Control

Are you a person that MUST have control? Do you try to control all the situations in your life? Do you try to control the people in your life? How is that working for you and for your relationships? It is probably not working well, even if YOU think it is!

As Christians, we must learn to submit to the Lord and give up our tight grip on things! If we don’t freely submit to God, we will eventually find out that there are things that we cannot control and we need God to handle them. It is much better to let God be God and not try to be God ourselves. God does NOT need a replacement!

Get Your Hands Off

I have been thinking about posting something about this for a few days.  Are you someone who always has to have control of everything in your life?  If you are, then I am sure that you have grown weary, gotten burned out and found yourself in bad situations at various points in your life!  We are taught to have control and even terms like “self-control” influence us to the point where we may feel that is we “lose control”, it is always a very bad thing.  If you have lived as long as I have and experienced as many different situations, you have most likely found that even though you might like to think that you are always “in control”, in reality, that is certainly NOT the case.  There are things in our lives that are beyond our control.  We can learn to roll with the punches or those things can destroy us.  I would like to think that I have learned to roll with the punches and not lose my peace when things don’t go as I anticipated.

I am always looking for life lessons to be learned in various situations in my life.  I will be honest, it is hard to give up control in some instances and let others have control, especially when we may not see things the same way as they do.  However, there are times when we would be wise to take our hands off and let others lead because, let’s face it, we don’t know everything and there may be others that can handle a situation much better than we can.  I have a friend who knows how to do many practical things like building and fixing things that are far beyond my realm of expertise.  If I tried to do some of the things that my friend does, it would be disastrous!  In situations like those, I will gladly yield control.  Sometimes we need to just get out of the way and yield control!

Let’s look at the subject of control from a spiritual perspective now.  Sometimes we hold on very tightly to the wheel and try to maintain all of the control in our lives.  When we come to the Lord and give ourselves to Him,  sometimes we want to keep holding on to the wheel and let Him ride with us.  I have seen the stickers that say, “God is my Co-pilot” and although it may sound good, it is not the right way to live as Christians.  We must learn to reverse the way that we have thought previously and let Him be in control.  After all, if there is a true EXPERT at everything, it is the Lord!  If we truly let God have control, we will never make a wrong turn.  I was speaking with a friend this morning and he mentioned the story that we call “the prodigal son” which is really a story about a Father’s love for a rebellious son, the Father’s expectancy to see the return of the son and the joy of the Father when the son came home. My friend mentioned that the son did not just end up in the place he did before he returned home but he chose to go there.  That fits into this blog about control because the son wanted to control his own life and destiny.  He thought he knew better than his father.  How many times do we do this?  Our flesh and OUR way of thinking goes contrary to the Lord and we take the wheel and steer off in a totally wrong direction.  When we realize that we are not where we thought we would be, then we decide to return to our Father because it is much better to trust that He knows best for our lives. As Christians, God wants priority and preeminence in our lives.  If we want control, He will let us leave and go do our own thing.  However, we have the keen ability to make a great mess out of our lives!

There is a scripture that tells us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).  I think many people do not understand this verse because they think it would be impossible to pray without ceasing.  I believe that verse means that we always need to be in an attitude of prayer  where we have the kind of relationship with the Lord that we are always aware of His presence and can call upon Him at any time for direction in our lives.  If we are hard-headed and want our own way, we can certainly take the wheel and go off on our own. In a scriptural and spiritual sense,  we need to learn to crucify our fleshly desires and carnal thoughts, take our hands OFF of the wheel and let God have control!

Patricia Styers

Wells

A friend of mine was having an issue with his well and was not getting any water.  I am a city girl so I don’t really know anything about wells but my friend did so he was able to fix it and get his water restored.  Apparently there are different things that can go wrong with a well and happily, his was just an issue with the control box and not a more serious issue. This situation made me think about what can cause the wells in our lives to stop working.  My friend’s issue had to do with something in the control box.  As Christians, we can stop the flow of living waters in our lives when we do not let God have total control.  If we are finding a lack of joy in our lives, it may be because we are not in right relationship with the Lord.  We should check the control box and see if we are letting God have control.

Another thing that can stop the water from coming forth is a blockage. Apparently, from what I hear, that is a serious problem and harder to fix.  Let’s consider some of the things that can stop the flow of the Lord in our lives.  They might be little things or they could be bigger issues.  Some of the main things that will block our relationship with the Lord are things like unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger and hatred.  God showed me many years ago that these are five very common spirit-killers in peoples’ lives.

Let’s look at one of the biggies that block the flow, unforgiveness!  If you read the passage where Jesus taught the Disciples what we call the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:5-13,  forgiveness is part of that prayer.  Immediately following the prayer, in verses 14 and 15, Jesus continues to discuss the importance of forgiveness by saying:

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I have known so many people who have let unforgiveness rule over them.  They might try to justify it by saying that the other person hurt them deeply and they do not deserve to be forgiven.  The point is that Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  None of us deserve to be forgiven but even when we were sinners, Christ died for us so that we might be forgiven.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  There was only one person who lived a sinless life and that was Jesus!  Jesus said it very clearly that if we don’t forgive, we will not be forgiven by God.  The choice is ours but we are on very dangerous ground if we allow unforgiveness to linger in our lives.

One of the other spirit-killers is bitterness.  Hebrews 12:15 warns “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” We see in that verse that bitterness is a root.  If a root is nurtured, it will keep growing and growing.  I have seen elderly people who allowed a root of bitterness into their lives when they were young and it just kept growing until it consumed their lives.  Many are crippled up in their bodies as well as their spirits and souls.  It is very sad!

Resentment is also a spirit-killer.  Like bitterness, if allowed to stay, it will grow and make us very unhappy and cynical people.  We need to let go of resentment as soon as we recognize its’ presence in our lives.

Anger is also a big thing and if not dealt with quickly, it can destroy us as well as others.  I have seen people whose lives are consumed with anger because they never developed self-control in their lives.  If we have an anger problem, we need to ask the Lord to help us by replacing that with the fruit of the Spirit, temperance or self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Hatred against a person or people is something that will also kill us spiritually. God compares hatred to murder. 1 John 3:15 says “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Wow, what a statement!

Let me just pose a question to all of us that we all need to carefully consider.  Are any of the things I have mentioned worth holding unto in light of the consequences of doing so?

Patricia Styers