Mark Affleck

WHINING Christians and Auto-Pilot Faith in 2023

January 12, 2023
Spiritual Growth

We’re off and running into 2023 and my mind is racing on topics I want to tackle quickly. Here are the themes with the most resonance: 1) WHINING CHRISTIANS; and 2) AUTO-PILOT CHRISTIANS. I need to pray a bit more on the whining topic and smooth its rough edges to be sure it comes off as God would want it to be presented. So stay tuned for that next week. In the meantime, let’s tackle AUTO-PILOT FAITH that has many Christians around the world headed for a crash.


Au·to·mat·ic Pi·lot: A device for keeping an aircraft on a set course without the intervention of the pilot.


Despite what bumper stickers say, God is NOT a Christian’s Co-Pilot. He is (must be) our PILOT. We are not co-equal to God in any way. God is never second. He must ALWAYS be first. If we say God is our Co-Pilot and put our life on AUTO-PILOT, we might as well say WE ARE IN CONTROL and that we’ll summon his help if things “really get out of hand.”


The only positive I can take out of the “God is my Co-Pilot” line is that a believer is NEVER alone. That is 100% TRUE.


It reminds me that millions of Christians around the world are not living with God as their pilot or even co-pilot. They have turned their faith on AUTO-PILOT and most of them are headed for an explosive and fiery crash.


I know that to be true because it happened to me early in my faith walk when I strutted through life with a hubris that had me so self-absorbed that I couldn’t see anything or anybody but myself and my money and my success. But (thankfully) God taught me a valuable lesson from that time in my life that I will never forget. That learning is burnished into the patina of this ministry: The only way to avert a crash in our life is to turn “Auto-Pilot” Faith OFF and “God Pilot” Faith ON. 



AUTO-PILOT FAITH is often a substitute for fully activating our faith in surrender and obedience to Christ. Heck, that’s the easy route (until it’s not). Believers are enticed to hit the FAITH AUTO-PILOT switch to make walking with God “easier.”



Rarely mentioned is the delusional view that AUTO-PILOT FAITH will minimize our sin because God “won’t see it.”  That is a lie. AUTO-PILOT FAITH leads to MORE sin. WHY? Because when we try to control our life, it means God has been subordinated and that distances us from his discerning direction in the choices we make. Bad choices without God’s sovereign and powerful involvement lead to sin.



That’s why God must be our PILOT and why we must turn off Auto-Pilot and LISTEN to his direction. We do that in three ways: 1) Spending time with him daily; 2) Seeking his guidance; and 3) Digging into his Word of truth for direction and discernment.



I ask God to remind me every day that he is my PILOT and any temptation to turn on AUTO-PILOT FAITH must be immediately rejected.



Will you make God the pilot of your life by: 1) Spending time with him daily; 2) Seeking his guidance; and 3) Digging into his Word of truth for direction and discernment?



“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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