For me (Tracy), I think it’s something I have to give up daily. Daily, I need to relinquish control, to surrender to God and all He has for me.
On the surface that sounds simple. God is good. He’s carried me through many a storm. Yet, still I sometimes take control back into my own hands. Fortunately, I don’t carry it as long as I used to. I can more readily recognize the tale-tale signs of carrying too much.
Crankiness, holding my breath, feeling overwhelmed, resentment, and a whole host of behaviors I don’t like seeing manifest are all symptoms of the sickness of taking on more than I am supposed to.
When you’ve crashed and burned like a plane making an emergency landing, you know what it feels like to go down in flames. When I try to take control of the steering instead of allowing God to guide me safely to my destination, it’s never good. Oh, He’ll work it for my good, but I’m bound to hit some turbulence.
Bumpy rides are part of the package when we do things our way rather than God’s. Thankfully, these days it’s not a ten year detour that takes me far off course. When we follow God and seek Him daily, He reroutes us. It’s like when we miss a turn and our GPS says, in 500 feet make a U-Turn. We get a chance to try again before we’re half way around the world flying in the wrong direction.
Giving up control, surrendering to God has to be a daily discipline. I must be intentional in my letting go, so I can let God. Otherwise, all I’m doing is interfering with His plan.
Recently, I heard a radio interview discussing cars without steering wheels becoming commonplace. We’ve all heard of the technology, but are we ready for that reality? Would you give up control of your car to let a computer drive you from point A to point B? What if there’s a virus? Giving up full control of my car to a computer without any override option doesn’t feel safe or wise. Have you ever had to push ctrl, alt, delete to restart your computer?
But God is not a computer with a potential virus that could corrupt the whole plan. God is God and he has a great plan for you and for me. In order for that to be fulfilled we need to follow Him.
In order to maintain my freedom I need to give control to the One who created me in the first place. He created me to be free, to live life to the full. He created me to walk as an expression of Him and His love. I can’t do that if I take back control.
I wish I could say I never did that anymore, that my faith was so rock-solid that I handed over control to God fully and completed for everything each and every day. Not so. I’m better than I was, but I still have a long way to go. These days when I see it I think, Oops that’s not mine to carry. Give it back to God … AGAIN.
I’ve given up control on some big things–very big things. I can be walking in freedom for a long time, and then that not-so-little control freak inside of me waiting to jump out and take charge pops up out of nowhere. Jack get back in your box! I thought I was rid of you. Grrrrr! Who wound you up anyway?
I think now where God has me is this place of giving Him control when I feel very responsible for others. Releasing control doesn’t mean acting on impulse or in irresponsible ways. He’s teaching me it is okay to let go of control; it doesn’t mean mass chaos will ensue. I’m giving control to God who is far more effective than I will ever be, but that He wants me to walk in His image. Lead by His example and definitely give control where it belongs—to God.
He’ll show me the way. He did yesterday, the day before, and the day before that. He’ll do it again.
When I don’t give God control, quite frankly it’s not good. I’m locking myself in a prison of performance, perfectionism, worry, fear, and a host of ill side effects. Clinging to control is tainted, ugly, and an illusion I like to call a lie. We don’t have control. None! Not even an ounce of it. So why do we kid ourselves into thinking we have any? Ridiculous! Can I get an amen?
What happens when we give up control to God in order to maintain our freedom? We get a gift from Him, one He gives every captive set free from the illusion of control that wants to squeeze the very life out of us.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.—Isaiah 26:3 ESV
Perfect peace is part of our walking in freedom. Not partial peace. Perfect peace. When we trust in God, we keep focused on Him. As long as our minds are focused on God, we won’t focus on self and all the things we could, should, would do. Instead, we lean back against Jesus in the boat while the storms are raging outside. We won’t worry about sinking, unless it’s into the arms of our Savior.
That’s an image the Lord gave me ahead of an assignment He called me to. He’s asked me to help women who have been sexually exploited or human trafficked. That can feel daunting and overwhelming, and did for a blip on the radar screen. Until I kept hearing the Lord say, Be still and know that I am the Lord (Psalm 46:10).
I want to do well by these women. They’ve been through terrors unimaginable. I want to execute well. I want to do my best and be an excellent ambassador for Christ. I want all those things and more. I feel God is reassuring me I will, if I surrender my will to His. DAILY. Isn’t that true for us all? With everything?
In order to do the big things of God, we need to say good-bye to the illusion of control. It’s not real. It’s not even reliable. Give God control. He knows where He wants to take you, what you should pack, and who will join you on the journey. Hope you’re ready for an exciting trip!
What is God asking you to do to maintain (or move toward) freedom?
Join the conversation here or on our Facebook page.