The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
I remember driving down the road one sunny day. I was stuck in Southern California traffic (which was a normal occurrence) on my way home from work. There was nothing good on the radio at that moment, so I was reading the different bumper stickers on the cars ahead of me. There were the typical “My son/daughter is on the honor roll at such and such school.” There were a few political bumper stickers, a smattering of funny ones, like “If you are close enough to read this, you’ll be tasting my bumper soon!” and, of course, the fish symbol on the back, symbolizing that the person driving is a Christian – or maybe that their car is.
Then, I saw one that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve seen it several times since, but it was my very first sighting. The bumpers sticker said, “God is my co-pilot.” At first glance I thought, “That’s original. Very cool!” It was only upon reflection that I realized that this bumper sticker captures the way most people see God, which is as someone who sits beside us and provides backup. However, there’s a slight problem with this concept – it’s not biblical.
Too often, we get trapped into thinking that we are somehow equal to, or better than, God. That we are the pilot. This is a very dangerous concept. In fact, it is this very notion that caused sin to come into existence when Lucifer, the highest of angels in heaven, decided that He was greater than, God. That sin caused Lucifer to become the being we now know as Satan.
This bumper sticker captured the original sin in a very fun-loving way. Unfortunately, the witness it bore to the thousands of people on the freeway was misleading at best, and blaspheme (claiming equality to God) at its worst. It reinforced an improper view of our relationship to our Creator. He is the one in charge of our lives, not us.
As the Psalmist states, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly.” Our God is not our co-pilot. He is in charge. He is the one who calls out the directions. He is the one who ensures that we get to our destination in one piece. He is the one entrusted with our salvation. He is our Pilot. Each and every day, we need to ask our Pilot for our flightpath. We need to listen for his directions and fly our lives accordingly. Then, we can correctly proclaim, “God is my Pilot!”