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Sunday Sermon – 9/1/02 –
The Plane - Matthew 8:26


The Plane

Why are you fearful, O you of little faith” (Matthew 8:26)

When we fly through the air in a plane, we see no pathway in the sky that tells us where to go.  Look out the window all you want, but no such “path” or “line” can be seen.  Charts and maps have been created to help us but we need a pilot to see us through, for they have the training and information to get us to our destination.  They will fly at a certain altitude and in a specific direction because they have information we don’t, received from instruments we only dimly understand.  We need a Professional for our journey.

We have a Pilot who sees us through but in many ways, we tend to pilot the “plane” of life ourselves.  At best we are merely the co-pilot and should recognize our need for expert guidance.  Advance planning is good, but there are always times when an intervening force (a storm of life) will demand a new flight plan.  If the storm is severe, our Pilot may even have to find another destination.  Sometimes we end up in places never even remotely expected and life's "storms" will cause you to change plans many times.  The right Pilot will make all the difference.

The human pilot has many helpful tools, and one of them is the air traffic controller, who, despite some bad press in recent years, provides essential help in getting the plane safely through.  Better than human help, you have access to the Holy Spirit of God, but you have to be properly equipped to receive His instructions.  Receive the Lord Jesus.  He will equip you with His Spirit; and He will bring you through.

Over 100 years ago, a lady by the name of Margaret Bottome, who among other things was: a columnist for the “Ladies Home Journal”, president of the Medical Missionary Society, a writer of books, and a pastor's wife. At one point, she wrote about a vague need inside her soul.  She went and visited the ocean, thinking that would help, but "the ocean did not do for me what I thought it would".  She tried the mountains, but "it did not satisfy".  Then she understood her need and wrote, "I needed the ocean of His love, and the high mountains of His truth within...”  She said, “Our restlessness within can only be met by the revelation of His eternal friendship and love for us."

We look for certainty in life, along with fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment.  Many also, as vocalist Cyndi Lauper sang a few years ago, "wanna' have fun."  Margaret Bottome was already a Christian when she wrote of her need for Christ, but it became apparent she needed Him in some deeper way.  Previously, she had acknowledged who He was, but now it was time to give EVERYTHING to Jesus and totally live for Him.  Nothing less will ever satisfy the "itch" you feel, deep inside.

Just like the plane that flies to a destination as though on a "path in the sky", a "path" has been prepared for you, and His name is Jesus Christ.  You have a destination in store that is not on the ordinary charts and maps of this world.  Certain "stops" are planned along the way, some of which you may enjoy and some not.  And at such times in life, you might consider where your life is taking you.  What IS your destination?  Consider the possibility that you have been traveling in the wrong direction all these years.  It may be time to change "planes" to end up in the right place.

And in what manner are you getting there?  There are different ways to fly.  In life, you may be in "second class", "first class", or from God's perspective, you might be down in the baggage compartment which was not really designed for humans at all.  The air is thin in such places, it's cold, and life becomes CROWDED when you're not where you ought to be.  It also may be time to consider training to be part of the crew, providing assistance to others who are traveling with you.

From God's perspective, His children should go "first class" at all times.  You might think this is an invitation to some kind of "easy" life but that isn’t the case.  Paul the Apostle went "first class", but from a strictly HUMAN perspective, his life was very hard indeed.  Actually, God's definition of a "first class" experience is a life utterly lived for Jesus Christ.  A life lived "in Him", through Him and for Him in every way.  Your “treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19) might leave something to be desired, but your “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20) will have infinite, everlasting value.  It’s worth the loss to get the best.

“First class” accommodations include “survival training” provided so you will complete your journey safely.  Much like the flight attendant will (at the start of a flight) give safety tips to passengers, God will prepare you for what is to come.  Your small difficulties now can help you through big trouble later.

In our Scripture verse for today, Jesus had entered a boat and His disciples followed Him.  A “great storm” quickly arose and His disciples became terrified; not unlike many of us when trouble comes upon us.  “He was asleep.  Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’”  He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith”, but then “He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm” (Matthew 8:23-27).

When the waves are large around you and it feels like you are going to sink for good, do what the disciples did, and call out to the Lord.  Only do it with less fear and more faith.  He did not say they had no faith; He said they had “little” faith, which was enough to save them from water, but not enough to save them from fear.  Actually, it was HE who saved them through faith.  Our faith, in that context, is like a hand that reaches up and accepts the Great Hand that is always extended down to pull us out of whatever swamp we may have fallen into at the moment.  In faith, you are willing to take that Hand.

He will bear you up “on eagle’s wings” (Exodus 19:4) – You can TRUST in Him.

Father, it’s like we are on a plane and don’t know where we are going.  We receive Jesus Christ, trusting Him in ways we never even thought of before.  Send us Your Holy Spirit and grant us the peace of God.  We trust in You now.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
www.fridaystudy.org
ron@fridaystudy.org
P.O. Box 92131
Long Beach, CA  90809-2131

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)