Jesus, Take The Whole Car

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Humility, I Want It All 11 Comments

One of the things we do at dinnertime as a family is a daily recap. Simple stuff: we talk through the things that happened that day. When my kids were in elementary school, one of the first things they talked about was who got to be the line leader that day. It was a pretty big deal, especially to young Smiths who really, really loved being the line leader. (I don’t know where they get that . . .)

Okay, I need to be honest here. Following is not necessarily my strong suit. I like to be in charge and in control. Especially on the road. If you and I have somewhere to go together, you might just want to let me drive because I tend to freak out in the passenger seat. I wonder why the invisible brake on my side never works, even when I pump it. I get frustrated with the guy in the passing lane who drives ten miles an hour below the speed limit and does not pass anybody. It’s the PASSING lane, people, therefore, pass! Clearly no one can drive as well as I can . . .

Hot messes. All of us!

We are so concerned with blue ribbons and lead positions.

Lord, forgive us.

Jesus showed us a better way to get where we need to go. He told his disciples to follow Him. To stop doing their own things and to do His thing. These instructions were meant for you and me as well. He wants us to do what He did—to love like He loved, to lead like He led. And He led by serving others. By humbling Himself sacrificially. He was the greatest, but treated others as if they were.

In her book Love Story, songwriter and author Nichole Nordeman puts it this way. “Jesus sort of topples the model of traditional leadership. He starts at the bottom. First things first. Let’s get those feet washed. This is how Jesus leads. And it’s why marriages and corporations and ministries thrive under his model of servant leadership. Stooping, not looming. Tending, not monitoring.”

I know this.

I really do.

I want this.

I want this for me, and I want this for my family. I want this for you. I want to live this type of radical life that showcases Jesus and pushes His fame to the forefront. Not only on the good days, but also on the bad days. Not only in the comfortable times, but also in the uncomfortable, fiery times. Don’t you?

I am thankful that God convicts my heart when I get bossy, start comparing, running ahead of God, or getting caught up in self-centered pursuits. His Spirit reminds me that my flesh needs to be put down because I am bound to Christ and He is my master. The Spirit of God reminds me that I am not to live as a slave to sin, but to live as a slave to righteousness (Romans 5).

When Jesus becomes our focus, we will be in the center of God’s will.

Today, for me, this probably means I will do more praying than social media posting or news watching. And it also means that when that certain mom bends my ear about the awesome accomplishments of her darling daughter, I will smile, share in her joy, and not respond with, “Well, my daughter just…”

Things go better for me when I choose humility, make a big deal about God’s greatness, and follow His lead by lovingly serving the people in my life. When I live by the instructions that Paul gave to the church of Ephesus, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

My peace is greater when I look to the needs of others instead of my own, when I humble myself before our awesome Lord and beg for Him to be magnified in my words, thoughts, efforts, and decisions.

Jesus is the line leader.

I am just a girl in line who needs to keep her eyes fixed on the Guy up front.


Dear Lord,

Lord Jesus, Please lead me. Take the wheel. Take the whole car! Take my life. No more pushing to the front of the line for me. I want You, Jesus. I want more of You.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,



Read Ephesians 4.

Write out verse 2 then write down the initials of a few people you need to apply this with. Pray for the Lord to help you … and pray for those people.


PERSONAL UPDATE: As many of you know, a storm rolled through the Charlotte area last Tuesday night and my home was struck with lightening and caught on fire. The collateral damage was extensive and my family and I are displaced from our home for a minimum of 6 months, possibly up to a year. The level of tiredness, discouragement and emotional exhaustion we’ve experienced is only overshadowed by the overwhelming peace, comfort, and provision of Jesus. Our friends, family and community have rallied to support us in tangible ways. We are learning to let others help us… which is hard, but necessary. And ultimately, we are thankful for the lessons God is teaching us and for the opportunities being presented to boast on the sustaining grace of Jesus. Thank you for your prayers and support. We are still sifting through ashes and rubble, but know that God is faithful and loving and kind.

Love you guys!

My new online Bible Study just started! It’s not too late to join us!


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Comments 11

  1. Another right on time message from you to me 😘 thank you 🙏. I am so sorry to hear about your house. I know that you know God is in control and this too shall pass. It is difficult to wrap our heads and hearts around that sometimes but that’s because we want to be in control 😩. Truth is…if we were we’d mess it up 😂😂😂 love you sister and praying for you.

  2. So sorry to hear about your house. But thankful that none of you were hurt. Prayers for you during this time for grace to get through this and go on from here.

  3. I am so looking forward to the devotional that will come from that storm! God is so faithful! I love what you said about learning to let people help. That’s not me…I’m the helper. But God is dealing with me now in so many ways that it is impossible for me to get through a day without someone’s help. But this behavior of mine was not limited to man, it included God as well. I never realized how I frequently shut Him out while smiling in His face and telling Him I loved Him. I thank God for the Holy Spirit for showing me myself and patiently leading me. Once again, I’m moving out of your way Lord, where you lead, I will follow!

  4. Praying for you and your family sweet lady. Grateful for your safety. Will be praying for God to shower you with His Peace.

    Faye j

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  5. Gwen,
    So glad to hear that you and yours are safe! Sending prayers for you and yours to have strength and peace from our Lord to rebuild and go forward. I really enjoyed today’s topic as I can be that control freak and forget to check in with God before moving forward…. Or looking at my circumstances w/o considering the circumstances others face. I know I’m not always selfish….but I can be very! So thank you for this message that I can put it into practice.

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  6. Gwen,
    I am so sorry about the fire and your home. Especially the displacement it has caused along with the stress.
    Thank you for the devotions and scripture. Love your amazing stories too!
    Knowing that God will never leave your side gives peace and hope.


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