Pilot Spatial Disorientation and the Spiritual Life

What a joy to speak at the Braeside Family Camp 2014 which is in the Brantford/Paris area of Ontario, Canada.  In this message I am comparing Pilot Spatial Disorientation to Spiritual Disorientation.

Join me in saying Y.E.S. to God.Box Turtle Upside Down

“Prior to the accident flight, he obtained weather forecasts for a cross-country flight.  The forecast indicated visual flight rules (VFR) conditions with clear skies and visibilities that varied between four to 10 miles along his intended route. The pilot then departed at about 8:38 p.m. local time, about 25 minutes after sunset and about 10 minutes before the end of civil twilight.

According to radar data, about 34 miles west of Martha’s Vineyard Airport, while crossing a 30-mile stretch of water to its destination, the airplane began a descent that varied between 400 to 800 feet per minute (fpm). About 7 miles from the approaching shore, the airplane began a right turn. The airplane stopped its descent at 2,200 feet, then climbed back to 2,600 feet and entered a left turn. While in the left turn, the airplane began another descent that reached about 900 fpm. While still in the descent, the airplane entered a right turn. During this turn, the airplane’s rate of descent, eventually exceeded 4,700 fpm, and the airplane struck the water in a nose-down attitude. Airports along the coast reported visibilities between 5 and 8 miles. Other pilots flying similar routes on the night of the accident reported no visual horizon while flying over the water because of haze.

The NTSB determined that the probable causes of this accident were the pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during a descent over water at night, which was a result of spatial disorientation. Factors in the accident were haze, and the dark night.”

Spatial Disorientation

  • Thrives in a moment of distraction.
  • When the eye can no longer see or determine the horizon the pilot feels the need to orient the plane. Spatial disorientation is an eye problem.
  • Spatial disorientation is a feeling problem.
  • The inner ear cannot adjust quickly enough to accurately send orientation data to the brain to correct the feelings that are based in the eye’s perceptions.  Spatial disorientation is an ear problem.

Spatial disorientation is often fatal for both the experienced and novice pilot and many innocent passengers have lost their lives because of this pilot error.

Could we, those who call ourselves Christians, have a fatal case of wrong spiritual orientation?

  • When “Christians” can’t decide if sex outside of marriage is a sin, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When “Christians” support the killing of an innocent human baby in the womb, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When Jesus’ term, “You must be born again.” Is replaced by are you churched or un-churched, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When the Pentecostal pastors ask their churches not to interrupt the Sunday services with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but limit the gifts to small groups, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When it takes, on average, over 150 US Assemblies of God members 1 year to lead one person to Christ, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When you can’t hear about heaven and hell and Jesus’ provision for eternal life from your pastor, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When God’s house is full but his fields are empty, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When people are more excited and committed to their sports than to their salvation, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When we are not surprised if ordained ministers are sexually immoral, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When Christian’s spend multiple thousands on recreation and entertainment, but pennies for missions, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.
  • When careers and retirements are more important than the call of God, I think we have a case of wrong spiritual orientation.

Into our world of wrong spiritual orientation Jesus enters.

His first goal is to disorient us!

In Luke 3:4-6

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,[a]
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Jesus simply gets into your face and disorients you.

  • Full valleys
  • Flat mountains
  • Straight curves
  • Level bumps

Jesus disorients us with His life.

  • Virgin and birth?
  • Fully God and fully man?
  • The Living God dead on a cross?
  • I am with you always but you won’t see me again until…

Jesus disorients us with His demands.

  • Go, sell all that you have and give the income to the poor.
  • If you want the plant of your life to live, you must let it fall into the ground and die.
  • It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

Today, are you willing to allow God to show you your disorientations?

We are not effective for Christ when we have the same orientation as those without Christ!

Our Superintendent’s desire for today is that we will rally together to reach Canada for Christ.  For this to happen we must allow Jesus to disorient us.

Possibly our most blatant wrong spiritual orientation is regarding our self.

The common orientation is:

  • Nurture the self.
  • Protect the self.
  • Know thy self.
  • Pamper the self.
  • Have self-pride.

For us to reach Canada we must invite Jesus to disorient us to these views of the self.

Jesus demands a total disorientation to these views!

Luke 9:23

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Our question today is, “Do you live in a state of the denied self?”

Say Y.E.S. to God.

Totally Yielded

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  Romans 6:13

Fully Engaged

10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  Ecclesiastes 9:10

A Living Sacrifice

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  Hebrews 12:1

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