Back in 1974, an effort was made to force people to wear their seat belts. The plan was to prevent their cars from starting until they had buckled up. This pitch met heavy resistance and frustration from car owners, so the idea was tabled. Recently GM brought the idea back. They are planning on offering this free option in some of their 2015 cars and will gauge the response (Yahoo).
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury. In 2008, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,250 lives. Seat belts have saved over 75,000 lives during the 5-year period from 2004 to 2008 (NHTSA). All of these statistics raise the question, why would anyone resist this safety feature since seat belts are so important?
Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that people don’t like to be told what to do, even if it is best for them, and even if it means saving their lives. This dangerous mindset has filtered into the church as well. People don’t want to be told what to do spiritually by anyone, even by God Himself in Scripture. Whether we agree or not, whether we understand it or not, God has our best interests at heart.
In the Old Testament, the people probably didn’t understand why God prohibited them from drinking blood (Leviticus 17:10-13), but today we understand that disease is carried in the blood. The Israelites probably didn’t understand why God commanded against the eating of animals like pig (Deuteronomy 14:3-8), but today we recognize that these animals are hard to cook adequately to kill off the dangerous bacteria. There were likely many other commands God’s people did not understand or agree with (i.e. idolatry), but it was vital that they obeyed anyway. Today there may be some commands we are opposed to, but God is righteous and God is just. Every one of God’s commands was given for some really good reasons, even if we don’t know what they are.
No matter our attitude and disposition, a day is coming when everyone will be judged by the words and commands God has given us (John 12:48). When we follow these commands, we put on our spiritual seat belts. We cannot be in God’s vehicle, the church, unless we are properly buckled up (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21), and we cannot move forward with the vehicle unless we stay buckled (2 Peter 3:17; Hebrews 12:15; Revelation 2:10).
We need to have our spiritual seat belts securely fastened. So, with our souls on the line, will we, “Click it or Risk it?”