Listening out for God's guidance

The crash of golfer Payne Stewarts' plane in 1999 was a bizarre incident. He and five companions boarded the jet with two pilots at 9.20am. Some time later the plane was spotted flying at 45,000 feet with no-one at the controls. For unknown reasons due to depressurisation, both pilots and the passengers became unconscious. One of the Air Force pilots watching the plane run out of fuel said "it's a helpless feeling to pull alongside another aircraft and realise that the people inside are unconscious and heading towards death. There was nothing I could do to help even though I was only 150feet away from them all."

One safety investigator said later "aeroplane depressurisation can be very gradual and insidious. The problem may have developed slowly and if everyone was having a good time they would have failed to notice any tell tale signs. It is one of those occasions where you are feeling fine, and feeling happy and you don't know what's happening, but the reality is that you are in great danger."

It doesn't take much to see a parallel between what happened to those on board that plane and what is now happening to the human race "on board planet earth". Alarms and sensors would have been activated on the plane however passengers either ignored these warning signals or didn't even notice them in the first place, because they were so preoccupied. Likewise today our media and Bible prophecy are ringing out warning signals concerning the great dangers now facing the human race, but many individuals either don't take these warnings seriously or don't even notice them, because they are too preoccupied. They are too preoccupied with buying a larger house, getting promotion, planning the next holiday and so on, to notice these warning signs. Indeed, it seems that the louder the warning signals are (such as growing tension between Israel and Iran or problems in the Eurozone) the louder becomes the sound of people caught up in their own pleasures and pursuits. And individuals aren't just ignoring these so called "outward signals" they are also ignoring the "inward signals" coming from their own personal conscience which is saying "it's time to start seeking God and His help to sort out the mess we are in."

In 2nd Timothy Ch 4 vs3,4 Scripture predicted that an age would come when "people would not listen to truth but according to their selfish desires would turn their ears away from the truth and believe in lies." God has faithfully given humanity many different kinds of  "warning signals" to stir us and make us think. For instance, He has given us the signs and evidence of fulfilled Bible prophecy. No less than one third of the Bible is prophetic in nature and many of these predictions have already been fulfilled although written centuries or indeed several millennia before the events they were predicting. Does that not make individuals sit up and think? With many it does, but unfortunately with many it doesn't.

Again, God has given us the sign of a moral compass, our  conscience. Our conscience tells us that when we do wrong there will be unpleasant consequences for ourselves and those around us. One look at the state of our society today shows exactly what happens when we ignore our conscience. Our conscience was right after all! But does that sign and experience make us all sit up and think that we ought to take God seriously and put Him first in our hearts? With some it does but sadly with many it doesn't.

In addition to the signals coming from fulfilled Bible prophecy and from our conscience, God sometimes adds modern day prophetic signs. Many of you may remember the strange incident of the clergyman in New York who had a vision of 9/11 several weeks before the destruction of the Twin Towers. He and members of his prayer team were visiting the area in July 2001 when God gave him a vision of what was going to shortly happen, along with instructions to describe this vision in his church magazine. This magazine was printed and distributed in August, four weeks before 9/11. Why did God give him this vision? And why was the cleric commanded to print it in his magazine and have it distributed before the event took place? The only logical answer is that God was trying to give the world a loud warning which could never be denied. It couldn't be said to be "after the event" because it was in the public domain four weeks before 9/11 took place. This warning caused sensational news at the time but did it make all who heard about it sit up and think that they should repent of their sins and turn to the Lord as their Saviour? With some it did, but with many it was simply a curious incident, now long forgotten.

The problems facing our world and our nation, or indeed any problems facing us at a personal level won't go away by ignoring them, any more than ignoring the reality of God stops Him from existing. Let us all respond to the warning signs God has provided and make it our resolve to follow Him faithfully and loyally every day and every hour of our lives. May it be our heartfelt aim that whether Jesus comes or calls, He will say to us "well done thou good and faithful servant" and not "depart from Me because I never knew you".