Control is such a burden. It weighs us down and tears at our relationships. We become the worst version of ourselves when we try to manage all of life’s contingencies and lunge for one loose thread after another.
God never designed for us to live under the burden of trying to control it all. Instead, He invites us to find the peace, security, and joy that come—not from gripping onto control, but from laying it down. The antidote for control is surrender; not surrendering to a person or situation, but surrendering to God.
When I ask what you’ve been trying to control in life, you might say, “Everything!” Perhaps you’ve never given God control of anything, ever. There are many reasons for this. Here are a few:
- You didn’t realize God cared. Perhaps you never knew that God wanted control of your life. You didn’t know that He was even interested in you, or that he had a detailed purpose for your life.
- You don’t believe he exists. “What God?” you say. You can’t see him so you have chosen to believe he is not there. You decide for yourself what is right and good. Or you trust science to reveal what you need to know.
- You’ve been ignoring God. Perhaps you haven’t really given a lot of thought to what God thinks about your life. You like your autonomy, you know where you’re going in life, and you haven’t taken the time to glance up at God to see if he approves.
- You’ve detached yourself from God. You don’t really want to hear from God or know what he thinks. You hate feeling guilty, and that’s how God makes you feel. You’re happier without God, and you’re strong enough to not need him as a crutch.
- You’ve rejected God. Maybe you don’t really like what you’ve heard about God. You see him as restrictive and demanding. Or you wonder how he could let terrible things happen. So you’ve put God on mute and blocked his opinions from your feed.
- You’re rebelling against God. Perhaps you’ve decided to take a break from God and do things your way. You know that God disapproves of your choices and lifestyle, but you’ve decided that you don’t care. You don’t need God or want him interfering.
Your Flower’s Stem
If any of these describe you, please consider this. God is your creator. He has laid stake on your life. He looks at you and says, “I created her. I breathed life into her lungs. I call the sun to rise up and shine down on her head. I pour the rain to fall onto her roof. I paint her world with the beauty of my creation–inviting her each day to know me and enjoy me and worship me.”
If you have chosen to ignore, reject, or rebel against God, he is not okay with this. Whether you realize it or not, God has laid claim to your life. God is your source of life.
By detaching yourself from God, you’re like a flower pulling away from it’s stem. Whether you think you need God or not, you do. And whether you think he deserves your worship or not, he does.By detaching yourself from God, you're like a flower pulling away from it's stem. Whether you think you need God or not, you do. Click To Tweet
Picture God looking down at your wilting, drying, browning, stemless flower and saying, “Oh well. If that’s how she wants to live (or die), I guess that’s fine.” What sort of God would he be? God designed for you to thrive and blossom and grow! He wants you to enjoy life to the fullest! (John 10:10) He compares himself to a vine, supplying life to each and every branch (John 15:5).
Detaching from God
If you live your entire life detaching yourself from God and rejecting him, at the end of your life, God will say, “Depart from me. I never knew you” and toss your lifeless branch into the fire (Matt. 7:18-23). I shudder to share this image with you, but I shudder even more at the thought of you not knowing!
That is the terrifying, bad news. But here is the glorious, good news: Our Creator God is kind, merciful, patient, and good! It is not his will that any should perish (II Pet. 3:9) It is because of his great love for each of us that God sent Jesus at Christmas.
Jesus, God’s son, tucked all of his heavenly glory into the form of a tiny, unborn baby’s flesh. He grew to be a man and then died on the cross in our place. Because Jesus was God and was sinless, his sacrifice was great enough to absorb the sin of the whole world, and appease God’s wrath (I John 2:2). The cross was Jesus’ special assignment from God, who wanted to rescue us and give us life–not because we first loved him (we didn’t), but because he loved us (I John 4:10).
That’s good news, but this news is even better. Jesus didn’t just die; he rose from the dead and swallowed up death, removing its sting (I Cor. 15:55-57)! Believing in Jesus–in who he was, and what he accomplished on the cross–is the way that we become alive spiritually (John 3:16). We’re like dead, dried out flowers, which suddenly come back to life and begin to flourish. Through Jesus, we’ve been re-united with and re-attached to our source of life: God.
God didn’t give us life so we could go back to our old dead, detached, wilting ways. He wants us to live and thrive in relationship with our Creator. I Corinthians 5:15 says, “[Jesus] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
Jesus Came for You
Have you lived your life ignoring, rejecting, or detaching yourself from God? Perhaps, when I bring up the subject of control, you would say, I’ve been trying to control everything! I’ve given God control of nothing. Then here is Jesus’ message to you.
Jesus came to track down those who have wandered far from God (Luke 19:10). He doesn’t pursue you out of condemnation; he came to save you (John 3:17)! When Jesus reaches out to you, there with your burden of control heaped onto your shoulders, here’s what I hear him saying: “Aren’t you tired? Aren’t you weary? Aren’t you burdened by trying to live your life on your own? You were not designed to be your own god, trying to control it all. You were designed to live in surrender to your creator, God. Won’t you lay down your burden and give God control? Give God everything! Give him yourself.”
If this is your first time giving God control of anything, ever, here’s what to do:
- Confess your sin. Pray and tell God that you’ve been wrong to live without him at the center, and you recognize you deserve his wrath. (Rom. 3:23)
- Believe in Jesus. Tell God that believe he loved you enough to send Jesus as your substitute on the cross, to reconcile you with God. (Acts 16:31, Rom. 5:10)
- Give God control. Live in obedience to God and come alive in Jesus! (Gal. 2: 20, Rom. 6:11-13)
Friend, if I can help you surrender your life to God or answer your questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love nothing more.