Flight Check


Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24


Growing up, I had a neighbor who was a pilot. One year, for my brother’s birthday, he kindly gifted my entire family with an airplane ride in a 4-seater plane. In addition to the thrill of a prop plane flying experience was the opportunity for a spectacular aerial view of our hometown, Denver.

I can still remember how excited I was on the day of our intrepid flight. After arriving at the community airport, our neighbor-now-flight-captain began walking us through all the various aspects of preparing the plane for flight. At one point he pulled out a checklist on a clipboard. He showed us how the list covered every part in the plane for functionality and safety. The list seemed endless. Every part and system had to be in perfect working order for the flight to be successful. One deficient component could be the difference between taking off or being grounded.

That checklist helped me to see how serious it was to fly a plane. It makes sense. Flying in a plane can be a very dangerous endeavor. After all, if something goes wrong at 15,000 feet, it’s not like you can just pull over and call a tow-truck!

Pre-flight checks for flying airplanes are reasonable and essential. They save lives. That said, have you ever wondered if regular check-ups in other areas of life might keep us soaring skyward, safe from crashing and burning? What if we applied a careful, thoughtful, flight check attitude to our relationship with Jesus? Not as a checklist of do’s and don’ts, but as a simple, intentional way to “live life to the full” while avoiding navigational difficulties… or worse?

The difference between blue-sky soaring and emergency landing could be as simple as frequent flight checks.


Try some of these Flight Check questions with God:

Am I investing quality time with Jesus?

Am I resting?

Am I actively seeking to do things Jesus teaches me?

Am I listening for and to His shepherding voice?

Has something other than Jesus snuck into the #1 spot in my life?

Am I treating others the way Jesus instructs us to?

Is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and the like marking the fruit of my life
or is hatred, discord, jealousy, etc.?

Will I address any discovered issues with God before “taking off”?


Nathan Burdick

When you say the phrase ‘Missionary to the Unreached’, Nathan is not the person you picture in your mind. He is not particularly boisterous, gritty or adventurous. In fact, for most of his life you would have been far more likely to see his picture next to words like homebody, awkward, or cautious. Jesus changed everything for him though. He may not be the stereotypical risk taker, but he has seen God move in some crazy ways around the world. His love for Jesus and passion for people to know Him has taken Nathan to numerous remote and difficult locations. Places he never thought he would go to. Places where the road ends but the Spirit of the Lord says, “keep going”. He has seen God move mightily, drawing people to himself. He has seen tribal people meet the living Jesus and be changed. He has seen Muslims open to hearing the message of Jesus and respond. He has seen God open doors among people groups who are guarded under lock and key. He has seen as the good news and presence of the living Jesus utterly changes lives. Nathan is a follower, missionary, teacher, encourager, and Kingdom equipper who, along with his wife, Taylor, longs to see God’s Church fully alive and beating in rhythm with His heartbeat and mission. He also longs for more people in more places to encounter the living Jesus. Nathan lives in Colorado and is a graduate of Colorado Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in theology. He currently serves as a youth and missions pastor at his local church and travels as an itinerant missionary.

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