAD IS SOO FULL OF “HOW I CAN SOLVE ALL MY FAMILY & COMMUNITYS PROBLEMS … that have I forgotten that it’s NOT ABOUT ME & ALL ABOUT HIM & I CAN ” ONLY” SHSRE OTHERS BURDENS IF IT IS FROM HIS FOUNDATION OF HIS LOVE…Yeah…I KNOW GOD LOVES ME & I HAVE NEVER LET GO OF THAT REALITY SINCE THE AGE OF 5 …BUT…Yesh…BUT( like in the Verse) …HOW COME I HAVE STOPPED GETTING TRANSFORMED…HOW COME MY BIBLES are getting Yummy Cockaroroaches living in them instead of BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO ME as they were & ALWAYS HAVE BEEN BEFORE…
My Dear Sister Sharon Thank U for this Inspiring Devotional, Bless U
We can ” Blame COVID,Family Grief,Dramas Brothers going into Jail & even the 2nd Wave of COVID BUT( there it is again ) NLT says in ROMANS 8:35-39 THAT NOTHING CAN SEPERATE US FROM CHRIST’S LOVE…& IN ALL THESE THINGS ( including ‘threatening with death’. COVID or bad Concussion in the Bathroom ) OVERWHELMING VICTORY IS OURS THROUGH CHRIST,WHO LOVED US …I AM CONVINCED THAT NOTHING CAN EVER SEPERATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE 💗
I enjoyed the devotion this morning, I really needed that not going with the flow. I cannot afford the book at this time. Please continue to pray for me as I try to be more like Jesus. Thank you so much OK
Plz lift my son in law & daughter in prayer. Their marriage has hit a ruff spot. Asking r LORD 2 open their eyes 2 their 1st 💘love & continue building on it. They hav 3 young children, 14, 13 & 11.
Just said a prayer over them. Divorce is no fun and has its consequences. This I know. Stay strong and keep being the prayer warrior they need!
Enjoyed this devotion!
I continue to pray for Gods direction on how to use this book and the stories in my chapter to minister to other women.
Enjoyed this devotion!
Wondering how I can use this book and the chapters in my life to minister to other women.
There are many ways I’ve gone with the flow, the first step in a long line of backsliding. Thank God He never let go. One way I regret tremendously is in my tacit acceptance of allowing my adult sons and their unmarried girlfriends to sleep together in my home, and looking the other way when I visited their sinful cohabitation. This does not please God and has led them into more sin. When I finally woke up to see my own sin and confessed it, the Lord changed my heart. But I am left now, with no relationship with my sons. Please bring them back to you, oh Lord. Which I pray daily.
Thank you for this reminder, Sharon. I loved your story about your Volkswagen. My busyness in all things good according to worldly standards caused me to go with the flow for a season. It was the most exhausting season of my life. Thank you for this devotion
Thank you, I am always encouraged by your writing!
Thank you for sharing, I needed to hear this today. I needed to have some hope today.