Fear Of Losing Control
Have you ever felt like your life was out of control? Sometimes life can feel much like a roller-coaster ride and we are just a passenger with very little input on the ups and downs. From the time we are children, we learn the importance of controlling the circumstances of our lives. This desire can easily move to trying to control the people around us. The reality is that there are so many things we can’t control. In this week’s message, we looked at what to do when faced with the fear of losing control.
Bottom line: You are not in control.
Something To Talk About:
God is managing the world just fine without our “post-it note” reminders. Our need for control is often rooted in fear, and insecurity. God doesn’t need your help to run the universe…or to control your world and the people in it. If you want to exchange a life of frustration and exhaustion for peace, joy, and freedom, then give control over to God.
- Take your mind off the “what if’s”: Make up your mind not to worry beforehand. Luke 21:14 says, “So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you” and Matthew 6:27 says, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Worry never changes anything for the good. And regardless of how much we worry or how much action we take, we cannot control anything. Living under the weight of the “what if’s” is a hard place to dwell. We all have a choice in life: we can live with worry and dread, consumed with what might happen and what could happen, or we can give those worries to God and let Him handle the issues that keep us awake at night. When we learn to hand them over to Him, and realize we have no control over them anyway, we can rest in peace that all is well because if we can trust Him with your eternity, isn’t it safe to say He can handle what you face today?
- Put your thoughts on the promises of faith: Whether it’s stepping out to do something new or facing something daunting, we will feel fear at some point. Fortunately, God gave us so many scriptures to “fear not.” One of the ways we can battle fear is through God’s promises. 2 Timothy 1: 7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” When fear begins to form that should be one of our go-to scriptures. God has not given me a spirit of fear, He has given me a spirit of power, love and self discipline. Psalm 118:6-7 says, “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me.” God is always with us. Even when we feel alone, He is there. He is faithful and promises to never leave us or forsake us. And God will deliver us: “Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” (Isaiah 35:4) Whatever we’re facing, God can handle it. He is bigger than our fears, our circumstances and anyone or anything that comes against us.
- Give your cares to God and don’t take them back: Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Self-control is probably one of the hardest things to master. We typically fail and then we commit to improving. We ask someone to hold us accountable because we have a tough time changing. Every time we start to feel burdened, anxious, or overwhelmed by something in our lives, it is essentially because we have not given it to God. Rather, we have tried to stay in control even though we control very little, if anything. God is not nearly as concerned with our ability as He is with our surrender. Our key focus is not effort, but surrender—to live moment by moment trusting in the Lord rather than in self. In other words, giving our fears and our need to control our lives and giving them to God. And once we have given them to God to leave them there. When we do this, we will experience a real peace knowing that it is in His hands. That is what Paul tells us in Philippians 4:7: ”Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
- Are you born with self-control? Are you taught self-control? What are other ways self-control enters your life?
- Is self-control easy or difficult for you? Why? What areas of your life do you desire to control?
- If you realize that you will be in a situation which requires self-control, do you prepare for the situation or simply try to avoid it?
- What was the biggest test of self-control in your life? Did you pass or fail?
- What does Peter say follows from self control? (2 Peter 1:5-8)
- If we don’t master self-control, will we have trouble with other spiritual disciplines? Why or why not?
- How would you rate the fear of self control with the other fears we have studied? Which fear is the biggest impediment to our relationship with God?
Take One Thing Home with You:
You are never in control. God is in control of everything. God is sovereign. God has complete and total independent control over every creature, event, and circumstance at every moment in history. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, God does what He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases. God is in complete control of every molecule in the universe at every moment, and everything that happens is either caused or allowed by Him for His own perfect purposes. And the best way to really know our sovereign God is through His Word. If we read His word, and let it control our heart and actions, the power and sovereignty of God will become clear to us. And more importantly, we will learn to trust and serve the God who controls all things for His perfect purpose. Psalm 55:22 tells us, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”