A lady who worked in research most of her life stated that her goal was to study people’s behavior and trends to predict and control future actions. As a result of this type of research, we have things like polls to determine what people think to help us know how future events will transpire. We also have tests performed like Pavlov’s dogs to understand how the simple ringing of a bell can control our desires. Researchers then provide their findings to everything from psychologists to marketing companies.
This desire to control and predict is, I believe, part of how God wired us together as humans. When humanity was created, it was to have dominion over the world God had made. This work includes planting and sewing, but it also involves preparing and planning. In an effort to be good stewards of the Lord’s creation, humanity started researching what he had given them.
The problem with this mindset is that you cannot then turn and apply it to God. We will always fail when we try to predict or control the actions of the Lord. I have seen it lead people to frustration in their faith. For some, it will push them away as God does not do what they desire. They say prayer X, and therefore God should do Y. They go to Church with their spouse for several weeks; therefore, God should heal their marriage. They attend two months of Bible study and deepen their knowledge of faith, and then God should give them that thing they want. “If we do this, then God will do that” type of thinking will always leave us disappointed with God.
One challenge of a believer is to let go of the research mindset. We are called to listen closely to God’s voice and follow him, never wholly knowing what will happen. That is why it is called faith. It requires trust that God is doing the right thing at the correct time and in the best possible way. God is beyond our control, and we cannot predict his actions correctly. We need to accept this as part of our journey of faith for us to experience joy. We never know when and how God will work and what exactly it will look like in our life. Faith is giving God control and us having no ability to predict or control what will happen next.