“WHO IS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT?” By Pastor YAU
1) A bumper sticker: The bumper sticker that catches my attention reads “JESUS IS MY CO-PILOT” may be a well-intentioned sentiment, but it troubles me. Whenever I am in the driver’s seat of my life, I am getting nowhere. Jesus is not meant to be the co-pilot of my life when I need him every now and then. He should always be in the driver’s seat of my life all the time.
2) A confession statement: In describing the change of life in his letter to the Galatians, Paul declared his total surrender of life to Jesus. He says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.” (2:20) Paul did not just change the direction and purpose of his life, he surrender it totally to Jesus in relinquishing his driver’s seat.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF RELINQUISHING:
1) Hear the words of a hero: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:4-5) To the new generation of Israelis, Moses repeated the laws of God in Deuteronomy. He called on the new Israelis to listen to his teaching and to love God with all of their beings. Moses asked that they made God the center of their lives, listen to him, obey him, follow him and serve him. To offer God the driver’s seat of life is from the very early days of the Bible.
2) Hear the words of a king: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6)With all the wisdom God gave him and all the power and glamour of being a successful king, Solomon advised his people to surrender their driver’s seats to the Lord. He gave the reason: God will make your path straight, easy for you.
3) Hear the words of a prophet: “Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ear will hear a voice behind you saying: This is the path, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) According to Isaiah, God knows the best which way we should go for our lives. He knows more than just the way, He also knows how to get there without waste time and efforts in errors if we do it ourselves.
4) Hear the words of Jesus: “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)I believe that every Christian is familiar with this short prayer of Jesus before he was arrested and eventually crucified on the cross. In this prayer, we see an example of total surrender of the self, submits to the will of God and giving up the control of life to his heavenly Father—God is in charge, not Jesus. If Jesus asked God to take the driver’s seat of his life, who else can do better by taking his own seat?
HUMAN REASONS OF TAKING CONTROL:
1) We inherit the corrupted nature: Ever since Satan injected to Eve the desire of independent from God, we all were born with that old and corrupted nature: I don’t need God. This is the root of all sins and problems—to live life without the interference of God. The reason Satan wanted to help Eve distant from God was by then it will certainly have the control of human life. Without the presence and power of God in our life, we will be hopeless slaves under the evil power of Satan.
2) We want to do things our way: Just look at little kids and they want their independent from parents we can understand why we want to be in the driver’s seat of our life: we want to do things our way. We care so much about “my way” than “good way” or “good results.” The “I, me, mine and myself” are very important to our ego, in fact, the only thing we know about life.
3) We want to preserve our pride: Even though pride is a cardinal sin in the eyes of God, it is pride that drives men to make many mistakes and suffer terrible consequences. We don’t want others to tell us what to do with our life or help us to make better choices. We see so many people, including many Christians get into unnecessary troubles and pain just because they want to preserve their pride: I don’t need your help, I know what I am doing. Pride has destroyed many lives, shattered marriages and tumbled many otherwise good and faithful Christians.
4) We think we know better: This is by far the most unconscious reason we want to take control of our life: we believe that no one else, including God knows my need better than we do. We don’t believe that God, our parents, well mean friends, pastors and counselors who have much knowledge and experience of life know about what we need and what we want. So, asking help from them or listening to them just doesn't make sense. So, I must take control to do my life my way.
FOUR STEPS TO RELINQUISH CONTROL? (Galatians 2:20)
1) First, put self to death with Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ.” (2:20a)To crucify means to nail it down, to put to death so it won’t have any function or influence. In the earlier part of this chapter 2:16-19, Paul was talking about how the old life and the law cannot save anyone. Then he testified that he has crucified that very old life with Christ. Put to death the old life, the self righteousness of human wisdom and work is the first step we all need to do so we can relinquish our sinful desire to take control of our life. Before you can have the new attitude of a Christian life, you need to nail dead the old one first.
2) Second, let Christ live in us: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (2:20b)The life Paul continued to live is not his life but the life control by Christ. To have Christ live in us means to let him takes over, makes decisions, gives values and purposes, direct and pursue goals that are not ours but God’s. Be honest, how much of your life today, at this moment is control by Christ, is to achieve God’s purpose, is for God and His Kingdom? Who is sitting on the throne of your heart? So many Christians only need Christ when they are in trouble or when they don’t know what to do without the Genie in the bottle for emergencies.
3) Third, to have faith in Christ: “The life I live in this body, I live by faith in the Son of God.” (2:20c)Why don’t we or can’t we allow God to take control of our life if we truly have faith in Him? All of us believe that God, in Christ, will give us eternal life because of our faith. But after we have faith in Christ to receive eternal life, we need to continue have faith in Christ to direct our life, control our life, lead our life. Then we will be totally at peace with God and with our inner being: we trust God in Christ to know us, meet our needs and give us joy and peace.
4) Finally, to know Christ love: “Who loves me and gave himself for me.” (2:20d) This is about the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross to save us from eternal loss. This is the ultimate proof of God’s love to each one of us. How could anyone still think that God doesn’t have our best interest in his heart? How could anyone still think that God doesn’t know his needs or is unable to need them? If we truly know the depth of God’s love, we won’t have any hesitation to let Him take the driver’s seat of our life to lead us to a higher ground. Right? Do you still don’t know how much God loves you? Do you still can’t trust God that He really knows you well and has your best interests in his heart? Can you believe that God can do a much better job with your life than you can do it yourself? Let go of yourself, let God take over today.
1) Look inside of your heart: I know you are a Christian, but what kind of a Christian? In what way do you show in your life that God has any part in your life? Look inside your heart and see who is in your driver’s seat to control your life. This is a very serious issue of being a Christian. Do you use Jesus as a co-driver and only need his expertise when you are in danger? Or He is in full control of your life and is leading your way?
2) Do you have the best driver? Do you believe that God knows the way of life better than you do? Why don’t you ask him to take over and sit back, relax, enjoy your ride?