Surrendering Control | Soul Stir | The Fellowship

Soul Stir

Surrendering Control

June 27, 2022

Having lost two very close friends to death during my childhood years, I experienced incredible grief. The pain of those losses produced in me a great deal of insecurity. It also produced a desire in me to do my best to ensure the safety and well-being of others I cared about. I became a bit controlling. When I feel insecure, I can find myself over functioning, fretting, and getting angry if those I care about do not take my unsolicited advice. The truth is I like to feel like I am in control.

What about you? Are you controlling? Do you have a need to control situations, people, or outcomes? Maybe the better way to ask that question is to ask it of those around you who know you best.

We all like control to one degree or another in our lives. None of us like to feel insecure and uncertain. Part of the reason is that we have been born with the basic need of security according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. And when things feel chaotic, disorderly, and unsafe, we become insecure, and try to control things in our lives in order to feel safe. We also like control because we were born with a propensity toward control. In Genesis 3, we see how Satan deceived Eve with the temptation to know more and have more control:

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  
For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:5

In so many words, Satan tells Eve that if she eats from the tree that “she will know best.” We all think we know best from time to time. Therefore, we try to control things. But God never meant for us to be in control. Trying to control our lives and the lives of others that we care about will eventually leave us disappointed, frustrated, discouraged, and down-right exhausted and empty. Control is the enemy of our rest!

Jesus invites us to a better life. … a life of trust, a life of faith, and life with the fullness of God’s goodness. He invites us to a life of rest. But to experience the full life that He offers, we must fully surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”    
Matthew 11:28-30

Our attempts at being in control of everything around us is simply an illusion. We cannot control everything, nor do we need to try. We can place our faith in Jesus and trust in God’s providential care and His sovereign will. He knows best … and we do not. Proverbs 3 tells us:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.          
Proverbs 3:5-8

When we trust the Lord with all our hearts, we continually relinquish full control to Him. We pray for His will to be done and not our own. We trust that He knows what the best outcomes are for us and those we care about. We trust that God has a sovereign plan, and that He will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. We can find rest in Him, no longer leaning on our own understanding and trying to “hold our world together through striving, manipulation, or control.”  To acknowledge God in all things is to give God His rightful place in our lives. We turn all control over to Him. We count on Him to work things out, and simply ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in what He wants us to do. We can let go of power and surrender the things that concern us in prayer. And when we do, we will find the rest in Him that our souls long for.

If you find yourself exercising controlling behavior, I want to encourage you to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus. It will never be wise to leave Him out of your life, and He was never meant to be the Christian’s co-pilot in life. He is meant to be our Lord. Pray for God to help you fully surrender life, your worries, your concerns, and the future to Him. Surrender everything! He will give you rest for your soul. Listen to how Proverbs 3:8 describes placing your trust in Him:

It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:8

-Pastor Robert


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