In 1992, a friend told me, “I look at it this way … someone has to be in charge, so why not me?”
My internal response was, “Great thought, I should do that. I’m smart and motivated.” Add that to my people-pleaser habit, and you have a controlling adult. I will gleefully take charge in any situation then constantly worry that if something doesn’t turn out right under my watch, people will dislike or judge me. Their negativity becomes my fault. My failure.
I have learned that is a lie. There are things I cannot influence, manipulate, or change to save myself or others from pain, fear, and failure. It is actually a good thing when we come to the end of ourselves. At that moment, great weight can be lifted from us if we give our troubles to the one whose pure motives and power surpass all others. His name is Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Referencing Mark 4:35-41, Whitehouse Campus Pastor Shawn Bellner explained we aren’t alone with this need for control to prevent fear. Even the disciples who were in the presence of Jesus for three years struggled. When a fierce storm battered their boat in the Sea of Galilee while Jesus slept in the stern, they were terrified! It was out of their control, and they were sure they would die.
Had Jesus not taught and demonstrated to them, repeatedly, that nothing was above his authority? Yet there they were, yelling at the Son of God to wake up and save them. Did he lecture them about how faithless they were? No. In one sentence, he calmed them and the storm, “Silence! Be still!” (Mark 4:39). Then as a means of clarification for his little band of believers he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith? (Mark 4:40).
What a wakeup call! Do you need a wakeup call?
Don’t let your need to control circumstances and people place you in a mindset of fear. The Creator of the Universe holds your life, now and forever, in his hands. Stop leaning on your own understanding. Instead, “‘Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.’ The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress” (Psalm 46:10-11).
To be our best, we need rest and peace, not control. Jesus put it this way:
28 … “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Look at your behavior honestly and ask, “Am I playing God in my life and/or the lives of others?”
How is that working for you?
Ask God to forgive you for trying to take his place of authority in your life and the lives of others.
Grow your faith by putting time with God first every day. The discipline is life changing.
Go to the CedarCreek.tv/groups page and join a Bible study group or a service group and grow your understanding that our true work is to serve. God’s work is to love, guide, and go with us through it all.
Dear Lord, thank you for forgiving and saving me from the wages of sin. Please help me to draw nearer to you and to stop trying to be the master of my destiny. Teach me that you are the way, the truth, and the life, and the one who calls me to be together forever with you through the work of my savior, Jesus Christ. In his name, I bring this prayer to you. Amen.
This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study. Martha describes herself as a lover of Christ who likes to share faith with others.
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