|Image from Navigators.ca|
Dawson Trotman, evangelist and founder of The Navigators, (a Christian discipleship organization), wanted to help the Sunday school classes and boys' clubs that he led to better understand living the Christian life. Trotman used the illustration of a wheel to explain the critical areas Christians need to concentrate on. I have found this to be an incredibly useful tool in my own spiritual life and wanted to share it with you.
Let’s look first at the center, the hub. The hub is the main support for a wheel. It allows the wheel to spin freely while keeping it attached to the vehicle. For us, Jesus must be at the Center, the hub of our lives.
According to Philippians 4:13, when Jesus is our source of strength, we can do all things. We can face whatever may come our way. Making Jesus the “hub” of our lives means "keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end." (Hebrews 12:2)
The outer edge of a wheel, the rim, helps the wheel retain the shape of the hub. For Christians, obedience to God forms the rim of our spiritual wheel. Romans 12:2 cautions us to conform to God, not the world. Obeying what Jesus says shapes and molds us spiritually.
On vehicles like bicycles or wagons, spokes radiate from the center of each wheel, connecting the hub with the rim. These rods transfer power from the hub to the rim. In our walk with Jesus there are four spokes that serve as conductors of His power. There is a direct correlation between the strength of these connectors and our power to obey.
1. The Word of God is one spoke on our spiritual growth wheel. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says all "Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed."
Reading and meditating on God's Word is essential for obedience and moving forward on our journey with Jesus.
2. Another spoke is prayer. In Philippians 4:6 we are urged to pray about everything. When we share our heart with Jesus, God’s power is released. As we talk one on one with God, we grow closer to Him.
3. The spoke of fellowship helps us to build each other up as Christians. Hebrews 10:24-25 admonishes us to gather together to encourage one another. Proverbs 27:17 notes “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” By fellowshipping with other Christians, we can hold one another accountable and thus grow as Christians.
4. Matthew 28:19 sets forth our God-given responsibility to tell the world about forgiveness through Jesus. How does sharing this spectacular news with others help us grow as a Christian? Witnessing reminds us of what Jesus did for us. Sharing the Good News with others helps hold us to the task of living out our faith.
Keeping up these four avenues for Christian growth isn’t easy. Sometimes we get a little lax in one area or another. What happens to a bicycle wheel if one of the spokes is broken? It causes a flat area on the rim and the tire wears out more quickly. It also affects the ride, making it wobbly and uneven. When we are missing one of the spiritual spokes that connect us with Jesus, our Christian life will be just as bumpy and unsteady as that bike ride.
Where is the Holy Spirit in this illustration? When asked, Trotman answered that the Holy Spirit was woven throughout, and absolutely necessary for us to reap the full benefits of each component of The Wheel.
With the aid of the Holy Spirit, each of the different parts of our spiritual wheel can work properly together to move us forward in our walk with Jesus. We grow as a Christian and God is able to use us to encourage others both to believe in Jesus for themselves and to allow God to work in their lives.
Are you serious about living out your faith in obedience? Is there a weak spoke in your spiritual wheel? What steps can you take to strengthen that connection to Jesus and move forward on your journey with Him?
©2014 Pamela D. Williams