There was a recently popular song that suggested, “Jesus, take the wheel.” Similarly, there were a couple of wildly popular bumper stickers back-in-the-day — one that said “God is my co-pilot;” the other said, “If God is your co-pilot, change seats.”
Now, all of these are clichés intending to assist in discipleship by making complex concepts simple. All are likely well intended but only one is correct. Let’s take a look at today’s core text:
Ephesians 3:20 (ESV) Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
Genesis 1:28 (ESV) And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
One of the most important things to understand about God is that He will never trample over your will with His. The heroes of faith in the Bible are simply people who aligned their will with God’s to achieve an objective.
Yes, He is God. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that all things are upheld by the Word of His Power. John 1:3 tells us that all things were made through Him. Romans 14:11 tells us that every knee shall bow to God and every tongue shall confess Him. He could force us into robotic worship, reducing us to nothing but drones for His pleasure but He doesn’t!
God gives us the ability to choose. You know, free will. Contrary to what you may have been told, you are, indeed, the captain of your own ship.
Life in Christ is like driving in a world champion rally race. There are highly skilled drivers who pilot the car but there is also an expert navigator who gives the driver turn by turn instructions according to time, speed, and distance. The driver is responsible for piloting the car but it is also his responsibility to trust and to follow the instructions of the navigator.
Jesus told us (John 6:38) that He came not do do his own will but the will of His Father. In the account of the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39, Luke 22:42), Jesus painfully asked if God could remove this task from Him — He had His own human will but He set that aside for the will of His Father and His divine assignment. Jesus came to earth to show us how to drive and how to listen to our navigator!
It’s very interesting to note here that what Adam lost in one garden by his free will was regained by Jesus in another garden by His free will! Jesus was trusting His navigator and, in doing so, showing us how to trust ours.
So, who is our navigator? The Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 (ESV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit knows the race we need to run. He knows the course. He knows the turn-by-turn intricacies. He knows the terrain. He will teach you all things and then recall it from your memory. He will lead you to victory because He leads us from a position of victory.
Remember, the race you run is just a victory lap! You already won in Christ!
We all are called to preach the Gospel. We all have a ministry — a service we must render to the world. We each have people in our spheres of influence that cannot be reached by others. We are the skipper of a ship commissioned by God. However, we must remember that even though the ship is ours to command, He wants us to trust Him to help us.
When I was in the Navy, when we entered the shipping channel coming into port, a small boat would come alongside us to drop off a fellow known as the “harbor pilot.” The harbor pilot studies the harbor nearly all his life and knows all the depths and the direction of the shipping lanes. He would never take the helm but he stood on the bridge to give expert guidance to the skipper and the quartermaster at the helm. Even as expert at navigating as the Captain and His crew were, they deferred to the expertise of the Harbor Pilot to bring them to a safe mooring.
As a consultant, I get to fly a lot. Even though I make the decision to travel and I determine my destination, I defer to the pilot to safely get me there. But even the pilot defers to his co-pilot, who also serves as his navigator. And both the pilot and co-pilot defer to the expertise of air-traffic control to determine the safest routes to fly.
One of my dream cars is the Tesla Model S. It’s electric-powered, amazingly fast, economical, and good-looking. But it has one thing most cars don’t have — the ability to drive itself! And while that’s an amazing technological feat, it can’t drive you anywhere unless you enter a destination into its computer.
So, back to our opening statement — God is, indeed, our co-pilot. But His wisdom and guidance is only as good to us as we are willing to follow it. When you open your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, He will order your steps and guide you throughout the course called life until you’ve reached your divine destination. The Holy Spirit will teach you of God’s unconditional Love and Grace and constantly remind (convict) you of your righteousness in Him.
This is the intersection of super and natural: when we align our will with God’s will. He will never force His will on us but when we move our will in the same direction as His, He will activate the power that He has imparted to us to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or think — through us!
©2017 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)