Our churches have historically preached a secure, controlled Jesus. “Come to church to be secure,” we say.
This is what the majority of Americans want to hear. They want to hear they can have security, control, and predictability. People want to know what to expect. They want to plan, predict, and use crystal ball Christianity.
But if we’re honest with ourselves Christianity is not about security, control, and predictability. It is about surrender, trust, and the unexpected.
Jesus is NOT predictable.
The minute we think we have it all figured out, the moment we stop asking questions, is when we stop following Christ. For many, Christianity is no longer a matter of trusting in God but a matter of self-confidence. From that point I believe there are one of two results:
- Christians become depressed with perpetual woe-is-me-knee-jerk reactions because they say they are in control but experience daily chaos.
- Christians become arrogant, hypocritical, and judgmental modern-day Pharisees.
Both of those results are rooted in pride because they all about self-confidence, self-pity, and self-centeredness.
The focus in our communities and churches must be creating a culture where humility, teachability, and availability reigns in the lives of Christians. If we aren’t trusting and surrendering there is nothing Christian about us.
A friend of mine just recently planned out his marriage and the beginning of his career as a chiropractor. He and his fiance were preparing to move to Georgia after their wedding but a tiny unpredictable whisper caught their attention this past month. In April they went with a team to the Dominican Republic to serve at a local school for a week. Opening themselves up with an availability to be used by God during that one week taught them to consider opening themselves up to everything.
They had control. They had security. They had predictability. But they didn’t want any of that. They wanted God. And that’s compelling.
In July they are headed to the D.R. to take jobs at the Doulos Discovery School. They are choosing to follow the unpredictable Jesus.
Scripture is full of unqualified and uncertain people who did exactly what my friends are doing. Abraham didn’t know where he was going, but he listened to the voice of God and went. David didn’t know he could slay the giant, but he went down in the valley anyway. The disciples didn’t fully understand until after Christ died, but they followed nonetheless.
Making yourself available to Jesus might not take you to another country. It might take you across town or across the hall. I don’t know, but it’s all about not knowing and trusting anyway.
Are you open to the unpredictable?