Some years ago a married couple decided to hire a small plane. The husband had been a pilot for thirteen years and was very skilled and experienced. They flew off for a small town one hundred miles away to have a meal and then fly home. At one point in the flight home the husband remarked that he felt a little faint. The feeling passed, but then suddenly he collapsed in his seat, went completely white and died of a heart attack.
The wife did not have the slightest idea how to fly the plane. She pressed the transmitter button on the microphone and cried out for help. The radio was tuned into a frequency used by many pilots and so her frantic message was picked up by dozens of people. Suddenly there were voices saying, “Follow a highway, fly towards the sun, turn on the landing light.” Listening to this babble on the airwaves completely confused her – the messages were all contradictory! Which voice should she listen to? After a few minutes a voice identified itself as an experienced flight instructor. The instructor ordered her to listen to his voice alone because he was trained for this kind of event and only by obeying him could he save her life. Calmly and quietly the instructor taught her the basic rules of flying. Finally with his guidance she landed the plane – she walked away from it completely unhurt.
This true story has a tremendous spiritual lesson to teach us. People today know that society is in a mess and getting worse by the month. Moreover, if that wasn’t bad enough they can also see that the world is getting increasingly unstable. They know that they are in a dangerous situation. Added to that, perhaps their own personal life is in a mess, with relationship problems, financial worries, health troubles or whatever. They cry out for help – but which religion should they try for help? “Should I try Buddhism or Islam or some New Age idea? Should I try crystals or spells?” They hear all these religions or philosophies offering help – but their teachings are all so contradictory that they get confused; which one will work?
Among all these offers of help is another Voice. This Voice is unlike the rest because it says “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John ch14v 6). It is a “still, small Voice” which can only be heard if one is really, really listening hard. The Voice continues by saying that it is different and unique from every other religion because He is a God of love who suffered for mankind in place of us having to suffer for our sins. It is a message unlike anything taught in any other religion. The person listening finds the message very attractive; it soothes and calms their soul, they like what they hear. The Voice continues, “Taste and see” (Psalm 34 v8) i.e. “try Me out and you will see it’s all true.” (What other religion invites people to check it out, like a car salesman inviting someone for a test drive in order to see for themselves?)
The person listening is increasingly interested. Other voices fade into the background. They focus on this Voice alone. “Now that I have got your attention”, the Voice continues “I can save you and get you out of the mess you’re in but you must do exactly as I say.” “Yes! Yes!” says the listener, “just tell me what to do.” The Voice then says “If you want out of this mess, you must put Me first in your heart before yourself. Here are Ten Commandments. Live by them and follow them in your thoughts and words and actions. Love me with all your heart and soul and mind, and love your neighbour as yourself. Do this and all will be well”.
The listener falls silent and thinks to himself, “I don’t want to put God’s commandments first in my life; I want to put myself and my selfish interests first. There must be some other way rather than change my selfish lifestyle.” All of a sudden the sound of the Voice fades into the background of noise and confusion. A babble of other voices is heard once again.
The Voice was rejected solely because it called for a personal change of heart which the listener was not prepared to do. And so it is with many today. They have rejected the still, small Voice of God in their heart, because it challenges them and calls for them to repent and change their lifestyle.. Ultimately this is the real reason for the mess society is in today. And so is fulfilled the prophecy of Jesus recorded in Matthew ch 7v 13-14 “enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to death, and there are so many who go in by it, because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life”.