In January 1980, three men had been skiing in Breckenridge, Col. They took off from the Breckenridge airport in the late afternoon in a light plane. They headed over the Front Range of the Rockies, intending to land at Arapahoe County Airport, south of Denver.
When they arrived over the field, they found it under heavy cloud cover. The field was not equipped for instrument landing, so air traffic control sent them to Buckley Air National Guard Base, east of Denver, which was equipped with a radar approach control.
The controller at Buckley directed the pilot to make an approach from the south. The pilot complied and made proper turns to be on the correct vector for landing. However, Buckley was under the same heavy cloud cover as the Arapahoe airport and the pilot could not see the airfield.
Furthermore, the pilot had no experience with instrument flying and was afraid to descend on the glide path directed by the radar controller. The pilot continued on the proper vector and flew directly over the runway.
The controller vectored the plane around for a second attempt and the pilot began a second approach. At that point, the wings of the plane iced up and the plane crashed, killing all three men.
There are important life principles illustrated here. First, the radar controller knew exactly where the plane was and where it needed to be. The pilot was afraid to descend because he could not see the airfield. He failed to trust the controller.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11, NIV).
God also tells us “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Prov. 14:12 (NIV). Have you placed your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you accepted his offer of salvation and placed your life in his hands?
The second principle is that we may not have another opportunity to place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The pilot, unknowingly, had only one opportunity to follow the controller’s instructions. Can you be absolutely sure that you will have another opportunity to place your trust in the Lord for salvation? None of us is guaranteed another moment, another hour, or tomorrow.
That evening at Buckley Field, the control tower became the focal point of an accident investigation. Senior air traffic controllers began gathering the facts surrounding the accident. In the radio equipment room, two controllers were listening to the taped conversation between the radar controller and the pilot.
At the end of the dialogue, the controller continued calling to the pilot for another ten minutes, hoping, without response. He continued to call. There was no response because the pilot was dead. You and I can respond to God’s call to trust in him only while we are alive!
In the control tower break room, the controller, who had tried to direct the pilot, sat in the corner weeping. By his side was another controller who was explaining that he had done everything he could. Do you believe in a personal God, the God who weeps at our failure to transfer our trust to him?
God wants all men to be saved and obey his direction (1 Tim. 2:3-4). Have you met the God “… who so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)?
The Word of God further instructs us that God is holy—that he will not permit sin in his presence. Yet, scripture also states that all of us "have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Scripture further informs us that "the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life..." (Rom. 6:23).
In other words, there is nothing we can do to overcome our sin. There is nothing we can do to enjoy the peace that comes with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Therefore, we must recognize that it is not possible for us to find acceptance in the sight of God on our own. We must transfer our trust to God, who makes it possible for us to enter his presence. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). God sent his only son to die in our place and, through his death, offers us eternal life. We must transfer our trust to Jesus Christ.
Have you placed your life in the hands of God, who knows where you are and can direct you onto the path he has planned for you? Have you moved beyond a mere intellectual acknowledgment of God to a serious commitment to him? Do you hear and are you following God’s instructions? Is your life under his control? Is he telling you that you are on course and on glide slope? Have you transferred your trust to him and accepted his leadership in your life? If not, and you earnestly want a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, pray this prayer:
I confess that I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I ask your forgiveness. Please accept my confession and free me from the burden of sin and guilt. I repent and desire to live my life under your control. I invite you to come into my life and become my savior and lord. I commit my life into your hands, believing that you have a plan for my life that is perfect and will glorify you. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer, we would like to hear from you.
Click here for the original article at cmamen.org.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!