Being in control.
I have finally grasped an elusive lesson that is making such a difference in my life!
It has taken many years for me to come to this place of freedom and peace, but gratefully, I am here nonetheless. Not to say that I don’t veer off course occasionally, but I have learned how to recognize my tendencies quicker and how to get back to my “sweet spot” sooner.
There have been numerous mistakes in my life, things I wish I would have learned or understood so much sooner. Seems like if I can learn something the hard/long way, that is the path I usually find. Learning from the choices I have made, to studying beloved characters in the Word, profit has finally come from this. As is often repeated, “Hindsight is 20/20.”
Why did I give up control?
As someone with tenacity and foresight, I know how to get things done.
I am in my natural element to plan, pursue, and achieve. Please don’t equate this with “success” necessarily. I don’t try to take the initiative, I just do it instinctively. In fact, I get frustrated when I, or others, cannot move fast enough in pursuit of such goals, theirs or mine!
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that I am goal-oriented to a fault. (Confession from a previous post here.)
But thankfully, Jesus is revealing a better way. After years of patient teaching from Him, I finally have eyes to see what has been there as an eternal truth all along.
I don’t NEED to be in control!
And why don’t I need to be in control?
Because He is already in control!I don't NEED to be in control because God is ALREADY in control. Click To Tweet
Who am I kidding anyway? Did I think I was ever in control in the first place?
I felt exhausted like I was in control. I felt stressed like I was in control. But I wasn’t actually in control of anything or anyone.
When I consider all the best blessings of my life, I did not have a hand in ANY of them. They were ALL God-given, God-ordained. This recognition came again to my mind just yesterday while reading Luke 1:26-56.
What does the Bible have to say about control?
In this passage, Mary has just been told by the angel Gabriel that she will be the mother of Jesus. He explains the miracle that will take place, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to fulfill God’s glorious plan of redemption. Mary is certainly surprised at this unexpected event, but she believes it, heading immediately to Elizabeth’s home, her older relative whom the angel also mentioned was expecting.
What strikes me so profoundly is what Mary says when she arrives at Elizabeth’s home. Verses 46-48,
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
And there it was!
God was mindful! He was looking out FOR her because He was the One in control of what pertained to her.
Mary had no need to pursue being the mother of the future Messiah. She did not have to plan for it or work hard to achieve it. She didn’t even have to know about it!! God brought to her what He had already chosen for her.
And why? Because He was in control of Mary and all things concerning His purpose and will for her.
As I meditate on this freeing truth, I recognize how Mary did not know about this plan, nor did she ask for it or prepare for it in any specific way. God Himself prepared her, positioning her for just such a purpose, at just the right time. All she had to do was faithfully respond to what He directed in the first place.
She was not in control nor did she need to be. She was to rest in His plan and respond rightly when He directed, which involved believing and obeying. Work WAS involved, but it was not the same as if she were the initiator or sustainer. Mary did not need to BE in charge. God was!
He was the planner AND might I say, the ultimate achiever!
What a relief for her ?! And for me! And you!
We can rest assured that God is “mindful” of us just the same, and we don’t have to work so hard for control. Ultimately, we can trust that He will initiate, direct and provide on our behalf.
Elizabeth understood this as well as she had stated in verse 25,
‘The Lord has done this for me‘, she said. ‘In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.’
She recognized that it was God who had achieved what was His plan all along. Nothing will be achieved or thwarted without Him.
To consider, one woman was pursuing a plan for motherhood, and another wasn’t, yet it made no difference.
God determined, acted, and achieved.
No need for those women to be in “control” of their situations because that was irrelevant to the God-ordained outcome.
What about in my own life?
Thinking back on my life to the events I am most thankful for, yet had no ultimate control over – meeting my husband on spring break in Florida while I was a freshman at University of Kentucky, marrying someone from another state which enabled me to have unique opportunities in life and faith, our three children, wonderful relationships, ministry, mission trips, and a thousand other things…….
None of these blessings were initiated or achieved by my wisdom or ability. As I said earlier, all of the best aspects of my life have come from Him, through Him, and are ultimately to Him (Romans 11:36). I have had no control to bring them into existence nor did I even have the foreknowledge to plan or ask for them.
So that my friends is WHY I gave up control. I finally realized I never had it anyway nor did I need it! My Gracious Heavenly Father had the control and that was fine by me!
How did I give up control?
First, now that I understand my tendency to control, and the reality that it is God who is orchestrating all things concerning me anyway, I resist the urge to step in and take charge of what is outside my “lane”.
I heard a saying, “stay in your lane” and it is a perfect reminder for me. The Holy Spirit allows me to feel the pressure or stress when veering out of my lane and it helps me realize the opportunity to adjust.
Secondly, I pray and use Scripture to increase my ability for self-discipline.
It is challenging for me to resist taking charge or becoming over-responsible with God or others.
So when I am feeling vulnerable, I cite Bible verses in prayer for help. These are the “road signs” I need when driving, reminding me of the specific directions I need to stay in my lane to reach my destination.
Thirdly, I remind myself of the truth I have learned about God and His ways.
This reinforces my faith because I am pondering His proven faithfulness. I am convinced that He is “mindful” of me and all that concerns me (my precious family and friends, my hopes and dreams, my trials and concerns). Therefore, I do not need to panic or fret when circumstances don’t look good. I remember how capable God is and how perfectly He plans and achieves, how great is His love for me that He would send Jesus to me. These facts and more, enable me to withstand the temptation to feel like the wellbeing of my life is all up to me and my abilities.Because God is mindful of us, we can rest assured that He is purposeful in every aspect of our lives. Click To Tweet
One final thought
Because God is mindful of us, we can rest assured that He is purposeful in every aspect of our lives. Nothing is happen-chance, or too late or too impossible. Psalm 138:8 is a good reminder for us to readily use in our weakest moments.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the work of your hands.
Enjoy the freedom and peace this verse brings my friends. Remember Elizabeth and Mary, whether we are pursuing God’s intended purpose for us or just trustfully unaware, God is always in control and directing our path.
Jesus meant what He said……His yoke is easy, and His burden light.