Friday, 13 October 2017 06:51

Copilot Fruit Bearers

Written by  Sam Whatley
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Years ago a bumper sticker became popular that stated, “God is my copilot.”  On the positive side, that message shows us that we are to work side by side with the Lord in all things and trust Him completely. That is certainly true. On the negative side, it seems to indicate that God is here to assist us with our plans. 


He can make some suggestions, but we will make the decisions. We could do the job without Him, but we could do a better job with Him. Obviously, that is where the analogy stops working.


In January 15, 2009, Pilot Chesley Sullenberger landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York City. He had lost all engine power after hitting a flock of Canadian geese. However, all 155 people aboard were rescued by nearby boats with few serious injuries. “Sully” was a very experienced pilot who knew the only way to save the plane and its passengers. At the moment he made that decision few air traffic controllers agreed with him. But “Sully” was a wise pilot.


To understand our working relationship with the Lord, let’s see how the Bible describes it. Jesus said: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV).


He adds, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8, NIV).


So, what’s all this fruit stuff about? I spent years confused about this before I discovered what Paul wrote to the Galatians. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).


These are attributes of our redeemed personality. They are expressions of a heart that has been transformed by the Lord. The evidence of the change will show up in our emotions, desires, and actions. Anyone who knew us before will know that we are not the folks we used to be. We don’t use the same words or the same tone of voice. We are kinder, have more patience, and have a peace that comes from the joy of the Lord. You can’t work this up on your own.


This is the result of making Jesus, the Son of God, the center of our lives. It is we (as copilots) asking the Pilot what we can do for Him. We may make a suggestion now and then, but we know He will make all of the decisions. He allows us to participate in His mission in this world, but we know it is for His honor and glory. And we are thankful to serve Him in any way He chooses.


Our prayers should reflect that understanding. They should not be primarily about our own health, wealth, and well-being. They should center on God’s Kingdom. We should ask, who can we encourage? Who can we help through a crisis? How can we explain to someone that God loves them and that Jesus died to set them free? How can the money God has entrusted with us be used to show God’s love for others?


Those are the kinds of questions that God wants to answer. For He tells us in Matthew: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31-33, NIV).


Once we accept Christ as our Savior, we realize He is also our Lord. We come to work with Him, side by side, day by day. But we should always remember that we only copilot the plane. He knows what is best. We have only to trust Him and serve Him any way we can. Even if He says to land our plane on the river.




**Sam Whatley’s latest book, Ponder Anew, is now available at the Frazer Bookstore located inside Frazer Memorial UMC.



Last modified on Friday, 13 October 2017 08:35
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