Summary: A sermon that uses the series title top gear to talk about powering forward with God this sermon is putting God in the drivers seat of your life.
God in the drivers seat.
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am.” (Matthew 16:24 MSG)
Matthew 16:24-25Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
In the next few sermons we will be comparing the Christian life to driving a car not a leisurely Sunday Drive but on the edge.
We are calling this series Top Gear because it is a Christians responsibility to always aim for excellence in their lives and in their Christian witness.
There are plenty of people who are competant drivers at the slowest pace but not many who are able to drive at the absolute limits.
Jesus called us to live a radical christian life – not dull – boring or safe but on the edge. Living like this as a Christian does not involve greaty physical energy or even necessarily being young. It involves passion, singlemindedness and great skill.
When Jesus was moving towards the cross – He very deliberately set his heart towards Jerusalem in other words he racked it up a gear, put his foot to the floor and entered into an action pack mode that meant that he was on the edge of life as he knew it in fact he was facing death itself.
This morning I want to explore this theme in relation to putting God in the driving seat – Of course, we will mix this metaphor a bit later on when we talk about driving God’s course and so on but this morning I want to talk about putting God in the drivers seat.
Our scripture this morning is the message bible version of the scripture that we have already shared.
Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am.” (Matthew 16:24 MSG)
Of course this is not a instruction to let God drive your car or even your life in the sense that you do nothing but rather to let him direct and pervade all that you do.
But it is to say that you have surrendered your situation and situations to God
Brother Andrew tells the following story
During the height of the Cold War, Communist countries were keeping a tight control on their borders, but God had called Brother Andrew to help the Christians behind that Iron Curtain.
"When I pulled up to the checkpoint on the other side of the Danube, I said to myself, "Well, I'm in luck. Only half a dozen cars. This Romanian border crossing should go swiftly."
"But when it took forty minutes to inspect the first car, I began to worry...literally everything that family was carrying had to be taken out and spread on the ground.
"Every car in line was put through the same routine. The fourth inspection lasted well over an hour. The guards took the driver inside and kept him there while they removed hub caps, took his engine apart, removed seats.
"Dear Lord," I said, as at last there was just one car ahead of me, "what am I going to do? Any serious inspection will show up these Romanian Bibles right away.
"Lord," I went on, "I know that no amount of cleverness on my part can get me through this border search. Dare I ask for a miracle? Let me take some of the Bibles out and leave them in the open where they will be seen. Then, Lord I cannot possibly be depending on my own stratagems, can I? I will be depending utterly upon You."
"While the last car was going through its chilling inspection, I managed to take several Bibles from their hiding places and pile them on the seat beside me.
"It was my turn. I put the little VW in low gear, inched up to the officer standing at the left side of the road, handed him my papers, and started to get out. But his knee was against the door, holding it closed. He looked at my photograph in the passport, scribbled something down, shoved the papers back under my nose, and abruptly waved me on.
"Surely thirty seconds had not passed. I started the engine and inched forward. Was I supposed to pull over, out of the way where the car could be taken apart? Was I ... surely I wasn’t...I coasted forward, my foot poised above the brake. Nothing happened. I looked out the rear mirror. The guard was waving the next car to a stop, indicating to the driver that he had to get out. On I drove a few more yards. The guard was having the driver behind me open the hood of his car. And then I was too far away to doubt that indeed I had made it through that incredible checkpoint in the space of thirty seconds.