“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.“ – Proverbs 19:21 .
Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas took him to several friends who all had different ideas about how to turn his attitude around and get the most out of the holiday. Lucy is at her psychiatric booth when Charlie Brown comes up to discuss his problem. What Lucy decides Charlie Brown needs is involvement, better yet, he needs the ability to direct, which means he is the one to tell others what to do. He gets to be in control. The reason this makes sense for Lucy is because for her, life is all about being in control. Lucy loves to be in control. In fact, while Lucy tells Charlie Brown he is going to direct the play, she is the one who decides what part everyone gets. For Lucy it is all about being in control and having things her way and if she doesn’t get her way, she is willing to force the issue.
For many of us, life feels healthy, balanced and good when we are in control and when we get our way. Most of us, if we are honest, want what we want and our need for control may be seen in little things like who gets to hold the remote control or who sets the thermostat at night. Or it can be manifested in larger issues such as how money is spent in the family, or how the kids are raised, etc.
Jezebel was a control freak. She controlled people with her words and her actions. She had an obsessive need to exercise control over others and to take command of any situation. The spirit of control and manipulation as epitomized by Jezebel was almost totally responsible for corrupting an entire nation.
While most people think that Jezebel was bad those same people think control is good. But when you are in control God isn’t. It is that simple. So we need to decide every day who’s going to be in control of our life — us or God. There are things in our lives that we want to control. We want to set the rules and be the final arbiter of what is right and wrong. Psalm 46:10 says, “Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth” (GW).
I don’t know what you’re going to face this week. You don’t, either. But God wants you to let go and know that God is in control. Whenever we face out-of-control situations, we tend to go to one of two extremes. For some of you, the more out-of-control your life gets, the harder you try to control it.
But in the midst of it all, the Word of God rings out with this message, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13) God is in control.
- How does fear of the future and wanting to be in control relate?
- What area of your life do you find yourself consistently fearful of what might come or what won’t come? Why do you think it’s hard to let go of control and trust God for your future?
- Most of us believe that God’s timing is perfect. What we often mean by this statement is that God’s timing is not our timing. If we were God, we would have acted much earlier. But God is hardly ever early in His timing and He usually waits until things are completely out of control to act. How have you seen God work when things were completely out of control?
- What can we do this week to turn control over to God?