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.
by Michael E. Brooks