There was a bumper sticker back in the 70s and 80s declaring “God is my Co-pilot!” Maybe there are a few antique cars that still have it out there. Maybe you’ve seen it yourself under years of road dust. I liked seeing others with faith enough to declare it. The phrase made me feel connected. Recently, two novels I’ve been reading have changed my perspective on this slogan.
4 “Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel, to all the removal that I removed from Jerusalem to Babylon,
5 Build ye houses, and abide; and plant ye gardens, and eat their fruit;
6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take for your sons wives, and your daughters give to husbands, and they bear sons and daughters; and multiply there, and ye are not few;
7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have removed you, and pray for it unto Jehovah, for in its peace ye have peace.
8 For thus said Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel, Let not your prophets who [are] in your midst, and your diviners, lift you up, nor hearken ye unto their dreams, thay ye are causing [them] to dream;
9 For with falsehood they are prophesying to you in My name; I have not sent them, an affirmation of Jehovah.
10 For thus said Jehovah, Surely at the fulness of Babylon — seventy years — I inspect you, and have established towards you My good word, to bring you back unto this place.
11 For I have known the thoughts that I am thinking towards you — an affirmation of Jehovah; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give to you posterity and hope.
12 And ye have called Me, and have gone, and have prayed unto Me, and I have hearkened unto you,
13 And ye have sought Me, and have found, for ye seek Me with all your heart;
14 And I have been found of you — an affirmation of Jehovah; and I have turned back [to] your captivity, and have gathered you out of all the nations, and out of all the places whither I have driven you — an affirmation of Jehovah — and I have brought you back unto the place whence I removed you.” [Jeremiah 29:4-14 YLT1]
Both novels are Christian fiction, yet they both made essentially the same statement (I am paraphrasing, since both statements were slightly different): “If God is your Co-pilot… You need to switch seats!” 2
I laughed out loud, then sobered. I’ve never seen that on a bumper sticker, but it sure made me think, is God the pilot of my life? I whispered, “Oh Lord, I want you to be the pilot of my life. Do I do that? Do I hand my life totally over to you? If not, how?” There are lots of verses about God being in charge of everything and putting God above all. I can find scriptures about choices we make in life. But letting go of the controls of my life for God to take over? These are more subtle and woven into examples. My thoughts brought me back to His promise in Jeremiah 29:11. The Lord thinks about us and has a plan for us. God loves us so much that He thinks and has plans for each one of us.
After pondering these things, I re-read Chapter 29 for more information. In this chapter, Jeremiah is speaking specifically to God’s people held captive in Babylon. Those whose hearts remained faithful to God. Here, Jeremiah relays God’s instructions to them. These instructions will preserve their faith for future generations.
Jeremiah also proclaims God’s promise to His faithful, “For I have known the thoughts that I am thinking towards you — an affirmation of Jehovah; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give to you posterity and hope.”
Posterity means descendants, generation. Other bible translations use the word future for posterity. God plans for each of us to have descendants to carry His Word forward and hope in Him. This is a big promise to people in captivity. Think about it. God does not lie to His people. He tells them the truth. They will be in Babylon for seventy years.
Then the word comes from God through Jeremiah. Live in peace, pray for peace, raise your families, plant your gardens, and I will give you posterity and hope. Seventy years is a long time. This is a hope they might not see. Can they do it? Can they raise their families with faith in God and see beyond their lives to the hope of future generations? They did. The Messiah came and the nation of Israel is restored.
The captives of Babylon had no control over anything except within the walls of their homes and gardens. God understood this. By following God’s instructions, they turned control of their lives over to God. Because God promised something more, posterity and hope.
This is the core of God’s people. This is who we grow up to be: people with God in control of our lives. Doing what He says to do, then letting Him handle the rest. This is personal between God and us individually. Reading the between the lines; I find to receive God’s promise, I need to open my hands and let Him take the controls.
Looking back, I see where my faith, hope, and love in God are strong, but I keep a finger on the controls of my life. I keep asking God, what do I do about this situation or that problem? Over the last month, he has said to my soul several times, “Open your hand…” Not “hands,” but “hand.” Obviously, I am driving through life with one hand raised to God and one hand on the wheel. He wants to me to let go completely. It is scary to “let go and let God.” Please pray with me:
Father, thank You for all Your gifts and promises. They keep me going when times are tough, even when I don’t deserve them. You are my God and my Lord. Keep me close to You as I open my hand and let go of the controls. Please help me trust You as You lead my life. I love You and I want to trust You completely without my fingers in the way. This is hard for me, Lord. I’ve always believed God helps those who help themselves. You have shown me simple instructions: to live my life in peace, pray for peace, remain faithful, and let You take the controls. Please be my pilot and guide me further along the way. In Yeshua’s holy name, amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Over the next couple of weeks we celebrate our Savior and our God. I pray you have a blessed Holy Week, Easter, and/or Passover.
May the peace of God comfort you today,
1 Scripture is from the Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) by Public Domain
2 “Mrs Miracle” by Debbie Macomber © 1996, 2010 Brillance Audio, and “Wisconsin Blessings” by Becky Melby and Cathy Wienke © 1994, 1996, 1997 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.
3 Please, remember I am not a theologian. This is from my own private discussions with the Lord, study, and experiences. You may see something I do not. That is okay. Let the Lord lead you. Ask Him questions and discuss this with Him. He is faithful to lead and guide us. Just like you, I am searching for wisdom and understanding. God bless.