My husband drives by this church several times a day for his job. Last week, the sign out front caught his eye, and he came home and told me about it. “Be calm and pretend God is in control.”
Let’s be honest here. I didn’t believe him. Pretend God is in control?! I mean, there are a lot of really bad church signs out there (just google it if you don’t believe me), but what church would tell you to pretend God was in control?
And then he sent me the above picture. Sorry, honey, you were right.
The phrase be calm and (insert anything here) is very popular right now so I would not be surprised to see it popping up on church signs everywhere. And, in fact, I would not be surprised to see this sign on churches everywhere if pretend was changed to know or trust.
Are you pretending?
If you are pretending that God is in control, you need to take a close look at your heart. And if you are attending a church that tells you to pretend God is in control, you need to take a close look at your church.
Maybe I’m misunderstanding what they meant. But I really can think of nothing that makes this sign okay with me.
In the gospels, it tells us that Jesus controlled the sea and the storm with his words. “So then the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey him?'” (Matthew 8:27) Genesis tells is that God said, “Let there be light.” and there was light.
God controls the sea and the winds and the light and the darkness, but you’re just pretending that He’s in control of your life?
Give control to God
I feel that whenever we talk about God being in control and people, we must also talk about free will. God gave us free will, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t in control. I believe these go hand in hand.
Not only do I believe God is in control, I pray God is in control of me and that He would help me to see His will and follow it. Do I fail? Yes. Absolutely. I fail over and over again. Am I pretending when I say that God is in control? No. Absolutely not.
I know that God is in control. I know He has a plan so big I can’t even begin to understand it all. I know that I will stumble and fall, and God will pick me back up and help me on my way (His way) if I will trust and turn control over to him.
That’s called faith.
If you’re pretending God is in control, that’s not faith. That’s a lie. And, in my mind, it’s the worst kind of lie you can tell yourself.
There are so many things this sign leads me to believe about the church it’s in front of. If you are pretending that God is in control, do you pretend that Jesus is the Christ?
Do you pretend He died for our sins?
Do you pretend He rose three days later?
Do you pretend God hears and answers our prayers?
What else are you pretending about?
Change one word, change the meaning
Can we change just one word on the sign? Let’s change pretend to know.
Be calm and know God is in control.
Know that Jesus is the Christ.
Know that He died for our sins.
Know that He rose three days later.
Know that God hears and answers our prayers.
I hope that the sign was changed today. I hope yesterday morning someone on their way into that church looked at that sign and it gave them pause. I hope they talked about it and decided that they’re not the people pretending God is in control. I hope they’re the kind of people who hand God the wheel and put Him in control.
That sign out front is the first impression people get. It tells them who you are. Look at the sign, not just in front of your church but in front of your life.
Are you pretending that God is in control, or did you hand Him the wheel and give Him control?