1 Corinthians 2:5
“That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (ESV)
I’ve been a pastor for almost 9 years. And one of the things that happens over time is that you start to see patterns. You start to see certain consistencies with the kinds of things people struggle with over time.
Although these things vary with people’s age or upbringing or experiences or outlook, certain challenges seem to be deeply rooted in the human condition no matter who we are.
And do you want to know one of those things?
A few of your jaws just dropped. “How did he know?!” Lol!
On one hand I get it. Things just seem to go more smoothly when they’re predictable and you’re in your happy place, right? Plus, the Bible talks about the virtue of “self-control.” So isn’t that kind of the same?
No. “Self-control” in the Bible is different. It is the ability to know your priorities and live in line with them. It’s not getting swept away by your feelings or impulses or desires. It’s also not something that we all do wonderfully 100% all the time; but followers of Jesus should be progressing in this area of their lives.
But capital-C Control is a different beast. It convinces you that you are smarter than God, that only you can solve problems, that you always have better answers than the people around you, and that if Plan A doesn’t happen, the end of the world will soon follow.
Cue the sweat, worry, and non-stop babbling of anxious thoughts.
But faith is an invitation to enter a world that is bigger than you, and a plan that is better than anything you could ever pull off by yourself.
So today, trust God… and breathe.
The opposite of faith isn’t doubt, it’s control.
By Matthew Ruttan