Posted by: John | March 6, 2012

Trust the Instrument Panel

Brothers & Sisters,

I pray this finds you soaking up the Presence, Love, Joy, Peace, & Strength of our Lord & Savior.  Today I wanted to share some great encouragement I received from some pilot friends of mine in the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not upon your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior” (Psalms 42:5). 

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.  He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalms 62:1-2).

“I lift my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven & earth” (Psalms 121:1-2).

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).  

My pilot friends, who used to fly jets for the Navy, provided some excellent advice the other day.  They said that over the course of their years of flying, they often found themselves flying within storms.  They provided the following advice that applies well for us as Christians as we go through the storms of our lives:

1)    Trust Your Instrument Panel: Flying within the darkness & turbulence of a storm, your senses will very often betray you.  For example, you’ll feel like you’re turning upside down, when in reality, the opposite is true.  The instrument panel tells you as a pilot what reality is.  It shows you the true horizon & what is actually going on with the plane.  During flight training, it is drilled into the pilots’ minds not to trust their feelings, but to trust only in their instrument panel.   

2)     Always Have a Co-Pilot: Even though technically only one pilot is required to fly the plane, it is military policy to always have 2 pilots aboard these jets.  Because of their boldness & extraordinary flying abilities, one of the most common faults of pilots is to rely on themselves & their own senses in a storm instead of their instruments.  This pride can be catastrophic.  The extra pilot continually reminds the pilot who is flying to keep looking at & trusting the instrument panel.  

I am grateful that the Lord has graciously given us “the instrument panel”—His Word & co-pilots—friends in JESUS who keep pointing us to the Lord & His Word.  The Word of God is the Lord’s Love Letter to us, which is based on His Love, Truth & Reality.  In the midst of the storm, our senses very often betray us.  We need to continually remind ourselves & we need our friends to remind us of His Promises & the Reality of His Faithfulness.  

Reflecting on one rollercoaster week in the past, which started with some very positive news & ended with some very negative news.  I remember being “funked out” in terms of my perspective.  I felt like I was upside down.  My feelings were taking me down the wrong path and I struggled to hold onto the Lord & to see Him in the midst of the storm.  That night, I praised God & focused on obeying Him by doing the next right thing.  The next morning as the negative feelings began to hit me like the tide, I realized how much I needed the Lord & His Perspective.  I reached out to the Lord for His Help.  I studied His Word, praised Him for His Grace, & thanked Him for His many blessings.  Then I turned to Habakkuk 3:17-18 & I memorized the 18th verse: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”  That day as the negative feelings hit, I kept repeating & meditating on that verse.  In my heart, I said, “I will rejoice in the Lord . . . I will live by faith not by sight!”  By God’s Grace, I was choosing to focus on the Lord & His “instrument panel” instead of my own feelings.  The pilot’s analogy has helped me a ton & I hope it helps you too.   

Dear Heavenly Father,

We trust You & Your Heart, O Lord.  Help us to keep our eyes on You within the storms of our lives.  You are our Blessed Reality & Redeemer!  We praise You for Your exceeding Faithfulness, Grace & Provision!  You know us so much better than we know ourselves & You knew we needed an instrument panel.  We praise You, O JESUS, our Living Word!  You are the Way, the Truth & the Life!  Bless each of my brothers & sisters with the co-pilots they need to encourage them to live by faith instead of by sight.  We love You, O Lord!  Thank You for Your Amazing Grace!  It’s in the Name above all Names—JESUS, we pray.  Amen.

In His Love,


JESUS is 1st!  To Him be All Glory!



  1. Great post, John! Praying for you!

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