Thursday, April 21, 2016

Being Obedient to God

Robert Kupferschmid was an 81-year old man with no flying experience. However, due to a tragic emergency, he was forced to fly an airplane. 

Some years ago, he and his pilot friend, Wesley Sickle, were flying from Minneapolis to Indiana. During the flight, the pilot slumped over and died at the controls. The Cessna airplane began to nose dive and Kupferschmid grabbed the controls. He also got on the radio and pleaded for help. 

Flying nearby were two pilots who heard the call. There was a nearby airport and the two pilots gave Kupferschmid a steady stream of instructions for climbing, steering, and – the scariest part – landing the plane. The two experienced pilots circled the runway three times before the somewhat and inexperienced Kupferschmid was ready to attempt the landing. Emergency vehicles were called out and ready for what could be an approaching disaster. 

But as Kupferschmid brought the plane in, the nose nudged the center and bounced a few times before the tail hit the ground and the Cessna coasted down the runway until it ended up in a patch of soggy grass next to the runway. 

Amazingly, Kupferschmid was unhurt. How did he do it? This pilot listened and followed the instructions of the experienced pilots as if his life depended on it – and of course it did.

Imagine what would take place in our lives if we listened to and obeyed the Word of God with the same earnestness? 

I believe God expects obedience from His children. I am not saying He is not with us when we are disobedient, but I do believe the Bible teaches that when we are obedient, God's promise to be with us becomes an ever-increasing reality in our lives. When we are obedient to Him we are much more able to recognize His presence than at times when we are disobedient.

When I consider the life of Joshua (Josh. 1:1-9), the successor of Moses, I realize there were two primary ways he was obedient to God.

First, he was obedient to God's word. 
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. – Joshua 1:7 (ESV)
Joshua and Israel's victory depended on their adherence to the Word of God, and this is just as true today. God calls upon us to search His Word — let it be that which counsels us, the food of our souls, and the sword with which we face our enemies.

Second, Joshua meditated upon God's word.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night... – Joshua 1:8a (ESV)
It is by meditation that we really make this Word our own. Meditation allows us to digest God’s truth. In my experience, mere intellectual acquaintance with the letter of Scripture does us little good. It is only as you weigh carefully what God has revealed that you will gain spiritual power which will enable you to rise above your difficulties and triumph by God’s grace.