Features, Theology
Leave a comment

Pastoring and Hot-Air Balloons

I’ve only been in a hot-air balloon once. And it was tied to the ground so I could only go so high and then no higher. But that was fine with me given that cutting the rope would have left me unanchored to the ground below, an idea that I wasn’t ready to embrace.

So much of the Christian life is like this: we don’t want to let go of control (our anchor) and fly at the will of our God.

Of course, behind this desire for control is our own “God-complex.” In our pride we think we can steer the course of our lives better than the Lord. We trust our own wisdom more than his. But this is the height of folly given our finite, imperfect wisdom when compared to the infinite, perfect wisdom of God. Indeed, God alone is all-wise and, therefore, we ought to unhesitatingly embrace his control over our lives.

Isaiah reminds us that God is “wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom” (Isaiah 28:29). And we know that in Jesus Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). This means that in the gospel Jesus Christ has become to us “wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). That is, in Christ God’s wisdom has become our wisdom.

Breathtaking.

Because this is true we can “cut the rope” of control and trust God to guide us safely home with all the twists and turns, dips and dives his infinite wisdom dictates.

So as we fly according to the Lord’s perfect providence, we declare with the Apostle,

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans 16:25-27)

Filed under: Features, Theology
Michael Pohlman

Michael Pohlman (PhD, Southern Seminary) is professor of Preaching and Pastoral Ministry and chair of the Department of Ministry and Proclamation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, senior pastor of Cedar Creek Baptist Church, and executive director of Some Pastors and Teachers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *