Scripture: Matthew 27:46 NASB “Flying On Instruments”
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?’ that is, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?'” Matthew 27:46
Have you ever felt abandoned by God? David certainly did. He wrote Psalm 22 that begins, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:1). Jesus was quoting David when he yelled this from the cross. Why would Jesus feel like God had left Him? Weren’t they both kind of close? Like really, really close? They were. That’s why Jesus felt so forsaken.
Here’s what happened. Jesus sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed before He was taken to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God (cf. Luke 22:44). Was He afraid of being killed? The most courageous man who ever lived probably was not afraid of death. However, He would have been distraught over the idea of separation from His Father which He knew would occur when He became the sacrifice for our sin (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 1:4). The darkness that fell on the region was symbolic of God laying the sin of the world on Christ (cf. Matt. 27:45). That was the reason Christ cried out to God and asked why He had been forsaken.
Now back to David and to us. Why do we feel like God has left us at times? The key word is “feel.” Our sanctification, growing in holiness, comes primarily through our minds (cf. Rom. 12:2; 7:23-25; 8:6-8; Col. 3:2).
Back in the dark ages, a state of life wherein a person lacked God’s presence was dubbed a “dark night of the soul.” Figures this would come out of the dark ages.
I don’t know if I hold to all that was believed about a “dark night” but I have been through something I call “flying by instruments.” Sometimes when a pilot is going through a storm and can’t see anything out his windows, he is forced to rely strictly on the instruments on his control panel. Pilots have to learn to do this since inevitably they will encounter a situation in which they’ll have to depend only on their console.
There will be times in the Christian life when we will basically have to rely only on our control panel, the Scriptures. We shouldn’t trust our feelings. I don’t know a single Scripture that indicates that God will guide us only by our feelings. They are too unreliable. In contrast, our faith is based on Scripture and the opposite of faith is the doubt that we “feel” (cf. James 1:6-7; Rom. 14:23).
How are you doing in this area? Are you trusting your feelings or are you trusting God and His Scriptures? Are you “flying on instruments”?
If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Fun Application: I heard a lady call into a Christian radio program. She had lost her “joy.” I was a little disappointed in the host of the program who tried to help her get her “joy” back . . . in a matter of seconds . . . on the air. Oh, my goodness. Sometimes things take time. (The host recommended the woman write on her chest. Ugh.)
The best way to have joy is to feed your mind. Memorize Scripture. Then when disaster or bad times strike, the Holy Spirit can use the Word that you’ve already tucked away in your heart. The Word is the only thing, really, that we can trust. My “go-to” verses are Isa. 41:10, Ps. 71:20-21; and Zeph. 3:17 (that’s right, from the book of Zephaniah!). For more fun: find your own “go-to” verses!
You’ll be blessed if you do!
The purpose of the Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: One Tabernacle Goes Up, One Comes Down