A few years ago, I heard Pastor Bill Winston, of Chicago, Illinois, sharing about his training to become a pilot. He talked about what he learned when going through his Instrument Flight Rules training, blindfolded. While working in the flight simulator, he thought that his plane was straight and level, but when he took off the blindfold, he discovered that it was actually upside down. That was when he learned just how important it was to learn to use – and to trust – the instrument panel on the plane. He then made this statement: “God’s Word is our instrument panel.”
As soon as he said those words, the Spirit of God just sort of leaped inside of me, confirming how true that statement was. And then I heard the Lord say this in my spirit. “Yes, My Word is your instrument panel, and the Holy Spirit is the control tower operator.”
Wow, that lit something up inside me. It was another great confirmation of how faith works and how completely we can trust the tools God has given us to get through this life successfully.
We are often navigating this life without being able to see things clearly enough to know what the next move should be. We cannot see what’s ahead most of the time, and we can’t see all the difficulties and enemies around us on all sides. Sometimes it’s like being in a storm, with clouds so heavy we have no idea which way is up, let alone north, south, east, or west. Sometimes our problems so overwhelm us that there’s no way to see the sun, the north star, or any lights on the ground.
But none of that matters. As long as we have an instrument panel in good condition, we can navigate this journey right onto the correct runway and make a safe landing every single time. We can find the solution to every problem, no matter how impossible it looks, as long as we follow the instructions for using that instrument panel.
And the first important point to be aware of is that we must trust that instrument panel. We must believe that what it’s telling us is the truth. If we do believe that, then, if we’ve spent time in training to learn how to use it, we know exactly what to do. And we get the results we wanted.
Let’s be sure we spend ample time training with our instrument panel – God’s Word. We need to read it, meditate it, pray over it, and let the Holy Spirit who wrote it help us understand it. Then we have to make up our minds that it is true – no questions, no doubts. When Pastor Winston was in that training session, his own intellect told him his plane was upright, straight, and level. If he had looked at his instrument panel, it would have told him the opposite. He would have had to make a choice at that point: trust his own intellect – and what he thought he knew – or trust his instrument panel. If he had been in a real flight situation, trusting his own thoughts and feelings would have meant certain destruction. But trusting the panel, which told him his own thoughts and feelings were way off, would have meant safety and success.
When it comes to a decision about whether what we see in God’s Word is true – or whether our own ideas, traditions, doctrines, or feelings are true – we’d better make the right choice. We’d better side with our instrument panel. And the great thing is that we don’t have to lean on those dials and gauges alone, because we also have a control tower operator – the Holy Spirit Himself – who will talk us through understanding those gauges even better and will help convince us that we really can trust what the control panel is telling us. Moreover, He’ll tell us how to apply what we are seeing there and how to respond for the best results.
So let’s practice every day using our God-given instrument panel. Let’s learn to trust it above all else. And when we find ourselves flying through a storm so dark and vicious that we can’t even tell which way is up, locking our eyes on that instrument panel will be second nature to us, We’ll read the gauges of God’s Word and tune in to our Control Tower Operator and let Him talk us right through that storm and into a safe landing every time.
photo courtesy of Holger Detje @ pixabay.com
6 thoughts on “Navigating Life Using God’s Instrument Panel”
What a great example of applying God’s Word as our instrument panel! Thanks for sharing and reminding us to “stay in the Word.”
My pleasure. 🙂 I may not be on here much this week because I’m TRYING to get set up on Pinterest. My research indicates that millions more people are visiting and being led to other sites through Pinterest than they are through Facebook or Twitter combined. So I’m trying to set up a page for myself as an author, and once I’m comfortable with that, I’ll set up an account for the ministry. If that many people use Pinterest every day, I can’t pass up that kind of opportunity for getting out the Gospel. But it is very tedious and time-consuming. I’m hoping it gets better the more acquainted I get with everything. I can’t seem to figure out how to keep all my pictures in their proper place. Technology: !!!##@@!!!!^&&*%#$(*&)%$#@!!!
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Now! Now! Stay calm. You figured out blogging, you can figure this out also. I have a few photos on Pinterest, but not what you are doing. Hang in there! 🙂
The research shows that loads more people use Pinterest as a search engine rather than Google Search. I was astounded. I’ve never given any attention to Pinterest, because it always seemed like just a confusing mess of pictures that meant nothing. How wrong could I be? One woman, whose tutorial I listened to, said that out of all the social media platforms (and she uses them all), Pinterest drives lots more business to her sites than any of the others. And I kept hearing similar statements from all kinds of people who have shared about their Pinterest experience. I’d like to get some of that kind or response for my books, but I mainly want to get comfortable with the platform so I can use it for the Radical About Jesus Ministry work. If over 300 million people use Pinterest every day, there must be some of them who are in need of some truth about Jesus, so I’m determined to take advantage of the situation.
And as with the blogging and some other things online, I try stuff out with my personal sites first. I figure if I’m going to mess up anything, I’d rather do it there and not on God’s platform. So I wait until I’m comfortable with the new technology involved and then put God’s stuff into the mix. 🙂
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You can do, I can tell! 🙂 Patience is a virtue. One step at a time.
Thank you so much for the encouragement because after I started this, I began to wonder if I had made a big mistake. But it’s getting better — and one step at a time is the only way I can do it, since each step takes quite a while. I’ve had to go back and correct loads of mistakes, but I’m getting there — and the strangeness of it has worn off now. That helps a lot. 🙂