Who Is In Control?
I have an ugly little secret.......I like to be in control. I find this need for control permeates all areas of my life; as a husband, as a father, as a friend, I like to be in control and would venture to say that each of you have the same ugly little secret. We would all prefer to run the world, gratify our own desires, and get our own ways. Too often we place our lives in our own hands and rely on our own abilities to solve what needs to be solved and fix what needs to be fixed. We like to be in control. But I wonder if this leaves us feeling more anxious? John Calvin said that the only haven of safety is "to have no other will, no other wisdom, than to follow The Lord wherever he leads. Let this, then be the first step, to abandon ourselves, and devote the whole energy of our minds to the service of God." In order for us to do this, we must face our greatest fear: the surrender of our selves, the surrender of our control to God. Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (Matt. 16:24). In others words we need to relinquish control of our lives and surrender to Jesus.
We all like to have Jesus on speed dial and have Him readily available when we need Him: Jesus, I have a health problem and need your help. Something hard is going on at work, and I'd like it to be different. I'm feeling anxious and would like to have peace of mind. Jesus, my marriage is in a downward spiral and I need your help to make it better. Jesus, my child is going down a wrong path; I need your help to redirect them.
These temporary moments of surrender is not what Jesus is looking for from us. Jesus said, "Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it." (Matt. 10:39). In other words, surrender to Jesus, because the only way to Jesus is through surrender. But surrender is hard and none of us likes to give up control. I wonder if we think surrendering is hard because we view it as being passive. But, to surrender is not the same as passivity. John Ortberg writes, "To surrender does not mean being a doormat. It does not mean you accept circumstances fatalistically. It doesn't mean you stop using your mind, stop asking questions, or stop thinking critically. Surrender is the glad and voluntary acknowledgement that there is a God and it is not me."
So, when you surrender to God, you offer obedience and yield to Him. You let go of your life and do what He says. You let go of your ego and every self centered-ambition you have. You let your life be rearranged from the inside out; the way God wants.
So, this week, identify one area of your life that you need to give up control of. Give it to God and pray for Him to change that part of your life.