Jesus is NOT predictable

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?


  1. says

    Very good article with some very good points. Where I agree that Christians need to trust in Christ and not themselves, I also feel that if you lean on Christ it is easier to feel good about yourself. Too many people walk around self loathing which I think dims the light that we should be shining in this world. That is great what your friends are doing. We should all be ready to follow where Christ leads.

    • Ryan Tate says

      Yes, Mike, I think the “feeling good about yourself” is the equipping and empowering of the Spirit as he builds us up as His Church. Thanks for the great comment.

  2. says

    That’s so exciting. Congrats to them! Nothing better than to live in God’s will.

    I read a book that blew me away a few years ago. It’s called “Your God is too Safe”. I was just a new Christians and I had believed the lies that God is predictable, bends to our wills and we can manipulate Him. When I read this book and began to read the gospels I learned how Jesus was unlike any man. Completely unpredictable and completely “unsafe”. He’s sovereign and I bow my knee to him and praise Him as my Lord. God is not safe… nor predictable. He’s dangerous and adventurous… and so good!

    • Ryan Tate says

      What a great comment, Moe. Thanks for the book recommendation and honesty about your growth and belief. Praise Him, He’s so, so good.

  3. Donald Borsch Jr. says

    “Are you open to the unpredictable?”

    Heh. My friend, every day is unpredictable! The only constant any of us should have is God Himself. Since you and I know that tomorrow will get here when He is darn good and ready to bring it, our lives are pretty secure. Now then…does this mean ‘secure’ as in insipid? I hopeth not!

    • says

      I think if you are walking with Christ, there are things that are predictable. Of course I am talking about leaning on His ways, and not our own. The scriptures say that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I do agree that you can’t paint God into a box, but you can have a pretty good idea of how He will react to certain things.

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