March 23, 2016
We all have some sensitive buttons that, when pushed, result in regrettable responses. One hot button we all have is our control button. Whether we see ourselves as leaders with controlling personalities, or at the opposite end, as followers with passive personalities, we all have a need to be in control of some situations.
Most people feel more secure when they are in control. A drive down a steep mountain road feels less dangerous when our own hands are on the steering wheel. Passengers will always be more anxious or fearful because they are dependent on and vulnerable to the driver’s skills and decisions.
Having control over our circumstances is very important to most of us. It allows us to feel more secure, competent, and confident. We usually think, “The more control I have, the better chance I have of minimizing any pain or discomfort in any situation that comes my way.” But we can’t always be in control. In fact, we actually have a lot less influence over external circumstances than we think. When facing situations beyond our control, we may feel helpless, vulnerable, anxious, fearful, angry, or overwhelmed. Those feelings can lead to panic, depression, and life-interfering or life-threatening behaviors … even suicidal thoughts.
Nowadays, when just relying on the world, a sense of safety and security may be difficult to find. The good news is there is one way we can always be secure. God provides a way for us to experience a sense of security at all times. He leaves it up to us. We can either depend on ourselves, panicking or losing hope when we can’t control a situation … or we can depend on the Lord. If we choose Jesus and His way for our lives, we can always be secure in His love. We will still experience problems and trials on this earth, but we will begin to view them from His perspective.
When you turn control over to Jesus, you can know that no matter what challenges or trials you face, He will ultimately work them out for your good. Maybe you remember a favorite teacher who gave tough homework assignments to expand your mind and future. Maybe you had a great coach who enforced difficult drills knowing you were getting stronger and better equipped to succeed in the big game. Maybe you learned from an acting instructor who stretched your comfort zone pushing you to a wonderful and exhilarating performance. God is that ultimate teacher, coach, teacher, and parent.
Today, examine whose hands control your steering wheel. During especially stressful situations, do you try to control every detail of your life? If your confidence is in yourself, usually self-centered motivators like emotion and fear of pain will direct your steps, and poor decisions will be the norm. Do you experience frustration, fear or even anger when you can’t control what is happening to you? Turn everything over to God. You can trust Him. He is much more equipped to handle life than you are. Then be a good steward of the instructions He gives for your part of the plan. WITHIN REACH will show you how to powerfully submit to God and learn great decision-making from His coaching. Whether you have God’s hands are on your steering wheel or you demand to keep yours on and His off your steering wheel is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, it seems that every time I turn a situation over to You, I hang on to some little part of it and pull it away from You. I want to be in control, and yet I know that doesn’t always work out. Please forgive me for not trusting You with every area of my life. Help me to trust You more and to leave the control of my life in Your hands. Help me to rest securely in Your love, then be a good steward of what You turn back over to me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One You sent to teach me how to trust, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
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
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, Ephesians 1:11