Relinquishing Control

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”  and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” — 1 Corinthians 3:18-20

I must confess.  I like to be in control.   I like to control what happens to me, in me, and around me.  I even like to try to control what happens to, in, and around my family and friends.  Unfortunately, as you are probably well aware, I cannot control what happens to me or what happens around me; I can’t even control what happens in me either!   Even Paul in his letter to the Romans discusses this when he writes, For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate….For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:15-20).

Yet even though my human nature wants to be in control, my spirit knows who is ultimately in control:  God.  God is in control.  As the children’s song goes, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”  Nothing I am facing in this world right now is a surprise to God.  It had to pass through His fingers before coming to me.   I admit this may be a hard pill to swallow in times of distress, of pain, of sickness, of death.   Yet even though my heart may hurt at times because my finite mind cannot understand God’s omniscience,  God is God, I am His child, and I must trust in His faithfulness.   Romans 8:28 says  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  This doesn’t promise a life of no pain.  It just promises that God is working through everything–the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Jesus told His disciples this important principle of letting go of ourselves and our control: If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)  Sure. I’d love to know for certain what my life will entail tomorrow, next week, and even next year.  I’d love to be able to control the paths my children take in life.  I’d love to control the choices of everyone within my sphere of influence (and even those not in my sphere!).  Yet my wisdom–my control–is foolishness to God.  True control of my life will only come when I relinquish it to the Creator of my life.

So I commit this day to let go of the steering wheel.  Even more, I’m going to get out of the driver’s seat and give God the keys!  God is God.  I am His child.  I will be strong and courageous.  I will not fear nor will I be dismayed, for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9).

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