This article is part of a faith + work RELEVANT is producing in partnership with Unite Health Share Ministries.
While these claims are not entirely false, they do however lead us to think that we can have total control over our futures lives and that based on our knowledge, wisdom and power, we can succeed. We slowly realize that a college degree doesn’t equal a dream job and we panic because the control we were promised was false or doesn’t come so easily.
The illusion of total control
A lot of the anxiety in our generation is caused by an illusion of total control over our lives. However, as Christians we have been set free from this. We simply need to tap into that freedom. We need to understand and absorb the fact that our own wisdom, education and knowledge will not get us through life. In 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Paul writes: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with the demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but God’s power.”
I love how this verse challenges our intellect as Christians. Paul throws human wisdom out of the window because in fact, to be an effective Christian, we must only rely on God’s power. Not in persuasive Christian jargon, not on that Christian College degree but on God’s power. The fact is faith surpasses intellect and we must unlearn in order to truly learn God’s power.
It’s not about all the things you know, it’s about that one truth.
Just a few verses prior to that in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, Paul says: “When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while with you except for Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Paul underlines that the knowledge of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection is enough. The fact is the truth of who Jesus is does not require a college degree to understand it and is the one truth to live by. Paul did not need human knowledge or wisdom, he did not even rely on his knowledge but instead fully, in faith relied on the power of the cross to change people’s hearts.
This is utterly bold of him. In a world ruled by education and intellect, we feel like we lose credibility without our human knowledge or wisdom. I can count the many times I have relied on my knowledge of science when telling people about my faith, happy to state that the most influential scientists also believed and saw God in the workings of the universe. I’m not sure that has worked. In fact, I can say it hasn’t always. I’ve realized that people are more moved when I speak from my heart, from a place of unshakable faith about an unfailing personal Savior than when I try to rely on solely my intellect or how well I can communicate my ideas.
Rely on God’s power, not your own.
The truth is people don’t need a scientific proof of God, they need to seek Jesus alone and that is enough to go through life in peace and share that beyond understanding peace with others.
This is not to say Christians should not be educated or should not tap into their intellect when interacting about Christ or going about their business. Knowing and understanding the world is the first step to influencing it positively and better even, revolutionizing it like Jesus did. We simply need to strip our knowledge down and share the one truth that we have and then rely on the power of God to change the hearts of people whether instantly or in 10 years.
Be like a child.
In the same way in our own lives, we should not rely on that college degree or that internship or that recommendation letter to move us into where we want to be in life. Of course, they all pave the way but what really opens doors is God’s power as our faith ignites it further. God’s power will make you a incomparable self-starter or even an unparalleled influencer for His Kingdom in your place of work. God’s power goes beyond our wildest imagination so why would we decide to rely on our efforts alone when we know it’s not about us?
When it comes to trusting God, we need to throw ourselves in, full-fledged as if we were children with no knowledge of the things around us. We will only find that we land safely in God’s arms where we are meant to be, where we will find rest and the realization of dreams way beyond the ones we had envisioned for ourselves.