One of the most consistent enemies I have to my relationship with God is this thing called “control.” Control is my ability to believe that I can lead and guide my life, my marriage, my relationships better than God. Control always makes promises it can never keep. God doesn’t ask me to give up control because of what control will do to Him. God asks me to give up control because of what control does to me. Control will cost you. Here are three costs of control I have seen in my own life.
1. Control will deceive you.
Control will cause us to believe our earthly desires carry a heavenly purpose. God wants me to be happy. God wants me to be successful. God wants me to be comfortable. God wants me to have a bigger house. God wants me to get remarried. God wants me to have a good job. God wants me to be fulfilled. God wants me to be satisfied. It’s not that these things aren’t true; it’s that they aren’t as true as God’s ultimate desire for you. God wants you be holy more than he wants you to be happy. What happens is we begin to justify our decisions based on what we want, not on what God says or desires for us.
It’s why we end up thousands of dollars in debt. Control deceives us. It’s why someone reading this today is considering leaving their spouse for a guy at work. Control is deceiving you. It’s why there is a guy reading this today that has thought about leaving is wife and kids for the old girlfriend he’s talking to on Facebook…control is deceiving you. It’s why people spend 90 hours at work and very little time investing in their family…control deceives them. It’s why the bigger house didn’t make you a better husband. It’s why the nicer car doesn’t make you feel more successful. Control deceives us.
2. Control will exhaust you.
The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous lay out a way of life that is the greatest single vehicle to freedom for addicts of alcohol that this world has ever known.
This is what is interesting to me…in which of the 12 steps does it say, “Now try really hard not to drink.” None of them. The most powerful tool against the most powerful addiction in the world never asks people to decide to stop doing what they have to stop doing. They do not mobilize their will…they surrender their will.
Control will exhaust you. Control will convince you that you have to overcome your problem, your baggage, your wounds. You can behave your way to a better life; a better marriage; a better relationship. Jesus says surrender your life.
I heard Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, say one time, “Most Christians think they become more like Christ by trying, but it actually happens by dying.” Maybe you are just tired today…you are exhausted from trying to control every aspect of your life; your marriage; your career.
3. Control will rob you.
Control will keep you up at night worried. Control will rob you of joy in your relationships. Control will cause you to lose hours, days, years of your life to stress and anxiety. Control will convince you that more money, more possessions, more relationships, more success will give you the life that God created you to have…and control will make you think you are gaining the whole world…while you lose your soul.