As these men visited during their flight, they became engaged in conversation about the safety of flying. The former commercial pilot said, "Many people think these huge jets are built more safely and, therefore, are safer to fly than smaller planes. People think that because there are more crashes with smaller planes than with commercial jets. But, the fact is they aren't built more safely. The reason why so many smaller planes crash is not because of bad equipment. It's because of inexperienced pilots flying the little planes."
The other man was fascinated and wanted to hear more. The former commercial pilot continued, "The error of inexperienced pilots is that they refuse to believe their instruments. In a storm, they trust their instincts rather than their navigation instruments. That's where they get in trouble. For example, a pilot may become absolutely convinced, due to his own visual perception and feelings, that his plane is increasing in altitude. However, the instrument panel might read otherwise. In such circumstances, an inexperienced pilot is tempted to disbelieve his instrument gauges and adjust the plane according to his own senses. But, when the pilot ignores his readings and adjusts the plane according to his intuition, it is sure to crash." The man concluded by saying, "There wouldn't be as many small planes crashes if pilots would devotedly believe their instrument panels rather than accepting what they think their senses are telling them."
Friends, I believe there are several important spiritual truths that can be gleaned from this conversation:
1. A crash is inevitable when we attempt to fly by "the seat of our pants" (i.e., by emotion or intuition).
We will not be successful servants of the Lord if we attempt to guide ourselves through life via our feelings or opinions. This is true in worship, in doctrine, and in everyday Christian living. Proverbs 14:12 says - "There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death." It might seem right in my own eyes, to say or do a particular thing, but just because I think something is good does not mean that God agrees. Saul of Tarsus thought he should persecute Christians (Acts 26:9); he was wrong. Thankfully, he repented and did not continue down that destructive path of guiding himself by his emotions and intuition. Can you see the danger in trying to direct your own steps based on your own feelings or wisdom?
2. The instrument panel (i.e., the word of God) is always true.
Do you really believe that? Is God's word 100% true or is it only true where you agree with it? It is one thing to verbally state that you believe the word of God is always true, and it is another thing to live in harmony with such a claim. When a person affirms belief in God's word as truth, and then disregards its teaching and principles in certain aspects of life, he is deceiving himself. The Bible is God's truth concerning how one can become a Christian, worship properly, live righteously, etc. We must trust our spiritual instrument panel! Psalm 119:160 says - "The entirety of Your word is truth..." It is through obedience to God's word-truth-that we can be sanctified and set free (John 8:32; 17:17).
3. Therefore, in order to arrive at our intended destination (i.e., heaven), we must pilot according to divine revelation rather than human intuition.
We all want to get to heaven, but we will not get there by following our own ideas and desires. We can only get there by following God's directions. Those who are seeking their own way to heaven will fail. They will wind up on the broad way that leads to destruction, not the narrow path that leads to life (Matt. 7:13,14). Let us all proclaim with Asaph - "You [God] will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Let the Scriptures direct your every move in life, for it is through submissive obedience to the truths found therein that the Lord will guide you to an eternal home of glory with Him.