Christianity 201

April 16, 2019

Mid-Course Corrections

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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The analogy between living the Christian life and flying an airplane or sending up a rocket; and the inherent need to make mid-course corrections, is an analogy that I feel is under-utilized.

For the above reason, I chose this shorter devotional from Chris Hendrix at the website Devotions by Chris.

Readjusting Your Course

Every time I fly, I think about a friend of mine who is a pilot. I’ve asked him many questions about the process of flying and what it’s like to be in the cabin. I’ve even questioned him about autopilot. He told me that before a flight, he plots the course based off of information he gets from others who are flying that route. Once the plane is in the air and cruising, he turns on autopilot. I wondered if it was really that easy. He then explained that at the cruising altitude, the winds can blow us off course and he has to readjust to get the plane back on course. If he doesn’t, the plane could arrive miles from its destination.

Our walk with God is a lot like that. We love to set our lives to autopilot and think that will get us directly to Heaven, but the Christian life is more than autopilot. In order to be successful at living this life, we need to have people in our lives who are ahead of us and have walked the path we are on. We need to listen to the information they’re giving us because they’ve seen first hand where turbulence lies. It’s important to have people in our lives who can give us guidance and the information we need to make the right decisions. Proverbs 13:20 tells us that if we want to be wise, we need to be around wise people.

The next thing we have to do is be aware of how the winds of life shift us from our course. Things happen. Problems are going to arise. We need to be in a constant state of questioning if we are still on course for where God has us headed. Reevaluation is an important part of your Christian life. Asking if we are where God wants us when God wants us to be there is important. Are we still on the path that God put us on? That path is hard to see sometimes. We need to have God’s Word in our hearts.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”

Applying God’s word to your life and taking advice from others will help you to live the most impactful Christian life you can. When we know what God says in His Word, we are able to defeat temptation that would take us off course. If we do get knocked off course, it’s not the end of the world. God offers forgiveness and course corrections. He makes a way to get back to where He had us heading. Don’t quit because you’ve been blown off course. Take the advice of someone who has been blown off course and been given a path back. God will not abandon you or the plans He has for you no matter how far off course you get. There’s always a way back.


We used this analogy before here in a different form — the idea of wandering off a path and needing to find our way back — in an often repeated item here at C201 on 2 Timothy 3:16.


Today’s devotional was shorter, so if you’re up for some bonus content, here’s a scripture medley Chris put together on the theme of kindness.

April 25, 2017

Got Questions for God? God Has Questions for You

A year later, we’re back to the website Forward >> Progress, written by Michael Kelley an in-house writer for LifeWay. This is a writer who offers great content daily and I encourage you to check it out by clicking the title below and then clicking the “blog” tab at the top of his page.

How God Uses Questions in the Bible

Most every parent has gone through the sweetly annoying stage of questions from their children. These are the days when kids seem to have an inexhaustible curiosity, and the correspondingly inexhaustible list of inquiries to go along with it. The questions range from why the sky is blue, to why certain animals have spots when others don’t, to why we have to eat our vegetables.

The questions come in a flurry during that season of life – one right after the other, until most of the time the parent says that he or she has dispensed enough information for the day.

Now the reason kids ask these questions, at least in the purest sense, is because they lack information. They are sponges, wanting to soak up every bit of information that we, as the parents, have to give them. They assume that we, because we are their parents, actually are in possession of all this information and will freely give it to them.

Parents ask their children questions, too, albeit for different reasons. Sometimes we ask our kids things because we feel distant from them. We want more than anything for our children to open up and share not only about what’s going on in their lives, but how it makes them feel. So questions for us are not really about information; they’re more about intimacy. And we have such a strong desire for this intimacy that we can ask questions back to our children with the same frequency and intensity they once upon a time employed with us.

The badgered becomes the badgerer.

The same action – asking questions – is employed, but there is a different purpose behind it.

Now consider the fact that God, too, is a question asker. We see this happen many times in Scripture:

  • When Adam and Eve first sinned, God responded with a question: “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9).
  • When Adam and Eve presented themselves, God asked Eve directly, “What is this you have done?” (Gen. 3:13).
  • When God responded to Job’s accusations, He used a series of questions beginning with, “Where were you when I…?” (Job 38:4).
  • When Jonah was angry that God did what Jonah feared He would – relent on His punishment of the Ninevites – God asked him twice: “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4).
  • When the people said Jesus was a prophet or a reincarnation of John the Baptist, He asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15).

The list could go on. In each case, God is asking a question. And because questions serve different purposes, depending on the occasion, we might wonder what God’s intent is in asking these questions

Well, we know first of all what His intent is not. We know that the question is not informational in nature because God already knows the answer. In fact, God actually knows the facts of every situation better than the people involved in the situation. And here we find one of the great purposes of God in His asking of questions.

God uses questions to force us to confront our own hearts. He questions us not because He needs to know and understand something about what’s going on, but because He wants us to know and understand the truth of what’s going on. Through questions, God forces us to turn our gaze on ourselves, our hearts, and our motivations. He makes us look deeply into ourselves, knowing that He already knows, and then own up to that which we have either been unable or unwilling to see previously.

As He did in the garden, God might ask us, “Where are you?” not because He doesn’t know, but because He wants us to bring into the light the fear and shame that keeps us in hiding.

Or as He did with Jonah, God might force us to confront our own bias and prejudice and bitterness so that we might, through His compassion and grace, actually move past it.

Or as Jesus did with the disciples, God might ask us again and again who He is not because He has forgotten, but because He wants us to form the discipline in ourselves of speaking the truth of His character to our doubts over and over again.

So God questions us. Not because He doesn’t know, but because He wants us to know. And when God asks us a question today, I wonder if we will be courageous enough to answer it. Because doing so will not mean calling up a new piece of information; doing so will mean confronting the truth about ourselves.