Feeling in Control
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. James 4:13-15
I like feeling in control at work and home. It gives me peace and a sense of security. If everything is in its place and everyone is where they are supposed to be, I can rest. The issue with my well intended thinking is that I am really not in control. I think I can arrange my life in a way I want things, but then life happens. A person I thought was committed to me, shifted their loyalty somewhere else. A job I thought was long term, lost funding and strategic value. I am learning it is futile to chase a feeling of control--like a blanket of snow, it eventually melts away.
Moreover, seeking to be in control can control us. It feeds our pride and causes us to think we are causing things to happen. In reality, we are God’s ambassador to be used by Him to facilitate His outcomes. Humility holds an open hand and trusts the hand of God to open doors of opportunity. If we have to be in control, we give up the Lord’s wisdom in exchange for our own very limited understanding. We see this in a child who eagerly wants to protect their stuff, with no one’s interference. Defending our kingdom seems wise, but God’s kingdom truly is secure.
“Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength” (1 Chronicles 29:12, Living Bible).
Leaders this is true at work--influence not intimidation is a valuable asset. If we are wise, we will treat team members as volunteers and not seek to control them like children. When given choices, the right person will make the right decisions., As we encourage and support individual ownership of outcomes, we build a healthy culture of trust and respect. Parents, we can’t control our adult children, but we can empower them to make wise choices. Thus, we invest in the relationship with our daughter or son, expecting nothing in return. We love them and trust Christ is in control.
Furthermore, a humble heart makes plans in submission to God’s will. When we align with His plan, we are at peace. When we trust Jesus wholeheartedly, we focus on the gift of today and do not obsess over tomorrow’s uncontrollable circumstances. The Lord’s will is both clear and cloudy. It's clear He wants us to live in the moment: Christ top mind. It's cloudy: where does the curvy road of His will take us in the future. We make plans and then accept: God’s in control!
“This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace and faith to let go of control and trust Christ is in control.
Related Readings: Job 37:15; 1 Kings 8:36; Psalm 119:3; John 15:5; Ephesians 1:11
Post/Tweet today: A humble heart makes plans in submission to God’s will. When we align with His plan, we are at peace. #wisdomhunters