Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The thought of a fire on an airplane is really pretty unsettling. That's exactly what happened on an Air Canada flight a few years ago. The fire started in the lavatory and smoke quickly spread throughout the plane. The pilot couldn’t see and he didn't know how he was going to land. But suddenly this calm, measured voice came into the cockpit, "Just do what I say. I'll bring you in." It was the flight controller. And that calm voice literally talked the pilot in for a miraculously safe landing!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Follow That Voice!"
If your life is like mine, there are lots of choices you have to make - it's a turbulent flight. There are lots of voices pulling at you; even smoke that makes it difficult to know how to proceed sometimes. What will bring you in safely is what brought that pilot in safely - that one calm voice from the Tower.
Our word for today from the Word of God takes us to one of those moments in Jesus' life when the pressure was really on. The day before He has been in Capernaum healing sick people who were brought to Him, even casting demons out of people. Then in Luke 4:42-44 it says, "At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them. But He said, 'I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.' And He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea."
Here is Jesus, surrounded by voices that are vying for His time and for His attention, and everyone had a legitimate need. Does that sound familiar? But Jesus has a clear "I must" and it helps Him stay on course as He makes His daily choices. Now, your life is the sum of hundreds of little choices you make each day. Tomorrow you'll reap today's choices. And if you're like me, you have a lot of needs and a lot of possibilities tugging at you every day. Most of them are good, but God has you on earth for some special missions and you must be true to those, no matter how noble the detours that are pulling on you.
Often we end up running around all stressed out, trying to satisfy everybody, and often satisfying nobody. We lead these fragmented, frustrated lives because we forget our "musts." And those non-negotiables have to come from God. And if you ask Him, God will lay on your heart your personal mission or missions. And some will be needs that only you can meet - like being there for your family or like reaching your lost friends and family for Christ. You need the kind of clear "I must" priorities that Jesus had.
But how do you keep your course when the flight seems to be out of control? Look at how your Lord did it. "At daybreak He went out to a solitary place." You know what He was doing. It's what He always did: going to hear from His Father. Jesus stayed on course by staying in touch with the Tower - with His Flight Controller in heaven. That's how you're going to stay on course. And, like Jesus, you have to get in touch with the Tower daily, and early, and by yourself.
Listen to your Father's calm voice before you let any other voices get to you. Let Him affirm the musts in your day. You will always land where you're supposed to if you begin with the voice from the Control Tower. Let God set your course. Forget the confusion, forget the smoke, forget the danger, and focus on your Father's instructions. Then follow that voice!