Saturday, May 19, 2018

Can a Camel Get Through an Eye of a Needle?


Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19:24). A camel was the largest animal in Israel and a needle had the smallest opening. People in that day believed that a rich person was the most likely to make it into heaven. By combining these three things, Jesus created a totally impossible situation. The disciples were stunned in disbelief and said, “Then WHO can be saved?” (19:25).

Theologians over the centuries have tried to change the meaning of the text, trying to turn the impossible into the possible.  
In the 5th century, a person copying manuscripts changed the word "camel" (which is kamelon in Greek) to kamilon, meaning a rope or cable. The problem is, you can’t get a cable through the eye of a needle either. I have a hard time getting a thread through one.

In the 15th century, the opposite was tried—to enlarge the needle’s eye. Someone came up with the idea that the "eye of the needle" wasn't really a needle after all, but a small gate entrance to a city. According to this theory, the camel had to leave its load and crawl on its knees to get through the gate. Apparently when the architect designed the gates he forgot about all the camels needing to get inside the city!

But that theory isn’t correct either. Luke, who was a physician (see Col. 4:14), used the Greek word in Luke 18:25 for a surgeon's needle proving it was not a small gate. Jesus was literally talking about that big, lumpy animal going through a tiny, little hole.

What’s the point of Jesus' teaching? No one, whether rich or poor, is going to enter into heaven without God doing a miracle to get him or her there. A camel can go through the eye of a needle if it’s passed molecule by molecule through the eye and reassembled on the other side. Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26), meaning ONLY GOD can get you there.

All you can do is realize how impossible it is to get into heaven and call out to God to save you. You can pray, “Lord, I can’t do anything to get myself into heaven but I believe you can get me there. Jesus, I believe you died for my sins so I can be forgiven. Come into my heart and save me. I give you my life.” If you sincerely prayed that prayer, the camel just went through the eye of the needle.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, May 12, 2018

How Does God Feed Every Bird in the World?

Do you worry about how God will provide your needs? As Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount, He looked at the faces in the crowd and could read their minds. They were worried about starving. They didn’t have refrigerators, canned food, or grocery stores like today. Most people didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. Then Jesus pointed in the air and said, “Look at those birds…Your heavenly Father feeds them.” (Matt. 6:26a)

Really? Did you just say that God takes responsibility for feeding every bird in the entire world? I’ve never seen a gigantic hand coming down from heaven, opening the beaks of every bird and dropping in worms. If He doesn’t feed them like that, how does He do it? He feeds the birds by guiding them to their food supply whether it’s worms, seeds, or bugs.

Jesus then applied this object lesson to everyone listening, hoping they would make the connection. “You are worth more than birds” (Matt. 6:26b). If the Lord feeds birds, won’t He also take care of His children?

Consider for a moment who’s instructing us not to worry. The Son of God—and it’s impossible for Him to lie. His reputation is at stake. But Jesus isn’t just telling everyone in the crowd not to worry. He’s also speaking to everyone who would be reading His words in the Bible. Jesus knew His words would be recorded in the Scriptures for people living in the future to read.

He knows what you need and how to get the provision to you—on one condition. He said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” If you’ll seek the Lord as your highest priority, you’ll never have to worry about your needs being met. When trust and follow the Lord, He promises to provide food and everything else you need. (The Sure Cure for Worry, pp.195-196) www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************

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Making Life Count Ministries
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Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Very Puzzling Parable


Jesus told a parable about a man who was thrown into hell for wearing the wrong clothes! In Matthew 22:2-14, a king gave a wedding feast to honor his son. In this parable, the king is God the Father and the son is Jesus. In those days, two invitations were sent out. The first invitation let the person know they were invited to the event. The second invitation announced the feast was ready. 

The king sent his servants out with the second invitation to let his invited guests know it was time to come to the meal. Instead of joyfully responding, the invited guests ignored the invitation. So the king decided to open up the feast to everyone.

He sent his servants out on the streets to invite strangers to the wedding feast for his son. This was unheard of!  Kings only invited prestigious people to events like this but this king invited everyone--including evil people (Matt. 22:10). Thieves, murderers, and prostitutes were invited to the feast to honor his son. This shows that God loves everyone and wants every person to be saved, no matter how evil they may be.

