Reflecting on last week’s question about control, I will be the first to admit that I have had a hard time surrendering my children over to God in fear of losing them. I’ve noticed my control stems from health issues. I’ve tried to control my eating habits to further healing my physical body and when my children or I are chronically sick, I often blame myself for not being better. I believe the world is constantly brainwashing us that we can control so much of our lives for a perfect outcome. It gives us a false sense of security.
I think that is the greatest danger with control; we take our eyes of off Jesus and we measure our security in worldly things. Control kicks God off the throne. When we try and control things, we bypass what the Holy Spirit offers:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galations 5:22-23
I had never thought of it this way: that when we try and take the wheel, we are throwing the Holy Spirit (and all of those beautiful Fruits of the Spirit) in the back seat while we drive towards what we think is best for ourselves. Time and time again, I find myself driving down a road with a dead end, thinking I’ve got a better idea or solution. I think what fuels this drive is fear. We want to control things in our lives out of fear.
My kids’ health issues (as well as my own) are a perfect example of this. I want so badly to make them better and to take away their pain and suffering and all of the uncomfortable yuckiness they feel…but I can only do so much. I can take them to the doctors and specialists and follow instructions with medications and antidotes…but in the end, God has control over the situation. I can use the tools He has provided but I have to trust that the outcome is His outcome and that He is blessing the situation.
I’m afraid to lose what I love the most, or I think I have the best plan for my life, or I think that my idea is the best idea and that what God has in store should just align with what I want. Does any of this sound familiar? It begs the question: What is God really calling us to do?
I look back in my life at all of the poor relationship choices I made…I always thought I knew what was best (and granted, many relationships happened before I knew the Lord). But I plowed ahead, determined to do what I thought was best and right for me..and it just ended up hurting me. Once I gave my life to Christ and started handing things over to Him, I began to experience His blessings.
There is a freedom in Christ that some of us don’t really get. When we try and control things, we are much more easily disappointed and we lose sight of the fact that we are actually not in control at all. It’s where our true character is most exposed and challenged. I say over and over again “I’ve got this God” when really, I don’t. So how can we flip the switch? How can we hand it back over to God?
While God gave us free will, He also hopes that we will turn back and lean into Him and trust in Him. I know it sounds so much easier said than done—especially when you might be in a broken marriage or a bad job or have tough kids or tough friends…but He desires that we pray, listen, and be still to hear what the Holy Spirit is telling us. There is peace and freedom in knowing that actually, I don’t have this, but rather that Jesus has it covered.
Do me a favor. Put your hands out in front of you, palms up, and make two fists. Squeeze your hands tight…until your knuckles go white… Now STOP. Keep your hands out in front of you, but open up those fists so that your palms are open, facing up. When we try and control things, we are gripping on to circumstances, white-knuckled, which disallows us from being ready to receive His blessing with open hands. Make sense? So I encourage you this week to stop gripping the control and open up those hands and let go so you are able to give control over to God and receive His blessings.