Many hours were spent in Newberry dorm where I resided when going to college, debating with guys about the Lord and different religious beliefs. I don’t think a lot was accomplished in that. One day, in Huie Library at Henderson State University, I tangled with an atheist girl and an agnostic girl who were friends. I was out to convince them of God. The debate was hot and heavy, but upbeat. So after a while I got to telling them about Jehu’s Chariot, the 1950 Chevy Coup my Uncle had given me for college transportation. It had been his fishing car and it had been sitting up a while, but when he learned I needed some wheels, he got it running again and just gave it to me. You could see the ground through the floor board, to give you some idea the shape it was in, but it ran. I offered to take these girls for a spin and they accepted. Degray Lake was being formed at the time, and the dam was under construction. Everything was gravel on top of the dam and on the roads. We were scooting across the top of the dam about 50 mph and got to the other side and at the last second, I decided to make a quick right turn onto another road. Well, the gravel would not allow for such a last second decision, so Jackie, the screaming girls, and Jehu’s Chariot split the intersection headed right for a huge tree. Good thing, though, there was a big pile of gravel pushed up in front of that tree. We came to rest on that pile of gravel sort of looking up at the tree. Hearing the expletives that came forth from my passengers, who generously called out to the name of the Lord, I turned to them and said, “Oh so you do believe in God!” Thankfully, the incident ended up all in a good time. I don’t think the girls lives were changed at that point, except they were probably very determined to never take a spin with Jackie in Jehu’s Chariot ever again.
We all have different experiences with the Lord, but one thing is true to all. We cannot build a life and a relationship with him based on intellectual persuasion and fear. Those might play a role, but true and lasting change and relationship comes about by seeing the love that Jesus demonstrated in going to the cross for us to pay for all our sins and sicknesses. It is by seeing His love for us in securing a place of blessing and empowerment to enable us to live in victory now and forever. It is by seeing his care for us and his faithfulness to us as we rely upon his Word and Spirit. Seeing him in this way evokes love and allegiance back to him which inspires us to please him in all things. It goes from a joy ride to genuinely following Jesus.