Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flying Lessons on WestJet

Read: Ephesians 2:1-10

It started out as a routine trip as the plane rolled along the runway. In the usual manner, the pilot directs the plane to V2 speed – the point at which lift-off from the runway needs to happen. As we lifted off solid ground, the lower air turbulence almost immediately began to shake the plane. I don’t remember ever experiencing turbulence like that so close to the ground. The cross-winds were strong at Edmonton airport and pummeled the plane, causing it to lurch side-ways as we climbed.

In such opposition and turbulence, the solution was to keep on climbing until we reached cruising altitude at 40,000 feet. Once we arrived on the higher level, flying became more enjoyable and our plane made consistently smooth progress all the way to our destination. This experience reminded me of the spiritual life that God calls each of us to live.

In the first century, Christian believers (in the Ephesus region of what is now Turkey) were reminded of the sinful turbulence in “lower level” living. As real followers of Jesus, they now had the power to break through lower turbulence and climb to a higher level in Christ. Speaking of lower level turbulence caused by sin, the Ephesians Christians were told:

“You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the…prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.” (Ephesians 2:2, NLT)

When you encounter Satan’s strong winds, there is a choice. You can either choose to stay grounded or you can keep your eyes on Jesus and let Him lift you up to a higher level. If you listen to the desires of your body, you will be tempted to quit, to give up. But, if you are a true follower of Jesus, then remember what God has given you. He has given you a whole quality of life and the enabling grace, power to persevere through this world’s sinful cross-winds and reach cruising altitude in Christ.

Remember that God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so very much…For He raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with Him in the heavenly realms – all because we are one with Christ.” (Eph. 2:4a, 6, NLT)

If you have chosen to fly with Christ to a higher level, keep on living, practicing what you are – a chosen son or daughter of God. Continue to grow in your faith and relationship with God. As you do, you will experience more of the fruit living beyond the sinful lower level and demonstrate more of the results of living on the higher level in Christ. As a pilot completes his check list, so be sure to consider your check list – that is the real cost of following Jesus to this higher level of eternal life. Are you ready to go all the way?

Follow God’s flying lessons and trust Him to accomplish all the wonderful blessings that He has planned for you (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

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