As the king was looking at the wedding hall filled with the guests who accepted his invitation, he spots a man who isn't dressed in wedding clothes. He asked him why he wasn't dressed appropriately. The man couldn't give an answer, so the king throws him into hell!  Now you're scratching your head, trying to figure out why he would do that.

In those days when a wedding was held, the host bought a wedding garment for each person to wear.  It was a free gift to the invited guests.  All the person had to do was put it on, which showed honor and respect for the person being married.  This man had no excuse because he refused the free gift from the king.  The interpretation is the wedding garment was "the robe of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10). 

The man was at the feast just to get the free food and had no interest in honoring the son. Many people today want to go to heaven to get the free food but have no interest in living for the Lord in this life. On Judgment Day, they will be like the man who refused to wear the wedding garment.

God is inviting you to spend eternity with Him, but you must accept the invitation and receive the robe of righteousness.  Will you be at the wedding in the next life?
              CLICK HERE to read the entire sermon on this parable.  

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Making Life Count Ministries
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Saturday, April 28, 2018

You're Scheduled for Surgery


A surgeon named Dr. Kane searched for a candidate to undergo surgery so he could prove that appendectomies could be done under local anesthetic. At last, a patient was found. He was prepared for surgery and wheeled into the operating room. A local anesthetic was applied, leaving the patient able to talk and respond as the surgery progressed.

As he had done hundreds of times, Dr. Kane located the appendix, skillfully removed it, and finished the surgery. During the operation, the patient complained only of minor discomfort. He recovered quickly and was dismissed two days later. Dr. Kane demonstrated that local anesthesia was a viable alternative, thanks to the willingness of a brave volunteer.

What I didn’t tell you was that the volunteer for surgery by Dr. Kane—was Dr. Kane. He performed surgery on himself and removed his own appendix! (The Voice of the Village, July/August 1996)

What attitude needs to be removed from you? Bitterness? Self-pity? You’re the patient—and but you’re also the doctor. Ephesians 4:31 says, “All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you." The only way to remove harmful attitudes is by performing self-surgery. You’re the only one who can do it.

Many people never change because they keep putting off the operation. So now you’re scheduled for surgery—to remove bitterness (or any other attitude) from your heart.
PRAY: "Lord, I choose to forgive (name the person) who hurt me. Forgive me for refusing to forgive. Right now, I am removing this cancer from my heart. I choose to let it go and move on with my life. Thank you for replacing the turmoil in my heart with peace."  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Not "HOW" but "WHO"


One of the greatest hindrances to faith is trying to figure out HOW God will answer your prayers. Quit asking yourself “HOW is this possible? HOW will God provide for me?” HOW does God perform miracles?” We think if God will simply explain everything to us ahead of time that it will increase our faith. It won’t.

When a blind man begged Jesus to give him sight, he didn’t ask Him to explain HOW He would do it: “Before you heal me, could you please tell me HOW you’re going to fix my eyes? It’s a problem with my optic nerve, isn’t it? Since you don’t have a scalpel, HOW will you get inside my head to perform surgery?”

Jesus didn’t reply, “Those are great questions that deserve an explanation. Here’s exactly how I plan to do the miracle and restore your sight…” Of course, Jesus never explained how He did miracles. He doesn’t want us concentrating on HOW our prayer will be answered but on WHO is able to bring it to pass.

When the angel Gabriel told the virgin Mary she would be pregnant with the Son of God, Mary asked, “HOW can this be, since I am a virgin?” Instead of explaining HOW, Gabriel answered WHO. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:34-35). (If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray? p.37,41).

So if you’ll stop asking HOW God will answer your prayer, and instead focus on WHO has the ability to do the impossible, you’ll experience peace as you learn to trust Him.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************

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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, April 14, 2018

No More Than You Can Handle


A friend of mine was helping unload a moving truck. He was inside the truck handing out heavy boxes for men to carry to the house. My friend’s four-year-old grandson saw what they were doing and wanted to help. He couldn’t give the boy heavy objects, so he handed him little boxes to carry. He knew how much the boy could handle and wouldn't give him more than he could carryGod knows our limits and won’t give us more than we can handle. 

