I was an F-14 Tomcat radar intercept officer, and one of my jobs in the plane was navigation: knowing where we were, and were our field was. That's not too hard when you fly from an airport that doesn't move. Doing it from an aircraft carrier, in the middle of the ocean, was a bit tougher. Imagine that the only place you could land is the field from which you launched. All the terrain outside your window looks the same, with no distinguishing features. Your airport moves at or about 20-35 miles per hour. So, after you've used most of your fuel, and have about 25 minutes of it left, tell me, where is it? We were trained, upon realizing that we didn't know where we were, to:
"CLIMB, CONFESS, and COMMUNICATE."
CLIMB in altitude, to be easier to spot on land and ship-based radar and to stretch your fuel. This also extends your view of the world around you, you can see further and can be seen from further. (Jet engines get better mileage at higher altitudes, also.)
CONFESS to yourself and to anyone on the radio that you are lost. Humility can be a life saver!
COMMUNICATE on the radio so someone with the proper equipment could find you and help you with directions. Don't try to do it alone. There are many fliers on the bottom of the ocean that were never found.
An interesting sideline, is that whenever this occurred during the Cold War near a Soviet ship, they often tried to deceive us. Pretending to be someone aboard our carrier and giving us false directions. Pretending to help us, they were doing their best to have us run out of fuel and crash. That parallels what Satan does to us, whenever sin has gotten a hold. Posing as an angel of light, He tries to tell us what to do. Pretending he's there for us, when he's out to destroy us. Remember what the demons did to the herd of pigs they entered!
Some thought that the key was never getting lost! Though that would have been preferred, it is unrealistic and impossible. Sooner of later, someone would need help getting home. The professional response was to do whatever one needed to do to. To endure the humiliation and embarrassment others would greet you with, so that life could continue! To swallow pride, to accept help (to qualify false offers of it, also), to live on! How do I know this so surely? I got lost. I also knew how to find myself again.
I also know because I had the honor and priviledge of saving the crew of another airplane when that plane was lost. The pilot did things by the book, and because he was open and honest and trusted me (he knew me already, we were friends) and because I was able to find his plane, we were able to get them going in the right direction, saving both the crew and the airplane.
The best navigators were not those that would never get lost, but those that, once lost, could regain their bearings and once again function.
Sound familiar? I believe that God wants us to do the same with all of our sins once we are ready to deal with them! God doesn't expect us to be perfect and error-free, God wants us to recover from our sins! Here's one way to do just that:
That goes for all sin. Some believe they will never sin again, because they are now perfect. Note that Paul admitted he never reached perfection on earth. Since we humans are not perfect we are going to sin, and sin again. It is important that we learn how to deal with sin in a constructive manner. God wants us to learn to cope with our sins, past, present and future. Christ died for all of those sins. Let's build our lives on the foundation He laid down, which is higher than our sins.
He didn't commend the "pure in behavior," He commended the "pure in heart" and the "pure in spirit."
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