Lucie Bahetoukilae thought she was flying on United Airlines from Newark, New Jersey to Paris. She went to the gate number on her boarding pass, where the agent scanned her ticket and directed her onto the plane. She speaks only French and did not know that the gate for her flight had changed.
Someone else was in her seat, so a flight attendant directed her to a new seat. Once in San Francisco, she had to endure an eleven-hour layover before boarding a new flight to Paris. United apologized for the mishap.
Flying to the wrong city is a metaphor for our confused culture, illustrating the fact that sincerity is no substitute for truth. Lucie Bahetoukilae was sincerely convinced that she was flying to Paris when she was actually going the opposite direction. The same can happen to any of us spiritually.
We are returning home from Israel today. As God led us in the Holy Land, God will lead us in our homeland. Unlike the pagans of ancient times, we know that our Father is not limited to a specific locality: “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).
To experience our Lord’s leadership, however, we must listen for his voice.
In Numbers 9, the people brought a particularly perplexing problem to Moses. His response: “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you” (v. 8). Like Moses, wise Christians today know that they should consult with God on every challenge they face.
I know a CEO who leaves a large Bible on the corner of his desk to remind himself that God’s word is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Another business leader has a small room behind his desk reserved for use as a prayer closet (Matthew 6:6).
But like Israel of old, we must go when the Lord commands and only when he commands (Numbers 9:18–23). Oswald Chambers: “There are spots where faith has not worked in us as yet, places untouched by the life of God. There were none of these spots in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours.”
How can we choose the obedience that positions us to hear God’s voice and follow his perfect leading? Consider this insight from Craig Denison’s First15: “The truth is that our pursuit of God will only ever match our revelation of his goodness. God knows that if he isn’t truly the greatest desire of your heart, it’s because you don’t fully know how good he is. If you had the full revelation of his love for you, living totally for him wouldn’t even be a choice. So great is the worth of knowing Jesus that as you see him, you will naturally give up everything to know him more.”
Take a moment right now to consider your Father’s indescribable love for you. He sent his Son into our sin-wracked world so he could pay for your sins. He watched his Son writhe in agony on the cross so he could forgive those sins. He would do it all again, just for you.
Now claim Jesus’ promise: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32). You will live in the “good, pleasing and perfect will” of God (Romans 12:2).
And every step you take will be on holy land.