While watching a young boy attempting to ride a bike with the help of his father, I realized how learning to ride a bicycle and learning to walk by faith have similarities. Hebrews 11:1 NLT says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” As I continued to watch the young boy, he did not give up his hopes of successfully riding his bike alone. I am challenged to have a similar confidence in trusting the Lord with my life if I am to attain a walk of faith. In the beginning, the new biker may not reach his goal, but with practice he will triumph. Regarding the walk of faith, I may not initially be aware of all that the faith lifestyle entails, but as I grow in my faith, the Lord’s plans and purposes will become a reality.
When thinking back to when I first learned to ride a bicycle, I remember that I did not have the luxury of training wheels. However, I did have the steadying hand of my father. With my hands on the handlebars, I would frantically jerk the front wheel to the right and to the left trying to gain my balance while Dad’s hand stabilized the bicycle. I compare this to the scripture of Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” While walking by faith, I need to listen for the Lord’s voice rather than rely upon my own strength. Just as my dad held on to the seat of my bike so I would not fall, my Heavenly Father holds my hand so I will not stumble as I walk by faith. Isaiah 41:10 assures me, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Just as a bicycle has two wheels to create movement, so I imagine a bicycle of faith having two wheels to live by. I define these two wheels as trust and obedience. If I trust and obey the Lord, I will be able to confidently move forward. I will ride upon a bike of faith.
I examine these two wheels more closely by looking at a couple of scriptures. I named the front wheel trust. Trust is defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth or strength of someone or something. In this case, I am referring to trust in the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Trust involves a commitment of the heart. When I trust the Lord, He will give me a straight path to ride my bike of faith upon! I named the back wheel obedience which is defined as submission or compliance to one in authority or to instructions. Making a specific spiritual application, I refer to obeying God and His written Word. II John 1:6 says, “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” By trusting and obeying God, I keep moving by faith and drawing closer to the Lord.
When learning to ride my two-wheeled bicycle, I fell numerous times but my dad was always there to pick me up and encourage me to try again. The same thing occurs as I ride upon the bicycle of faith. My Heavenly Father is always there to pick me and set me back upon the wheels of trust and obedience. He is there encouraging me to keep going. The Psalmist says in Psalm 84:11b “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” I move forward when I stay upright whether it be riding a bike or walking by faith. It takes time to learn to ride a bike proficiently and it takes time to learn to live a life of faith without stumbling. In fact, a person is never assured that one will not fall off a bike if a wheel unexpectedly hits a large stone in the wrong way. One just needs to get up, get back on the bike and continue down the path. Neither should I be discouraged if I stumble upon a stone of sin and need the help of the Lord to get back up and continue my journey with Him.
I like the verse of Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” As I unpack this verse phrase by phrase, I make an application to my bicycle of faith with the wheels of trust and obedience. “Let us not grow weary while doing good” is obedience in action. The concluding phrase of “if we do not lose heart” is an example of trust. The result of obedience and trust is to “reap in due season” a harvest of deeper faith as referred to in the middle phrase. My goal in life is to trust and believe what God says in His Word and then obey and do what I have learned.
My Reader, in conclusion will you join me in singing the refrain of the old familiar hymn Trust and Obey by Samuel Stammis? The words are, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”