Here are three ways that He keeps burdens from being too great to bear.
1. God won’t reveal more than you need to know. Although you might think you’d like to see your entire future, you would live in dread of the upcoming trials if you knew they were coming. Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). He gives information on a “need to know” basis. Life is a cinch by the inch but hard by the yard.

2. God sets limits on your trials. Just as bridges have a load limit, God places a “load limit” on our trials. “No temptation (Greek-"test") has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted ("tested”) beyond what you are able” (1 Cor. 10:13). God’s not going test us with more than we can bear.

3. God will give you the strength and wisdom to get through your problem. When Paul went through his “thorn in the flesh” difficulty, God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). When we depend on God’s grace rather than our own human power, we will experience strength from God to get through the problem.

God may allow you to go the edge so you can experience His power, but He will never allow you to go over the edge. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************

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Making Life Count Ministries
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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Check Your Motives


When detectives try to solve a murder they ask themselves, "Who had a motive for doing this?" Was it someone who would inherit a fortune? (Greed) Was it a person who had something to hide and wanted to keep the victim quiet? (Felt threatened) Was it someone who was wronged by the victim? (Revenge) Was it a rejected lover? (Jealousy) Figure out the motive and you'll narrow down the list of suspects.

Motives lead to actions, although actions don’t always reveal motives. Proverbs 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight but the Lord weighs the motives." Jesus specifically instructed us how to correctly give offerings, fast, and pray to keep our motives in check (Matt. 6:1-6, 16-18). The Lord looks past our outward deeds to see why we’re doing it.

On the Day of Judgment, He “will bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts, and then each man’s praise will come to him from God” (1 Cor. 4:5). If your heart is right, then what you do will also probably be right and God will reward it.

So as you go about your business today, check your motives. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31) www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Thief as a Role Model


A thief dying on the cross next to Jesus said, "Jesus, remember me in your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). Here’s what’s amazing—He trusted a dying man to save him! Jesus was covered with blood with nails in His hands and feet, and looked totally helpless. The religious leaders and soldiers asked Him to come down from the cross, but it looked like Jesus didn't have the power to do that. But the repentant thief saw something in Him that most people couldn’t see.

IT TAKES THE WHOLE CROSS
The thief could have said, "Jesus, you're dying on a cross and I'm dying on a cross." Why don't you pay for 80% of my sins on your cross and I'll pay for the other 20% on my cross." That's what some people say. "Lord, you do your part and I'll do my part. I'll pay for my part by going to church and by trying my best."  But it doesn't work that way. There can't be two Saviors--both you and Jesus. You must trust Jesus to pay for 100% of your sins. God can't save us until we stop trying to save ourselves.

YOU CANNOT SAVE YOURSELF
A boy was drowning in a lake. His mother couldn't swim, so she called out for help. A man stood nearby but made no effort to save him. As the boy was going down for the last time, the man dove into the water and rescued him. The mother asked, "Why did you wait to save him?" The man replied, "As long as he was trying to save himself, he would have dragged me down with him. But when he stopped trying to save himself—then I could save him."

THE THIEF IS A ROLE MODEL ON HOW TO BE SAVED
He knew he didn't deserve salvation
He knew he couldn't save himself
He placed his faith in a dying Savior
He called out to Jesus to be saved.

If you'll follow the example of the thief on the cross, Jesus will remember you in His kingdom as well. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, March 24, 2018

"Do This in REMEMBRANCE of Me"


This is my father. Well, not literally. It’s a picture of my father. When someone shows you a photo you understand that it’s a picture of someone or something. And whenever I look at that picture I remember my father.

Jesus made a similar statement at the last supper. He took bread and said, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19). He didn’t mean it was His actual body (because His hand was holding up the bread) but it was a picture of His body that would soon be sacrificed. They ate the bread to remember Him and what He did.

He took a cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). He didn’t mean the wine was His literal His blood (because His blood was inside His body), but it was a picture of His blood that would be shed at the crucifixion.

