Summary: Part 4 focuses on if God is our co-pilot then we must be the pilot and the ones calling the shot. If we are the co-pilot then God is calling the shots and we need to understand what He is saying about us.
The Person In The Mirror Part 4
This message is part 4 in my series “The Person In The Mirror.” The foundational Scripture for this series comes from James chapter one. He said “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness, and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” (James 1:21-24)
In the first three parts of this series I covered what it means to be a doer of the Word and what happens when we refuse. James said that when we hear the Word and refuse to do it, we are like that man who looked at his face in a mirror and after walking away forgot what he actually looked like. I have asked several times what do you see when you look in the mirror. This morning we will take a look at what we see in the mirror and I want to use a bumper sticker as the backdrop for the points I want to make over the next few weeks.
Many years ago there was a bumper sticker that was very popular. The bumper sticker simply said that “God is My Co-Pilot.” My father purchased one of these stickers and placed it on his car. When I saw the bumper sticker, I asked my father why he had put that on his car. You see, I knew what he was professing – that he was a Christian and that God was with him wherever he went – God was co-piloting the car with him. I understood the profession of faith that he was making, but my mind went to the actual meaning of the words. Let me explain.
I. God Is My Go-Pilot
My brother Barry did some research on this when he was preparing a sermon with this title after one of our lengthy discussions. He found that “God Is My Co-Pilot” was a movie produced in 1945 and was based on the autobiography of Robert Lee Scott, Jr. It tells the story of Scott’s involvement with the Flying Tigers and the United States Army Air Forces in China and Burma during World War II. Robert L. Scott had dreamed his whole life of being a fighter pilot, but when the war came, he found himself flying transport planes over The Hump into China. While in China, he persuaded General Chennault to let him fly with the famed Flying Tigers, the heroic band of airmen who’d been fighting the Japanese long before Pearl Harbor. Scott gets his chance to fight, ultimately engaging in combat with the deadly Japanese pilot known as Tokyo Joe. This story of inspiration and faith in God has enthralled millions. This story led to the development of the bumper sticker I mentioned earlier that simply said “God Is My Co-Pilot.” Without intending to offend God, many Christians live their lives modeling this slogan – they are the pilot and God is the co-pilot. But should this be the case for how we live?
By definition, the pilot is one who “is employed to steer the ship; a person qualified and usually licensed to conduct a ship into and out of a port or in specific waters; a person who flies or is qualified to fly an aircraft or spacecraft; a guide or leader. In other words, the pilot is the one who is in charge. They are the ones making the decisions. The pilot calls the shots because he/she is the one in charge. The co-pilot by definition is a “qualified pilot who assists or relieves the pilot but is not in command.” Do you see the difference? The co-pilot is the number two person; they assist the pilot. They play a supporting/helping role while providing an extra set of eyes, ears and hands when required. They are capable of piloting the craft, but they are not the ones in charge of it. If the co-pilot did not perform his/her job they could be replaced with another co-pilot. When we place God in the co-pilot seat, we tend to “fired” Him when He does not do or perform up to our expectation. Many people have turned their backs on God when they went through difficult situations because they believed that God had turned His back on them. This turning away or rejection God was in fact “firing” Hi from His position in their life.