My Grace-Full Life

The Illusion of Control

I am a self-professed control freak.  I am always the driver; never the passenger.  When it comes to spreadsheets, don’t ask me to explain it.  Just get out of my way and let me handle it.  Help me with the cooking?  No, thank you.  Please get out of my kitchen.  I am a person who likes to go it alone.
And it’s not because I don’t think another person can do what I do…  I just want the credit.
Okay, a little bit, too, I want it done my way, because obviously (insert sarcasm here), my way is the best way.
I still like things done a certain way, and for a long time, I thought I had things under control.  However, back in July, when I finally surrendered my will to God, it clicked into place.  I’ve been living an illusion.  The control I thought I had — it is (and always was) non-existent.  I was foolish to think otherwise.  Proverbs 28:26 agrees with me:

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

The surrender to God’s will is the only way to live.  In fact, in the utter surrender of your will, when you admit to God that you have no control…  THAT is the moment that will become the most liberating moment in your life.
We are living in a world that is spiraling out of control, leaving many of us grasping for that illusion of control…  If I can feel in control, then maybe I can appear stronger than I am…  Others will not see that I’m scared…  My actions will convince others that I’m something that I’m not…
An illusion.
Nothing more.
The Bible reminds us that everything about this world is temporary…  That WE are temporary…  no one is promised tomorrow…

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”  ~James 4:13-15

Now with this said, it can feel a bit like, “Why bother?”  God isn’t telling us to NEVER make plans.  The last part of the verse says, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”  So clearly, God doesn’t expect us to not live our lives.  However, instead of relying on ourselves and our own illusion that have no basis in reality, God wants us to consult with Him.  He wants our plans and our lives to line up with His will for us.

There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.  ~Proverbs 19:21

The Holy Spirit, as our great Counselor, will help direct us when we ask for help.  Because no matter what decisions we make, the Lord’s will WILL prevail.
And we can trust that God’s will is going to be good for us.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  ~Romans 8:28

When we are right with God, when we’ve surrendered our plans to Him, and we’ve asked God to take the driver’s seat in our lives, then we can trust He will take care of us.  It’s promised in the aforementioned verse from Romans 8:28 as well as another one of my very favorite verses in the Bible:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  ~Jeremiah 29:11

While we don’t have control; He does.  While we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring; He does.  And best of all, we can trust that He has amazing plans for us.
And that’s good enough for me.
And when we trust God with His will…  His plan…  His control…  He gives us the peace that surpasses understanding.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  ~Philippians 4:6-7

Heavenly Father, thank You that YOU are the one in control.  When we feel ourselves feeling overwhelmed, remind us that You have a plan for our lives.  Comfort our hearts when we feel anxious about situation we’re in, and give us Your assurance that no matter what happens, we can trust in You.  Thank you for loving us enough to have a perfect plan for each of us.  May we seek Your will for us each and every day.  In Jesus’ perfect and holy name we pray and trust, Amen.

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