Jesus was the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). So as He ate the Passover meal with His disciples, it was necessary for Him to change it. Do you know why? To find the answer click here: Understanding the Lord’s Supper” 
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Old Testament Credit Cards


I'm sure you've gone to a store and paid for an item using your credit card.  You walked out of the store with it even though it wasn’t actually paid for. Your credit card was a guarantee the bill would be paid sometime in the future.

People who lived in the Old Testament used their animals as credit cards. They sinned against God and needed to pay the debt, so they "charged" their sins on spiritual credit cards through animal sacrifices.  
They took their VISA cards (Very Important Sacrifice of Animals) to the Temple in Jerusalem where the transaction took place. The priests (the store clerks) sacrificed the animals on the altar (like scanning your credit card) and the client's sins were charged by faith to the future Messiah's account.

Millions of animals were sacrificed over the centuries but not one drop of that animal blood could ever wash away sins. “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4).  So why did God have them sacrifice so many animals? It was an object lesson for them. Without the sacrificial system, they would have never understood why Jesus had to die for their sins.

Jesus died on the cross as the sacrificial Lamb who paid for the sins of the world when they were placed in His body (John 1:29, 1 Pet. 2:24). When He said, "It is finished," He declared that the spiritual debt of sins had been paid.  He paid for your salvation but you must receive Him as Lord and Savior for the transaction to be completed. 
Have you asked Jesus to take away YOUR sins?
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Testimony for Caiaphas


When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter tried to fight off the attackers. “Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus” (John 18:10). Jesus picked up the ear and placed it back on Malchus’ head! (Luke 22:51). This miracle would serve as a testimony to Caiaphas as proof that Jesus is the Messiah.

It was no accident that this happened to “the high priest’s slave.” After Jesus was arrested, He stood on trial before Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year (Matt. 26:57). The heavenly high priest stood on trial before the earthly high priest, but Caiaphas didn’t recognize Him.

There can be no doubt Malchus reported this incredible miracle to his boss, the high priest. Caiaphas had previously prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation (John 11:49-51) but now God gave him undeniable evidence to consider so he would believe in Jesus. Caiaphas chose to send Jesus to the cross.

On Judgment Day, the roles will be reversed. Caiaphas the earthly high priest will stand on trial before Jesus the heavenly high priest. I’m sure Malchus’ ear will come up in the conversation, along with the fact Jesus rose from the dead. Although we don’t know if Caiaphas ever repented, tradition tells us he later converted to Christianity. If that’s true, the miracle of the severed ear might have had something to do with it.

God has also given us undeniable evidence to consider so that we will believe in Jesus, including proof the Bible is true, proof that God designed the human body, and testimonies of near-death experiences. Don’t ignore what clearly is the Truth leading to eternal life. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Color Blind People See Things Differently


One day a friend of mine said, “I have no idea what the color green looks like.” Until then, I didn’t know that he was color blind. I pointed to some grass and asked, “What color is that to you?” He said, “It looks yellow to me.” It dawned on me that the world I can see isn’t the same world that he sees.  

People who don’t believe in Jesus cannot see what God wants them to see. I heard a pastor tell about what he was like before he became a follower of Jesus. He said, “My family would point out my faults but I couldn’t see them. I got mad at them and told them they were the problem, not me. I didn’t realize that I was blind, and a blind man cannot see no matter how hard he tries to see. But when I gave my life to Christ, my eyes were opened. I could finally see what they were talking about.

People are in darkness because they have a veil over their heart which makes them spiritually blind. “But whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Cor. 3:16). To “turn” means to repent and have a change of heart. Jesus explained that the condition of a person’s heart determines whether they can see or not see (Matt. 13:14-16)

So the next time a person attacks your faith, remember that a blind person cannot see no matter how hard he tries to see. Don’t retaliate but pray for the person’s heart to change. Only that will open their eyes. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
Visit our website www.makinglifecount.net for answers to Bible questions, how to answer evolution, studies on Bible prophecy, and many other topics.
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, February 24, 2018

God Will Light Your Path


Do you need to make an important decision? Have you asked God to guide you? God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go.” (Psalm 32:8).

When you’re driving at night you won’t see the entire highway lit up all at once. You can only see how far your car’s headlights shine down the road. But as your car moves forward, the light keeps moving ahead of you to light your path. You’ll eventually reach your destination by following the light.

