When our Native American outreach team went to Alaska, our only means of getting to remote Eskimo villages was by missionary aircraft. Man, those pilots – they were the best! I mean, many days we had to fly through low cloud ceilings and low visibility. On a day like that, our pilots were checking every hour on the weather at our end and at our destination. There was finally a break where we could fly, but it all looked pretty dismal when we took off. The pilot of the plane that I was in was instrument-rated, which actually enabled him to go to a higher altitude. The pilot of the plane accompanying us wasn’t able to take the high road. No, my pilot kept in radio contact with the other pilot. Believe me, our planeload and the other planeload were seeing two totally different views. From where the other plane was flying – lower – it was dark, it was dismal, and it was really overcast. But we were above all that. We were enjoying this beautiful, sunny day with all those clouds beneath us.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The View From Down Below.”
When your view is under the clouds, under the weather, everything looks dark and dismal. If you don’t know better, you could assume that the sun was gone. But the view from higher up tells the real story. The sun’s still shining and the clouds aren’t nearly as big a deal.
When you have important decisions to make, the view from down below can really cause you to make some serious mistakes. God talks about both perspectives in what may be some of the most cherished verses on God’s guidance in all the Bible. In fact, I can almost guarantee these are the favorite verses of someone who’s listening as they were for my wife. But for all their familiarity, they might be exactly what you need for this time when you really need some guidance.
So here we are, our word for today from the Word of God, Proverbs 3:5-6. Two perspectives: one which leads to right conclusions, and the one which leads to wrong conclusions. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” or, as it says in the King James version, “He will direct your paths.”
Now, the way to know God’s way is to passionately as it says here “trust in the Lord.” Notice what the opposite of trusting in the Lord is – “leaning on your own understanding.” In other words, “This is what looks right from what I can see.” But the word “understanding” tells you what’s wrong with that. You’re standing under the situation; yeah, your under-standing. You’re seeing only what you can see from the ground, but that’s not the whole picture. With a decision like you might be facing right now, you need over-standing – the view from over the whole situation – the big picture. What may look right from underneath may be an incomplete or distorted perspective.
The enemy of God’s will, according to these verses, is “my own understanding.” I need to submit that to the view from above – to what God says – what God sees. So how do you “trust in the Lord with all your heart”? Well it says you “acknowledge Him” in all your ways. In other words, you declare many times a day, “Jesus is Lord of this.” “God’s got this!”
Like the centurion who had the dying servant – the soldier whose faith, the Bible says, amazed Jesus. You say, “Jesus, You have the final say in this situation. I acknowledge Your total authority over what seems so hard and so impossible to me.” That centurion simply said, “Say the word, Jesus. Say the word and my servant will be healed.”
Keep submitting to His Lordship, trusting in Him with everything you’ve got, whether you can see His working or not. But you’ve got to refuse to run ahead, to force it, to fix it yourself, or to try to make it happen. Why? Because you’ve asked your Pilot to let you see what He sees, and that’s the big picture view from up above the clouds.