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
3 thoughts on “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants — Or By Our Instrument Panel?”
Great analogy, Sandra. Thank you for sharing,
Thank you. The whole concept really spoke to me, and the Lord’s kept it on my mind frequently this past year.
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Reblogged this on A Visit With Sandra and commented:
I originally posted this on my ministry sites, but thought some readers here might appreciate it as well.