When God led Israel through the wilderness, “The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day, to guide them on their way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go” (Nehemiah 9:19). Although God doesn’t lead us exactly like that today, He still guides us by illuminating our paths.

When you seek the Lord to guide you He will shine light on the right path. It might only be enough light to take one step. But when you take that step, He’ll give light for another step. He reveals His will to you a little bit at a time—like a scroll being unrolled. 
God lights the path through…

1. God’s Word. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105). God will never lead us in a path that contradicts the Scriptures.
2. Desires in your heart. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). When you seek God to make the right decision, He will put the desires in your heart to want what He wants.
3. Open and closed doors. He will open the right door or may close a wrong door. See Revelation 3:7-8.
Read The Sure Cure for Worry for much more information about how God will guide you on the right path. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
Visit our NEW WEBSITE www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, February 17, 2018

God's Shock Absorber


If your car hits a pothole on the highway, your shock absorber softens the impact and gives you a smoother ride. God’s grace is like a spiritual shock absorber that cushions us from the full pain whenever we’re going through a difficult time. If you fall on a pillow on a concrete floor you may experience some aching but the cushion shields you from the complete pain.

Paul had an aggravating “thorn in the flesh” and asked God to take it away. We don’t know exactly what it was but it made his life uncomfortable. The Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Even though God didn’t take away his problem, He gave Paul the grace to get through it. Grace is His power to help us in what we can’t do for ourselves. Through God’s grace Paul was able to tolerate what was bothering him.

Your problem might be an obnoxious person who gets on your nerves, or it could be the grief of losing a loved one. Here is how God can help you: “The Lord is near (shock absorber) to the brokenhearted…” (Psalm 34:18). "The Lord is good, a stronghold (shock absorber) in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him” (Nahum 1:7). He is “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction (shock absorber) ...” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). God’s comfort eases the pain of the affliction.

So the next time you go through an agonizing situation, don’t try to handle it alone. Depend on God’s grace and let His shock absorber help you get through it. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 
Check out our NEW & IMPROVED WEBSITE www.makinglifecount.net Hundreds of answers to Bible questions and teaching videos.
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Trust Your Instruments


Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” The following true story illustrates this truth.

Col. Jeff Patton was an F-15 fighter pilot in the first Gulf War. On the first night of the war, his mission was to escort a large formation of fighters in bombing a chemical weapons plant in northern Iraq. The date for the attack was chosen because the absence of moonlight helped prevent the enemy defenses from detecting the Allied fighters. Flying in total darkness, the pilots were completely dependent on their instruments.

Shortly after crossing into Iraq, an Iraqi surface-to-air missile radar locked on to Jeff’s plane. He quickly maneuvered his aircraft and successfully broke the lock on his plane, but those radical movements in the dark gave him vertigo, which made him disoriented. He couldn’t tell which way was up or down.

His mind was telling him his plane was in a climbing right turn, but when he checked his instruments, they indicated he was in a 60-degree dive towards the ground! He felt certain that he was climbing instead of diving, and his mind was screaming at him to lower the nose of his F-15 to halt the climb. 

Now he had to make a decision—and his life depended on making the right one. Should he trust his own senses or his instruments? His mind told him to correct the plane by turning it downward, but his instruments instructed him to do just the opposite. Because he was flying in total darkness, he had to decide quickly. The wrong decision could mean death. 

He had been taught in flight training to trust his instruments in situations like this. He decided to ignore his senses and pull the aircraft out of its dive. He had made the right decision. If he had lowered the nose of his jet like his mind had been telling him, he would have crashed the plane. Trusting his instruments saved his life.

Immediately he looked at his altimeter, which told him the elevation of his aircraft. He had escaped colliding into the mountains by just 2,000 feet. If he had delayed just three more seconds in deciding, his plane would have crashed into the mountains. Even right decisions can be wrong ones if they’re made too late. (Slaying Your Giants, pp. 45-46)

Just like pilots are trained to trust their instruments, God wants us to trust Him. He will guide us through the “instruments” of his Word and His Spirit, even when logic tells us to do the opposite. If you’ll trust God with all your heart and not depend on your own understanding, you too will make right decisions. 

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