Confessions Of An Instrument Pilot*

confessions instrument pilot

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,“ 1 Peter 1:8 NIV

I recently read an article entitled “Confessions of an Instrument Pilot.”* As I read through his points of discomfort, they really resonated with me in my faith walk.  Here are some excerpts, see what you think:

“A year ago I raced through my…training, learning just what I needed to know…according to…minimum standards.”

“I met the requirements…But that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with exercising that privilege.”

“Now I find myself anxious…without another…pilot beside me.”

“I lost faith in my abilities to interpret and visualize an approach. The idea of…deviating from what I had planned puts me on edge.”

“If I had trained harder, I wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable….”

I find that when everything is rosy and I feel God’s favor in my life, I am relaxed and calm.  However, when things get bumpy and I don’t see or understand why, I get edgy.

I can see the similarity between instrument flying and walking in faith.  Both have to trust what is unseen.  The pilot has to trust the instruments and their readings regardless of their sensations.  As a Christian, I have to trust God’s Word and my relationship with Him regardless of my desires. Just like the pilot, I can’t always see where I am heading.  I have to trust the instruments that God has given me (His Word and the Holy Spirit) to guide me.

Thank you Lord for Your tools and Your flight plan! Help me trust You more every day and not deviate from Your headings. I believe in You. I love You. You fill me with inexpressible joy.

John 20:29, 2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:7; Hebrews 1:1

*Confessions of an Instrument Pilot: 10 Steps to IFR Absolution http://flighttraining.aopa.org/magazine/2010/December/ifrtraining.html

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Personal Prayer Garden

personal prayer garden

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NIV

I have the sense that prayer creates forward motion…on many planes: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Active prayer engages with hope and anticipation.  It means we lean INTO it.  We lean FORWARD in prayer. I liken it to a suspenseful movie or conversation that makes you lean so far forward that you are on the edge of your seat.  It feels like if you move one millimeter closer, you are going to fall right out of your chair. Plop! Right onto the floor.

I believe that it is that supernatural tension that keeps us suspended in mid-air.  It keeps us from falling out of our spiritual chair, so to speak.

I have never prayed so hard that I sweat drops of blood like Jesus.  However as I have prayed during particularly hard times, I have felt the sensation that God was carrying me.  That I was staying afloat by supernatural means.  I believe the only way that occurred is through a prayer full of surrender and total reliance on God.  I still struggle.  I still mess up.  I start picking up old patterns of self-reliance.  Ugh. I know it will get better!  I am so thankful that God never gives up on me.  Sometimes I have to walk through painful reminders to get back to that place of full surrender all over again.

I remain thankful.  I know God never leaves me or forsakes me.  Even when my hard head gets in the way!

Father, thank you for Your love and Your grace and Your mercy.  Teach me to pray.  Teach me to pray like Jesus. Teach me to rely on You.  Teach me Your ways.

Matthew 26:36-45, Luke 22:39-46, Deuteronomy 31:6

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Made Perfect

made perfect

“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14 NIV

Sometimes I feel awkward and unsure.  Fear can have a tendency to creep in. When things get intense, I can be fearful of making a mistake. It can trip me up. But God is always gentle with me. He always reminds me that He loves me. He doesn’t try to set me up. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. All He asks is that I am willing. I have to have a heart that seeks His.

The enemy wants to derail me, but God knows my heart. He knows I have a loving heart. I have to stay true to that place. Use wisdom. Use discernment.  Use them both with confidence.

Father, thank you for Your encouragement. Thank you for reminding me of Your love. Thank you for making me perfect through Your Son Jesus. Thank you for showing me Your ways and using Your perfect love to chase away any lingering fear.

2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 11:40, Hebrews 12:23

Hard Places

Hard Places

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

There are times in life when the outlook is bleak.  The horizon does not appear to hold any hope or show any signs of rescue.  No white horse is in sight coming to the rescue.

Those are the times that it is hardest to hang onto this promise.  Those are the times that we have to exercise faith.  These are what I call hard places.  I’m in one now.  Saying that, I still have faith.  It’s being tested but it does not change all of God’s promises that I know to be true:

  • Whatever we ask we receive (1 John 3:22)
  • God’s thoughts and ways are different (Isaiah 55:8)
  • God’s Word will accomplish what He desires (Isaiah 55:11)
  • I have to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • Faith will move mountains (Matthew 17:20)
  • God’s promises are delivered through faith (Romans 4:13)
  • Faith rests on God’s power, not mine (1 Corinthians 2:5)
  • I must believe in God and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:5)

So I celebrate!

Father, thank you for every promise. Thank you for Your favor that goes before me. Thank you for all the delight and even the stretch that you’ve put in my path to show me You are in control.

Psalm 59:10, Psalm 84:11, Psalm 105, Proverbs 12:21

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Repetition

Repetition

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

Moses told the children of Israel to be strong and courageous.  Then he told Joshua to be strong and courageous.  Then God Himself told Joshua many times to be strong and courageous throughout the battles that had to be fought as he led the children of Israel into the Promised Land.

Repetition is good.  It helps move things from our mind into our heart.  It develops neural networks that help us internalize principles and information.  It transforms fact into habit.  It builds faith.  It builds strength. It builds courage.

When I was in college, I worked on a neuropsychology research project on a phenomenon known as “kindling.” The principle was that our neural pathways learn.  As they process the same stimuli on multiple occasions, the neural pathways process the stimulus faster and more powerfully each time.  Reaction times decrease and the reaction intensity increases.  So think about it.  Becoming stronger and more courageous each time you hear these words!  That is powerful.

God, kindle me!

Psalm 52:8-9, Ephesians 4:30-32

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Speculation

Speculation

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB

Sometimes our minds can get the best of us.  When I am struggling with my own reasoning and logic, I look at Paul.  Paul was an incredible figure in the New Testament. He was well educated and very versed in the scripture.  Acts chapters 21-30 are full of his adventures.  Here is what resonates with me about him:  First of all, he demonstrated superhuman faith.  Faith like his broke bondage in the natural world as well as the spiritual.  Imagine a prison break designed by God through praise and worship!

Second, he knew the voice of God and was obedient.  No questions asked.  He knew how to take every thought captive and step into obedience.  Even when everything around him screamed differently, he maintained his faith.  In prison. On a ship in stormy seas. In the face of angry spiritual leaders.  In front of high-ranking political authorities. He had a story to tell and he stayed true and obedient to it…No matter what things looked like.

God, give me supernatural faith to move large obstacles to glorify You.

Philippians 4:4-6, Job 6:24, 2 Timothy 2:25-26

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Laugh At Days To Come

laugh at days to come

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25 NIV

As I read this, it conjures up a picture of a super hero.  But no! It’s a Proverbs 31 woman. This woman is a dynamo.  She’s up early. She is a savvy business woman and manages the best of care for her family.  I aspire to be like the Proverbs 31 woman.

This is an aspect of her that I have not thought much about.  In strength and dignity, she can LAUGH at the days to come.  Ha! Ha! Ha!

In order to laugh, there are a few things that she cannot be burdened with: worry, fear, doubt, confusion, anxiety, stress, uncertainty, gossip, comparison, insecurity.  And I’m sure there are more.

This lighter burden and purified heart unleash this confident strength and dignity. It is confidence in a power much greater than herself. With that, she can laugh at days to come…

Lord, deposit laughter and joy deep into my heart!

Proverbs 17:22, Matthew 11:28-30, Matthew 12:13-14, 2 Corinthians 13:5

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