Blessedness or Death
Pete and Carol wanted to get married and they wanted me to do the ceremony. "Dave, if you will do our premarital counseling and our ceremony, we will teach you to fly." They were both flight instructors and could make good on their promise. So I found myself memorizing all the instructions on taking off, flying, and landing a Citabria. It was the landing that was the toughest to learn.
When you’re approaching a hard surface and the numbers on the runway get bigger and bigger, everything in your mind cries out, "Pull back. Pull back." But Carol kept telling me, "Keep it coming toward the numbers. You don't want to pull back until you are only a few feet from the runway. You don't want to stall it until we are only inches from the ground. Then I want you to pull the stick all the way back." These are the right instructions when it comes to landing an airplane, yet an inexperienced pilot believes with all their heart they must pull back way too early in the descent. If they do, they will stall and fall from the sky to their death.
Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the collection. Each of its twenty-two sections begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The first is Aleph, like our letter A, and verses 1-8 drive home the theme that you will be happy, your life will be healthy and sound if you walk according to the LORD's instructions.
"O the happiness of those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the instructions of the LORD.
O the happiness of those who keep the Lord's testimonies (the focus here is on the Ten Commandments received from God at Mt. Sinai) with all their heart they seek Him." Psalm 119:1-2
I meet more and more folks who think God's commands can be tossed away or changed. They believe they can follow their own internal instructions on how they will live. They firmly believe that this personal, freelance morality will make them happy. They're wrong. If I made up my own rules about landing a plane and followed my personal passions, I'd be dead. I had to learn to obey the instructions of a skilled flight instructor. God is our Life Instructor. We need to let Jesus increase our passion for learning and keeping his instructions on how to live.
LORD, the laws of flight do not change because the majority decides they would like something different. Use me to help others realize that your Laws of Life do not change. We will only be happy when we submit to your Spirit and obey. If we don't, we will be dead. LORD help me today believe that You alone can enable me to live.
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