People drive very differently depending on where they are from. Something I have noticed throughout my years living in Tennessee is that people like to use their brakes. It doesn't matter if the car in front of them is ten feet or a hundred feet away, they step on the brakes anyway. I am currently in Haymarket, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., taking a class from Pastor Mark Finley. Up here, the drivers don't seem to know where their brakes are! They reserve them for emergencies only and drive quite aggressively. I don't know if it's because I learned to drive while my family lived on the other side of D.C. from here or not, but I have discovered that I tend to drive much more like the people here than the people in Tennessee. Of course, this is nothing compared to driving in London, where spaces are much tighter and traffic is a lot thicker. But even drivers in London are cautious compared to drivers in the Philippines or Sierra Leone. I remember fearing for my life at times riding with people there!
During Jesus' ministry on earth, John the Baptist began wondering if he had perhaps made a mistake in believing that Jesus was the Messiah. From his prison cell, he sent several of his disciples to approach Jesus and ask Him if they had been wrong. After spending the day teaching and healing, Jesus sent the disciples back with the story of what they had witnessed. Then turning to the multitudes around Him, Jesus began talking about John's ministry. He described him as someone firm, not shaken in the wind or wearing soft raiment. He continued, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12). Sometimes in our Christianity it's easy to use the brakes a lot. We become discouraged or complacent and forget that it's a life or death battle we are in. Maybe it's time to stop driving like we live in Tennessee, at least spiritually. Let's start acting like we are from Washington D.C. or even Sierra Leone or the Philippines! Let's become passionate, sharing Jesus and taking our religion seriously. Only then can we take the kingdom of heaven by force.