“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6.
There is a control freak lurking somewhere in each one of us. It may surface when we try to control our circumstances, or our spouse or our kids or our friends or our future. Some people are better at controlling things than others, but nobody can control everything in their life. Not even close. Eventually we all learn the same lesson: You are not God, and you are not in control. Some of us learn this the hard way, but we all learn it at one time or another.
Whenever we try to control something that’s not ours to control, we’re trying to be like God. And that’s a problem. We try to control everything because we fear being out-of-control. The more we try to control, the more we’re afraid of losing control and the more afraid we are of losing control, the more we try to control. The only way out of this Catch 22 situation is to relinquish control by surrendering and trusting in the Lord.
But choosing surrender over control is not easy. But it can be done. A good place to start is not sweating the small stuff. In every area of life, we must differentiate between what is important and what is just simply not worth our time and worry. Jesus taught this lesson 2000 years ago. Matthew 6:25, 32-33 says, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?…These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Food and clothing are important, but they represent many issues in life to which we give too much weight. Jesus calls us to consider our priorities. That thing you are trying to control right now… is it even worth it?
We do need to take responsibilities in some areas. A life of surrender to Christ is not about sitting back and letting God to do all of the work. There are many issues in life where God calls us to take ownership for our choices and actions. Working hard to do our part results from trusting God’s work within us. But we don’t act self-sufficiently. As we surrender to God to do what He has given us to do, we also trust God for the desire and the power to do those things.
Finally, leave the God stuff to God. There will be problems in our lives that we simply can’t control or even handle. When there are God-sized issues in our life, we should release or surrender them to God with the knowledge that an all-powerful and all-loving God is in control and that what He brings or allows into our lives only is for His glory and our good.
- Is this worth your time, attention, and energy to try to control unimportant things?
- What can we do this week to surrender control to God?