“You’re not a control freak, you’re a control enthusiast.”
- My mom
Parents are great, aren’t they? Always trying to replace a negative word for a positive. No one wants to be known as the control freak, but control enthusiast... that sounds better, even uplifting and encouraging when thought about for a length of time. There is just one major issue though, being a “control enthusiast” means the struggle of letting go, of letting someone else lead or take over. It’s hard to hand something over when you feel like you are the most competent, confident and in your eyes, the best person for the job. Just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean it is the right route to go. Letting go of control is one of the hardest things you can do in your life, but it is the most necessary and demonstrates trust and strength. We should have confidence that the people around us are able to lead just as well as we can- it’s encouraging to others when you let go and let them lead. Others have different perspectives, fresh ideas and frankly, may lead better than you. That’s hard to hear but it’s true.
Now, with this in mind, know that God is the ultimate leader and has all of the control. If you don’t have trust in the Lord to lead, guide and plan for you, you are trying to hold control of your situation. If you don’t have trust, you have a control issue. By taking things into your own hands, you are saying that you are more able than God- the creator. If you can’t hand over your life/situation aka “the controller” or “project”, then you do not place your trust in the Lord.
In life, we work ourselves tirelessly to get things done in our minds “the right way” and if we allow someone else to take over, we can’t 100% know that it will be done right. Insert every group project ever. If we never trust, we will second guess others, be skeptical and lose faith. This is exactly what the enemy wants, for us to lose trust. For example, have you ever done a trust fall? Even with those closest to us in relationship, we question if they really will catch us. We can see with our own eyes that they are directly behind us, arms extended out ready to catch us and only a couple feet away. We can hear them whisper in our ear, encouraging us that they are right there to catch us. The act of relaxing your body and then allowing yourself to fall backwards is an act of letting go of control, you’re allowing your body to move without forcing it to stay still. The most nerve-racking part of a trust fall is envisioning scenarios in your mind of the person moving away last second and letting you fall and hit the ground. You begin to question if this person will actually do what they say. Are they really here to catch me when I fall? A hesitation with a trust fall means we are entering a place of mind games.
The enemy begins to slip little lies into our minds which lead to doubt. Having full trust in the Lord, is saying to the enemy. “I may be handing over control and letting myself fall but I know and trust that my Father is here to catch me because that is his promise to me”. It is freeing walking in that mindset, listen to the voice of the Lord and he will reassure you; God doesn’t ask us to blindly trust him. He demonstrates over and over again through the good gifts he delivers us and by his character he shows that he is trustworthy. Knowing that He is the perfect Father and myself just flesh, I’d rather place my trust on his judgement and decision making over my own, even if that means letting go of control. In the midst of a season, we cannot clearly see the why, but God always does. Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.” Scripture doesn’t say that everything will always be sunshine and daisies, but God promises that what has begun will be brought to completion. David began as a shepherd, which led him to opportunities to defeat a lion and a bear, which ultimately gained him the skills he used to defeat Goliath. Moses’ life began with his mother saving his life by giving him up, which led to the pharaoh’s family finding him in a basket on the river, which ultimately gave him the opportunity to see how the Israelites were mistreated. Eventually, this sparking something inside of him that led him to free God's people from slavery. And Joseph, who was hated by his brothers and sold to some Ishmaelites, was placed in the exact position to interpret the dreams of the pharaoh. Through this relationship, he gained favor and was reunited with his family through mercy and forgiveness in the midst of a famine.
All three of these men gave control over to God even when they were hurting and miserable, but they knew God would provide and the fruit of it all shall be revealed in good time. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
If we choose to hold onto control, we will never be successful in our calling; we are choosing to limit ourselves because seeing with our earthly eyes is more “comforting” than allowing God to intercede. Nowhere in the bible does it say that it will be easy and smooth sailing, so why are we at times caught up with second guessing the God is who is standing right behind us telling us to fall backwards, he is here to catch us.
When was a time you had “control” over something, and you succeeded without God? When was the last time God failed you?