“The best part is being right on the edge of losing control.”
Hearing this statement from a friend clarified why I do not enjoy downhill skiing. Some personality types thrive at the brink of losing control, not just on the slopes but in other aspects of life. Others prefer the safety of the predictable. Many of us — including me — are somewhere in the middle. But we all desire a measure of control in our lives: control of our circumstances, our comfort, and our destiny. When it is threatened, we go into fight or flight mode to regain control.
But sometimes we must yield control. How we respond depends, in part, on our perception of the new controlling force. Do we perceive it as good? Trustworthy? Knowledgeable? Capable? This is not just true of yielding control to humans, it also impacts our willingness to surrender to God. We grow concerned when we read verses like this:
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. (Psalm 115:3, NIV)
While God is not accountable to humans or any other entity, He is not a tyrant. Understanding His heart, intentions, and character are all essential factors in our willingness to yield control. Does adding these verses to the discussion increase your willingness to yield control to God?
The Lord remembers us and will bless us… (Psalm 115:12, NIV)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11, NIV)
But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. (Jeremiah 10:12, NIV)
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. (Psalm 145:13, NIV)
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. (Isaiah 46:10, NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… (John 3:16, NIV)
It is easier to yield to God when we believe He is good, generous, all-seeing, powerful, wise, eternal, trustworthy, faithful, loving, self-sacrificing, and completely righteous. Despite our doubts, there is no risk in giving Him control. He is already in control of our existence, whether or not we acknowledge it. We can only experience far more life in areas where we yield control to God. I appreciate this reminder from Solomon:
I am confident it will go better for those who worship the one True God and stand in awe before Him. (Ecclesiastes 8:12, VOICE)
Yielding does not make us powerless puppets who cannot think or act on their own. It does not make us weak and helpless. Rather it frees us to focus on what is truly within our power to control: our own responses. Far more life recognizes what to take on and what to yield to God.
The Lord has told you, human, what is good; he has told you what he wants from you: to do what is right to other people, love being kind to others, and live humbly, obeying your God. (Micah 6:8, NCV)
It is within our power to treat others right, to love showing kindness, to obey God humbly. We find far more life living out these three tasks! It produces peace rather than anxiety, instills hope rather than fear, and raises joy rather than weighing us down with heavy burdens. What does this look like in daily life?
- Treating others right means treating them as we would like to be treated, in both big and small matters. Like taking only the supplies we need rather than hoarding them. Or standing up for those being treated wrong.
- Being kind to others means forgiving them because we choose to, not because they ask for it or deserve it. And sacrificing our “rights” to protect those who are vulnerable.
- Humbly obeying God means using our conscience and discernment to determine what is best but letting Him serve as judge over others’ hearts. And being genuinely thankful for what we have rather than complaining about what we do not.
This verse caught my attention:
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:25-26, NIV)
God considers adding one hour to our lives a very little thing. But for us, that is impossible! What are we trying to do that is impossible? Where are we wasting our efforts? How are we missing far more life by trying to do God’s job instead of our own? A friend who thought she was dying says this about her experience:
I realized when it is our time, whether it is soon or yet distant, we will see the Face of God that we have longed for since we began our journey with Him on this earth. But if it is not our time we will live another day with the privilege of glorifying Jesus who gave everything for us. It is in His hands and His control. Either way it is a win-win, so we have absolutely nothing to fear, no matter what happens around us.
Yield control to God and experience the blessing of far more life. This is an on-going process throughout our days on earth. But as you yield, I guarantee you will find exactly what you need, whether that is excitement and thrill, safety and comfort, or a bit of both. And you will definitely find far more life!
In what areas is it hard for you to yield control to God?
What concerns do you have about giving God control?
How would you grade yourself on controlling your thoughts and actions?
Treat others right. Lovingly show kindness. Humbly obey God. Which is easiest? Hardest?
Choose an area today where you have been resisting and yield it to God. Experience the joy and freedom of far more life!