I was recently asked, "if the Christian lives "on autopilot" in day-to-day actives of life and if so, is that an adequate way to view relationship with God?" To begin with, we must define what does, "on autopilot" mean?
Answer: The literal meaning of autopilot is a device that steers a ship, plane, or spacecraft by itself, without a person. However, the expression “on autopilot” has developed a different meaning. Here are some typical uses of the expression “on autopilot,”
• He didn't have to think about what he was doing, he just did his job "on autopilot."
• Have you ever been driving somewhere and because your brain was "on autopilot," found yourself driving home instead of your destination?
As you can tell from the examples, to do something on autopilot means to do it without focusing on it, without thinking about what is happening. This illustrates doing things based on what we have learned by repetition or the patterned propensities recorded in our minds- otherwise known as flesh patterns. Not all inclinations or patterned tendencies have been derived from God and even if they were He does not want us to live robotically.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is certainly true as we observe there are no persons pictured in the cockpit of this airplane, as it is being navigated "on autopilot."
To live "on autopilot" is impersonal (without feels or affection) and is not relational. We are not to live the Christian life "on autopilot." Living "on autopilot" would mean to live mechanically and not relationally. It also gives the false perspective of being in control.
The Christian life is not something we produce by what we do, it's not living by rules and regulations, it's not ecclesiastical, it's not living based on what we have learned or even the "valued recordings" in our minds, it's NOT living "on autopilot."
The concept of "autopilot" in the Christian life is one of separation from a person. It's the idea of independence. It's the delusion that man can live apart from a spiritual influence or entity. As human beings we are derivative creatures, not humanistic independent selves.
The Christian life is CHRIST. The Christian life is having a personal relationship with the Living Lord Jesus which means we are aware of Christ's presence in and us actively participating with Him. It's not "absent mindedness" but "purposefully engaged" with Him, taking His lead, enjoying His Fellowship and allowing Christ who is our Captain, our pilot to navigate our lives.
We anticipate and revel in His acts of Grace "in us, (spirit) as us (soul) and through us, (body)" as we choose to be receptive by faith, to His revelation moment-by-moment in loving intimate relationship with us and for others!
Is this not what The apostle Paul admonished us in Colossians 3:15-17? "Let the peace of Christ RULE in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
Walk by faith, “purposefully engaged" in relationship with Jesus Christ as your life.