In Control Freaks’ Senility, Part 1, we learned that there are “Pharisees”, even today. These are the so-called “religious” nuts who try to control others through manipulation by mixing Biblical truths with the lies of false prophets. Unfortunately however, these are not the only threats to our spiritual well-being. In fact, I have discovered that my worst enemy, the one who usually manages to control all aspects of my life, is usually myself!
How often don’t I tend to plan my day down to the tiniest detail, and when something unforeseen comes up I become frustrated and impatient, and sometimes I even blow up. Not a pretty sight, believe me! The lives we carve out for ourselves tend to be more and more rushed with each passing day. There just isn’t time in our days for unforeseen hindrances!
I tend to treat my own children’s behaviour the same way. I plan that they will behave, that they will respect one another, and that they will do their chores without complaining. Of course I know that this is the most unrealistic expectation possible, especially now that my boys are teens, but it is still the way I plan! As a result, the second they “dare” deviate from the plan, I lose control. Don’t they know they need to stick to the plans that I so carefully designed for them? Kids!
The same is true with our dog, whose obedience is way out in left field. Whenever I try to call her back when she’s on an off-leash run, she usually ignores me. If there happens to be another dog in the vicinity, for example, she runs off with her new-found pal and forgets that I exist. Grrrr… (That’s me growling, not my dog!) Haven’t dogs learned who the boss is? When it’s dinner time however, it’s a totally different story. She suddenly comes back to her senses and remembers who’s the boss!
At work it is no different. I try using diplomacy to get my way, but how frustrated I become when my very own boss decides otherwise! At those times I would do anything to be able to fit him or her into my blender for what I see as a well-deserved spin!
Am I really in control of my life? I may think I am, but am I truly?
After driving for hours, certain needs seemingly appear out of nowhere. Your next controlled trip, for example, is either to a rest area or a gas station. A restaurant would be fine as well. But what do you do about your attempts to maintain control, when no gas stations or restaurants are in sight, and all of the rest areas are either non-existent, temporarily unavailable or completely closed? This was our experience while driving through West Virginia recently, and I had to ask myself: Who is really in control?
The same is true if one loses his or her job due to unforeseen circumstances. And of course we have to think about the medical emergencies. The healthy guy just entering his fifties who discovers he has prostrate cancer, for example. And what of the guy whose wife thought the grass was greener elsewhere, and he now faces a nasty divorce? Who is in control then? Let’s face it, we may want to be in control, but more often than not, we are completely out-of-control!
Spiritually we also try to be in control. We have accepted Jesus in our lives, we may have even been baptized, and we dutifully attend church. We read the modern translations of our Bibles, and we may even spend about five minutes praying before falling asleep at night. But how are we doing with our daily spiritual battles? Are we successful in those? Are we always even-tempered? Do we always go out of our way to help those in need? Are we careful what our little eyes see and where our little feet go?
We may have given our heart to Jesus, but have we relinquished total control of our lives to Him as well? Can we truly call Him “Lord”, when we are still sitting on the extravagant thrones of our own lives? Is it any wonder that so many of us are not living victoriously?
May we memorize the following Bible texts and make them a part of our very beings:
“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:3-5 NIV)
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.” (2 Tim 4:18 NIV)
Remember: Victory is only ours if we let Jesus be in total control of our lives, without even the smallest hint of rebellion. Otherwise we are still fighting for control! Only when we finally learn to let Jesus be in the driver’s seat in all aspects of our lives will we truly be victorious.
Who is control? I may think I am, but really, I’m not! Only by letting Jesus sit on the throne of my life will I truly be in control through Him!
P. S. Would anyone like a dog that is super-obedient, but only at dinner time? Come on! I could even throw in a couple of teenagers for free!
(To access the entire “Control Freaks’ Senility” devotional series, please click here.)