How to Overcome the Control Freak Within
Don't miss the opportunity
Reflecting on 1 & 2 Kings, the late Eugene Peterson writes, “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines. But we have no choice: God is sovereign.”
Maybe the difficulty is because of the control freak living in me. The Bible calls it my flesh–a sinful disposition to shove God off the throne, convinced I could do a better job.
Admittedly, I’ve had to learn the hard and stressful way (not by a lack of trying) that I can’t carry the world (or even a tiny part of the world) on my shoulders.
Peterson is right again, saying, “Human beings, no matter how well-intentioned or gifted, don’t seem to be able to represent God’s rule anywhere close to satisfactory.”
Do you see the opportunity here?
We are not expected to be sovereign. We are not designed to control the circumstances of our lives.
Implication: We may freely resign from playing God and repent for the futile and foolish coup.
Grace invites me to take the weight of worry off my shoulders by putting it into the hands of Jesus, surrendering to the sovereignty of a Savior who not only can carry the world in his hands, but allowed those hands to be pierced on my behalf.
I think this is what Peter means when he writes, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pe 5:7, NIV).
Notice a few things.
We are invited to cast “all” anxiety. Not part of our anxiety. Not just a lot. We are to empty our hands and heart, holding on to nothing except Jesus.
Second, the idea of Jesus “caring” for us is quite an understatement. When we look at the cross, the true heart of Jesus for his own is put into proper context. The sovereign King is utterly devoted to us. The cross is undeniable proof.
Finally, note how “cast” is an active, conscious act. We confess how our control freak idol is crushing us rather than liberating us. And we place all our worries into the Savior’s nail-scarred hands .
From this posture, when I experience hard providences that I wish I did not have to face, the scars remind me that God has a redemptive purpose in and through the pain. Just like Jesus’ pain was purposeful, so is mine. I am not being punished. Because Jesus endured that for me on a cross.
Am I willing to believe and rest in that today? Are you? How about we believe and rest together — to the praise of God’s glorious grace.