Flight camp was a week of evaluations of students wanting to become a part of the aviation training at Moody Bible Institute. I was selected to participate in that week of training and evaluation.

Training was intense . . . We were expected to absorb a lot of material and then act on what we learned. Part of the evaluation every day involved an hour of flight.

Mid way through the week, during my flight time, my instructor reached behind my seat and pulled out a hood . . . a plastic shield to restrict my field of vision. I was asked to put it on so I couldn’t see outside of the plane . . . It was time for me to fly using only the instruments before me.

There is an instrument called an attitude indicator. The two main parts of that instrument are a straight line that represents the horizon and a small stick figured airplane which represents the airplane. The relationship of those two items with each other gives an accurate picture of what the plane is doing. If the 2 wings of the small airplane line up, covering the horizon line, the actual plane is flying straight and level. When the wings are parallel to, but above the horizon line, the plane is flying straight but is climbing . . . If below the horizon, the plane is descending.  If the right wing is tipped down from the horizon, the plane is banked and turning to the right, etc.

On this particular flight, after flying under the hood straight and level for a short time, my instructor told me to turn 90 degrees to the right . . . That was easy enough . . . My turn should look like a right-hand turn, in my car, at a street corner.  I began to act on what I learned during my past instructional flight . . . If I remembered correctly, I was to bank the plane 30 degrees until I got close to a 90 degree turn and then roll back to straight and level flight, ending the turn. I was pretty proud when I got into the turn . . . I nailed it . . . a 30-degree bank while keeping my altitude the same . . . Yes! . . . The nose of my little artificial plane was lined up right on the artificial horizon line and the wings were pegged at a 30-degree bank.  All I had to do was watch the compass and make sure I rolled out to complete the 90-degree turn.  I was gleaming with pride!

Then I heard these words from my instructor, “You had better turn to your other right, we’re going to hit a mountain.” My problem was, I heard the instructions he gave me, but I really didn’t listen to what he said. Because I didn’t do what I was told, hearing didn’t do me any good. I was quick to listen and obeyed when I heard we were going to hit a mountain.

If that had been a real situation and I was flying in the clouds without an instructor, the consequences of turning left instead of right would have meant death. Hearing without obedience meant that I really didn’t listened to what was said.

Over and over, Luke 8 has something critical to say about “hearing.” If hearing God is not followed by doing, then the hearing is worthless. Just like flying my plane, If I say yes to Jesus but don’t turn right, the result is death . . . eternal death. Obedience indicates that I have really trusted Jesus. Only a trust in Him, that demonstrates obedience to Him, turns me from death to life.

It’s interesting to note that ignorance and disobedience both result in death . . . the difference is, until we hit the mountain of death, there is always time for the ignorant to hear the truth, listen and correct their error . . . the disobedient, thinking they are right, are flying with a false hope. Their confidence will not change the fact that impact of death will bring an eternal death of separation from God the Creator.

It’s so easy to say “yes” to Jesus and still fly in the wrong direction. Lord help me to be quick to show love to others . . . Help me to care enough to tell people they’re flying toward a mountain if they don’t listen to Your voice. . .

Hear . . . Listen . . . Obey indicates that I’ve really heard in a way that will fly me to safety.

Luke 8:4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed . . .8 . . . some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.” . . . ,15 As for that (seed) in the good soil, they are those who, HEARING THE WORD, HOLD IT FAST in an honest and good heart, and BEAR FRUIT with patience.

16 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar . . . 18 Take care then HOW YOU HEAR . . .,

19 Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. 20 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND DO IT.”  (biblegateway.com. ESV)

More than just a BELIEVER in God, I need to be a FOLLOWER of Jesus!