By Jonathan Howes, Lead Pastor, Graystone Church

The hitchhiker story
By Jonathan Howes
Lead Pastor
Graystone Church

You are driving in your car through downtown Lawrenceville, and you see a guy with long hair and sandals hitchhiking on the side of the road. 

You slow down a little as you pass by, and you realize that it’s Jesus Christ.  What is Jesus doing hitchhiking on the side of the road?  

A few weeks later, you see Jesus hitchhiking again.  And you decide to pull over and give him a ride.  You have always wanted Jesus to be a part of your life. You are going through some things right now, and he could certainly help.  So you pull the car over on the side of the road and line it up for Jesus to get in the backseat.  And to your surprise, Jesus doesn’t get in your car.  And you wonder why Jesus doesn’t want to be a part of your life?  Jesus is supposed to love everyone.  Does he not love you?

A few months later, you see Jesus again hitchhiking on the side of the road.  And you think, “Man, I could sure use Jesus in my life.”  So, you pull over again.  And you think to yourself, “Maybe he didn’t get in my car the first time, because he didn’t want to sit in the backseat.  Maybe Jesus wants to ride shotgun?”  So you pull over for Jesus to get in the passenger side door, and he doesn’t open the door.  He doesn’t get in your car.  And you get frustrated.  And you wonder why doesn’t Jesus want to be a part of your life.

A few months later, you see Jesus again hitchhiking on the side of the road.  And you are really desperate this time.  The last few months have been rough, and you really don’t know where else to turn.  So you pull the car over again on the side of the road.  This time Jesus walks over to the driver’s side door.  And all of a sudden a light bulb goes off in your head.  Jesus wants to drive the car.  He doesn’t want to ride in the backseat.  He doesn’t want to ride shotgun in your life.  He wants to drive. He wants to have complete control of your life.  He wants to drive the car of your life and lead you in the right direction.

So you open the car door, and Jesus gets in.  As he sits down in the driver’s seat of your life, you slide over into the passenger’s seat.  Jesus is now in control, and he is driving the car of your life.

This hitchhiker story is a good illustration of what it means to surrender our lives to Jesus.  Most of us know that we need Jesus in our lives.  We want him to help us.  We want him to save us from our sins.  And he wants to do just that.  But Jesus will not simply come into our lives as Savior.  He also wants to be our Lord.  He wants to have complete control of our lives.  And this is the difficult part for many of us. We like to be in control. We like to call the shots.  We like to determine what we do and where we will go.  It is hard for us to turn over the keys of our car and let Jesus have complete control.

This is what it means to surrender our lives to God.  Jesus says in Luke 9:23-24, ‘Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”’  If we want to experience true salvation in Heaven, we have to surrender our lives to him.  We have to give him complete control of our lives.  

Are you willing to let Jesus drive the car of your life?  He is standing at the driver’s side door.  Will you open it and let him in?  Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, “ Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”

Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road | Loganville, GA 30052 and the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655. 

Phone: (770) 466-3159
Email: info@graystonechurch.com
Website: GraystoneChurch.com
Blog: http://toliveischrist.cc
Twitter: @JohnnyHowes