[forthright] The Spirit Was In the Wheels

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2008 15:15:24 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Field Notes

The Spirit Was In the Wheels
by Michael E. Brooks

"Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold a
wheel was on the earth beside each living creature
with its four faces ... When the living creatures
went the wheels went beside them; and when the
living creatures were lifted up from the earth,
the wheels were lifted up. Wherever the spirit
wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit
went; and the wheels were lifted together with
them, for the spirit of the living creatures was
in the wheels" (Ezekiel 1:15,19-20 NKJV).

I always try to get exercise when I am traveling,
and that usually means walking. Sometimes I get
plenty of walking just in the process of getting
back and forth to churches, but on other occasions
I must take regular exercise walks. When I do that
on public streets or roads a native of the area
usually accompanies me. Most of them are not
accustomed to fast walking and that sometimes
causes difficulties.

Some time ago I was well into my walk, and at a
pretty good pace, when one of those trying to walk
with me called out, "Brother, your legs no legs;
your legs wheels." We all laughed and I slowed
down a little. Later I reflected on the vision
Ezekiel had of the living creatures and the wheels
that went with them everywhere.

The key to the description is that the spirit of
the creature was in the wheels. It was the living
creature who determined the direction, distance,
and speed of travel. The wheel went where it was
directed. That is as it should be, but too often
it does not seem to be the case.

I once was asked to counsel a man who had
difficulty resisting immorality. As we discussed
it, he confessed that when he was away from home
he would frequent bars, where he found it
difficult to resist the attention of other women.
I guess so. It is obvious that his spirit was not
making the decisions of where he went. Instead, he
was following the lead of his body.

Do we go where our feet and legs (our wheels) take
us, or do they go only to where our spirits
direct? Is that not the key question? Put another
way, who is in charge in your life, your spiritual
self, or your physical desires? Paul makes it
plain. "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you
shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the
flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh; and these are contrary to one
another, so that you do not do the things that you
wish" (Galatians 5:16,17).

Jesus helps us to gain control over our bodies by
cleansing us from sin and teaching us to live by
his Spirit. He breaks the bonds by which sin
controls us, and gives us the keys to remaining
free. He puts his spirit in our bodies (Colossians
3:3; Romans 8:9) that we may walk by its
direction. Let us surrender to him.

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