Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”
“Follow your instruments and not your sight.” These words from an official who was being interviewed caught my attention as I was getting ready for work the other morning. I was rushing around with the usual bed making, hair dressing, & makeup applying when the words were spoken on the TV news show.
During a very foggy evening flight a US military Black Hawk helicopter had crashed into the Santa Rosa Sound. Unfortunately four National Guardsmen and seven Marines were missing following the accident. The man on the newscast expanded his statement by explaining that when a pilot is flying through fog, it is very important to rely on the aircraft’s instruments instead of the captain’s eyesight. Dense fog is very deceptive and one’s eyesight is not reliable. Though it takes an act of faith, one is best served to trust the instruments to give the best guidance as to how to proceed.
How true this is in our daily lives! When our circumstances land us in a deep fog, it often becomes unclear how we should respond. It is so tempting to react according to our feelings. Yet usually our feelings are unreliable. We may think we know what someone else is thinking or why something has happened, but if we respond according to our faulty perceptions it may cause us to crash and burn. We will be left with a wreckage of a relationship or an unfixable problem.
The way to be sure of a safe landing is to trust the instruments. For a Christian the unfailing instrument is God’s Word. We should read it regularly, meditate or think about it constantly, and be careful to do all that is written in it unfailingly. The law of God should be the map for all of a believer’s thoughts and actions.
Today’s verse was given to Joshua at the time of Moses’ death. The Lord spoke to him and promised to be with him as he led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. For forty years Moses had guided God’s people out of Egypt and through the desert, but now it was Joshua’s turn to take command. He would face the enemies of Israel and bring them into the Promised Land – a pretty intimidating assignment.
I can only imagine the fog Joshua must have felt as he mourned the death of his great commander, mentor, and friend, as well as feeling the pressure of responsibility now lying heavily on his shoulders. If Joshua had trusted his feelings, he may have been tempted to run, give up, or not accept the assignment. But he chose instead to rely on the instrument of God’s word. God told him to be strong and courageous. He promised that if Joshua would be careful to obey all of God’s instructions ,than He would be with him and give him great success.
The same is true for us today. When we disregard our feelings and act only according to the truth as found in God’s Word, we are assured of a safe landing no matter what the situation. So don’t rely on your eyes when faced with the fog of life experiences. Commit yourself to reading, meditating, and obeying the instrument that God has given us. That way you will be sure you don’t crash and burn!