Using the Wheel Illustration

Here is the original wheel illustration created by Dawson Trotman, the founder of The Navigators.

The Navigators Wheel Illustration

The Wheel Illustration is a convenient tool for analyzing my level of practical discipleship. I can think about how much effort I put into each activity. Then I draw a picture giving the appropriate lengths to each of the spokes for the effort invested. For instance, I might invest effort in fellowshipping and consuming the Word of God. But I might neglect witnessing and prayer. Then my wheel would look like this. Lop-sided and flat.

Or I might pray, take in the Word of God, hang out with Christians, and hang out with non-Christians. But I might not be doing the very act of obedience that God has requested. Perhaps, He wants me to give the majority of my tax return to the mission field. Or maybe He wants me to volunteer my time and energy to the Vacation Bible School program. Or maybe He wants me to teach a Sunday School class this year. That would be obedience. But, I try to make Him happy by sacrificing to do the other activities instead. God loves obedience more than sacrifice. Then my wheel would look like this.

A popular one for me is when I am doing all the right things. And it looks good to everyone on the outside. But I know in my heart that I am the center of my life. Not the Lord Jesus Christ. Or maybe I have put another person in that spot. Some one else or something else is the center of my life. I am motivated to do the right things for the wrong reasons.

Here is another one I have been known to exhibit. The Lord Jesus Christ seems to be in the center. I think I am trying to be obedient. But I am not willing to put in the effort. I am not willing to pray or spend time in the Word or witness or really fellowship with other Christians. I want to do it, but I want to do it my way. Usually, its the wrong way. Or I might let someone else tell me what to do because thats easier than doing the hard work of figuring it out between me and God.

Now you try it.

Every week or once a month, sit down with a piece of paper and draw the wheel that represents your practical discipleship. Now pick out an area that needs work. Work on it!

Draw your wheel now.

Look it over.

Go to the home page and select area and get after it!

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Posted: June 2, 2008