Dr. Edwin Lutzer tells the story of flying on a commercial air flight. Seated next to him was a man who used to be a commercial airline pilot, but now flies his own smaller plane. The two became engaged in a conversation about the safety of flying.
The pilot said, "Many people think these huge jets are built more safely and, therefore, are safer to fly than smaller planes. People think that because there are more crashes with smaller planes than with commercial jets.
"But," he said, "that's not true. The reason why so many lighter planes crash is not because of bad equipment. It's because of inexperienced pilots flying the little planes." Lutzer replied, "Tell me more."
"The error of inexperienced pilots is that they refuse to believe their instruments," the pilot said. "In a storm, they trust their instincts rather than their navigation instruments. That's where they get in trouble."
"For example, they are absolutely convinced that the altitude of the plane is increasing when it's not. There is an internal mechanism that tells them the altitude. But, when the altitude is not increasing, they often choose to disbelieve the instruments and adjust the plane according to their senses. They think that the plane is turning or banking when it's actually not. When the pilot ignores his readings and adjusts the plane according to his intuition, it is sure to crash."
Then he said, "There wouldn't be as many light planes that crash if pilots would devotedly believe their instrument panels rather than accepting what they think their senses are telling them."
1. A crash is inevitable when we attempt to fly by "the seat of our pants" [i.e., by emotion or intuition].
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12; cf. Judges 21:25; Acts 26:9).
2. The instrument panel [i.e., the Word of God] is always true.
"The entirety of Your word is truth…" (Psalms 119:160a; cf. 25:5, 10; John 17:17; Romans 3:4).
3. In order to arrive at our intended destination [i.e., heaven], we must pilot according to divine revelation rather than human intuition.
"You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory" (Psalm 73:24; cf. 119:105; Isaiah 55:8).