Off Course

It was an early June morning, the sky was blue and the air was crisp. Only
a few white clouds adorned the heavens. As I proceeded with the preflight
check of the airplane, I thought to myself what a great day the Lord has
made. I entered the cockpit and strapped myself in and with clearance from
the tower I was on my way. The flight would be short only about an hour to
Owensboro, Kentucky.

I usually start the day with prayer and then pray before takeoff, but
today I forgot. Today my thoughts were on the task at hand, of flying the
plane safely. The ride was smooth and from three thousand five hundred feet
above the earth you could see for forty miles. The view of what God has
created was breath taking. As the earth passed beneath me I realized that I
hadn't prayed before takeoff, I told myself that I would pray when I
reached my destination, since I was already over half way there. Everything
was going according to plan until I looked for my last visual checkpoint
before reaching the airport. It was no where to be found!

A sick feeling came over me. I knew the landmark that I used for a
checkpoint several times before hadn't moved. I knew that I was Off Course!
The question now was how far off course? I knew where I should have been in
my flight path but now I did not. What had I not thought of in planing for
this flight? I was going over every detail in my mind, surely I could
figure out where Owensboro was located. I had made this same flight at
least eight other times. This day was the best of all as far as weather
conditions were concerned. What had I overlooked? I wasn't in an emergency
situation yet. I still had three hours of fuel left. But some critical
decision making had to be made soon.

Finally I decided I had better seek the Lord instead of waiting until I
landed. I prayed Lord, "forgive me for not putting you first in my life
this morning, I need your help now." God delivered his answer right on
time. He not only gave me the solution to the problem. He taught me a
lesson I hope I never forget. Seek him first, every morning when I awake
and in every situation. Ask him to lead, guide, and direct you each and
every step of the way in your daily walk with Christ.

The answer to the problem was, I had not allowed for wind drift at
altitude. And I also had not used my radio navigation equipment. It was on
I just neglected to pay attention to it. After readjusting my flight path
and using the radio navigation I was safely in Owensboro within twenty

I should have depended on the navigation radio for guidance and direction.
I had become too complacent and over-confident in my ability. In my case
today the wind was Satan's attack. Isn't that how we Christians are
sometimes? We get in such a hurry in our daily lives we forget the most
important thing, talking to God. We tend to leave God out of the simple
things in life. The things we think we can handle all by ourselves and only
seek him in the tough times. And then we wonder why isn't God answering
prayer. When we leave God out and forget to read and study the Bible sin
will come into our lives. We cannot be immune from sin if we omit God from
our daily walk.

A lot of Christians are like Jonah. We just simply refuse to do what God
knows is best for our lives. We rebel against him and he sometimes has to
spank us to get our attention. God certainly got Jonah's attention when he
was cast into the sea and was swallowed up for three days in the belly of a
great fish. After he was inside the belly of the fish then he started
crying out to God. And God heard Jonah's cry. The Bible says in Jonah 2:2,
"I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out
of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice." After God
released Jonah from the great fish, Jonah put God first in his life. God
told him again to go to Nineveh. He wasted no time in getting there to
preach God's word.

Just how far will we let ourselves drift away from God and his plan for our
lives before declaring an emergency? How long before we cry out to our
heavenly father seeking his help, his forgiveness? How long before we ask
the Lord to restore that sweet fellowship? The Bible says in Psalms
51:10-11-12, "Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit
within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit
from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy
free spirit."


We must prepare ourselves daily for spiritual warfare. The Bible says in
Ephesians 6: 11-17, "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and
blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of
the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to
withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of
righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of
peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

The Bible says in 1st. Peter 5-8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may
devour." Satan is looking for anyway he can to defeat the Christian. He
will cause you more pain and misery than you care to deal with. Sin will
take you farther than you intended to go. It will keep you there longer
than you are willing to stay. And it will cost you more than you ever
wanted to pay. In 1st. John 4-4, "Ye are of God, little children, and have
overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the
world." As Christians we have the power of the Holy Spirit on our side. We
must pray daily, spend time alone with the Lord. We must study his word; it
is our daily guide as to how we are to live our lives.

If you are not a Christian then Satan is probably going to leave you alone.
He knows that unless you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior you will
spend eternity in hell with him. The Bible says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek
ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things
shall be added unto you."
Have you done that today? The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23, "For the wages
of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord." This will be the greatest gift you could ever receive. In Romans
10:9-10, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and
shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and
with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

How many people will stand before our Lord and say, " I meant to ask you to
be my Lord and Savior." Hell will be full of people who meant to receive
Jesus but didn't. They will say I was going to but I didn't have the time.
He took time for you when he left his home in Glory to come to this earth
to die for your sins and raised from the grave on the third day. And is
seated at the Fathers right hand today. If you stood before the God today
without Christ in your heart you will not get another chance, it will be
too late. Have you made the critical decision to follow Christ? God is
giving you another chance today just like he gave Jonah. The question is do
you recognize that chance and what will you do with it? God tells us in
2nd. Corinthians 6:2, "behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the
day of salvation."

Christians are not perfect, we are just forgiven by the grace of God. We
stumble and sometimes fall into sin. But we never let go of those nail
scared hands. And when we ask the Lord to forgive us he picks us up and we
continue to serve him. We don't give up. If you are a Christian and out of
fellowship with the Lord, or if you have not received Christ as you savior
today, he is waiting very patiently. He wants to set you free from the
bondage of sin. God's word tells us in John 8:32, "And ye shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free." After we have received Christ
as our Savior the Bible tells us in Romans 6:22-23, "But now being made
free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto
holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but
the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Like the landmark that had not moved, neither has God. He has been there
all the time. We are the ones that move, we are the ones that get off
course. He's there waiting for you. It is my prayer for you today that you
put Christ first in your life. I pray that you recognize if you are on
course with God's plan for your life or not. There is only one way to
Heaven and that is by Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way,
the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." The
choice is yours today, choose wisely. If God is speaking to your heart
today, let him in. May God Bless you and keep you.


Inspired by: My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him I give all the Glory
and Praise.
By: G.L.F.
Ephesians 2-8:9