Goodbye Training Wheels

Do you remember when you learned to ride a bicycle? Maybe your father walked by your side holding one end of a stick while you clenched on – ecstatic and petrified all at once – as you learned to ride. Or maybe you relied on training wheels, providing the balance you needed as you learned to do something a small mind could hardly conceive of – ride your first “big” bicycle. Perhaps you even had both – a stick attached to your father and training wheels beneath you. At some point along the way, you didn’t need the stick any longer. You didn’t need the encouraging, or perhaps discouraging words, called out by the adult walking beside you. At last, you left the training wheels behind because you had learned to balance and ride all on your own. Learning to ride a bicycle even with training wheels is no small feat, but then comes the day you have no training wheels on which to depend. Learning to follow Jesus is no small feat to say the least, not especially when it’s time to say goodbye to the training wheels on which you have come to rely.

As the Body of Christ falls under attack from the enemy like never before, as events worldwide reveal the ever burgeoning darkness throughout the earth, and as followers of Jesus are tested like never before in their faith walk with the Lord, one thing is for sure. The training wheels on which many of us have come to rely will no longer suffice. I should know. I have noticed as I look down one too many times at my feet as they strive to pedal forward that my training wheels are gone. Nobody is walking by my side holding one end of the stick while I grab on for dear life to the other. While until now, I did a fairly decent job of depending on other people’s faith instead of my own, I have come to a realization. My training wheels are a thing of the past, and it is high time I ride my bicycle just like the Lord has been teaching me through His Word.

If I want to move forward with the Lord, I have to let go of the stick, pass the training wheels on to someone who can use them, and pedal hard after the Lord as He leads me forward. By no means has He left me behind. He is not a parent who has sent me out all on my own to ride into the future without Him. He is right there with me, every step of the way. But the difference is I can no longer rely on the training wheels. I can no longer get away with saying I am a baby Christian, a new believer, a short-time follower, a newbie, etc. I have to depend fully, wholly, entirely, and completely on HIM. 
As the enemy attacks me, as the Lord tests me, as my circumstances continue to look different than I have prayed for or desired, I have two choices. I can stick the training wheels back on my bicycle and fall down anyway, or I can learn to ride with the wind of the Holy Spirit. Why would I fall down now with training wheels? They have stopped working for me. They can no longer support me. God does not want me to go backwards. He wants me to go forwards. Training wheels are a thing of the past. It’s time for me to put the pedal to the metal, so to speak. On, in my case, I need to put my pedal to the faith I have acquired through study of His Word. 
Thank God for the full armor of God (Ephesians 6), which includes a helmet. I do not recommend riding without the helmet of salvation – not to mention every other piece of armor the Lord describes in Ephesians 6. The bicycle path I ride on is not the little sidewalk in front a little house with a picket fence. Now I am riding the pathway of faith in Jesus – with all its bumps, cracks, hills, mountains, valleys, and everything else. 
I thank God I am not riding it alone. Not only do I ride with my fellow followers of Jesus, but I get to ride with the Lord Himself. 
Grab your helmet, put on the rest of your armor, toss off your training wheels if the Lord is telling you it’s time, and come along for the ride. 
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