Looks can be deceiving, especially when you’re flying thousands of feet above the ground in an airplane. On November 26, 2011, a pilot flew his four-seat Cirrus SR-20 from Marion, Indiana, to drop off his daughter at Wheaton College. On that overcast and rainy day, he flew by visual flight rules, because he had not yet earned an instrument rating. This means instead of using his instruments, he had to rely upon the view from his window to see where he was going.

Soon the pilot began to lose altitude. Before long, the plane had dipped to about 500 feet above the ground. Sadly, the plane crashed in a field in Crystal Lake, Illinois, killing the pilot, his two daughters, and a friend. The outcome may have been much different if the pilot had known how to use his instruments.

Christians, when we try to rely upon our feelings rather than upon the concrete, proven truths of God’s Word, we put ourselves in a dangerous position. We will unknowingly start to drift from our position of joy, peace, and confidence in Christ to a lower altitude, where we begin to lose our desire for spiritual things. Flying by sight takes us even lower, and brings us closer to worldliness, temptation, and sin. At this point, it’s not long before we have an awful plane wreck.

Let this pilot’s sad story be a sobering reminder to us of how important it is to fly at the right spiritual altitude. You might not think doing personal devotions every day is really important, but without the guidance of God’s Word, you are heading toward your own destruction. Remember that without Christ’s wisdom and guidance, your vision is very limited — so you need as much of it as you can get. Trust Him to lead you safely today.

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. — C.S. Lewis

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder