Do you feel stressed out and/or depressed? Do you find life overwhelming and beyond your ability to control? Do you realize that each of these statements are related??? So many of us are stressed and depressed because we are overwhelmed and feel a compulsive need to control our life. But, the harsh reality is that we cannot actually control anything. Once we come to the place where we understand this reality we can enter into the truth of our existence and the peace which comes from submission to a power higher than our own.
The first step among the 12 steps of Alcoholic Anonymous is, to admit you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable. All of us, regardless of our struggle, would do well to admit the same thing. We cannot manage our life. We cannot control the world in which we live. All of us are in the same boat! We are helpless in our own strength, power and wisdom to make our life exactly the way we want it to be. We are however given an opportunity to be part of the process of creating the life we hope to have. This “process” begins when we reach the point where are required to let go and depend upon a power higher than our own; we are tasked with the opportunity for faith in Christ!
There are a myriad of things, too many to count, that are beyond our control. Any semblance of control and power that we enjoy is simply an illusion. The real sovereign and power in the universe is God alone. Any power we have comes only from Him! This is why Jesus told Pilate in John 19:11, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.” Any power we have comes directly from God. This means our life is ultimately dependent upon Him whether we acknowledge the point or not! Whether you know it or not this is actually good news!
We can experience genuine freedom and peace when we make up our mind to have faith in God’s character and His ability to control what we cannot. As Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Once we give up perceived control of our life to Jesus, we gain all that He is for all that we have. In reality we have nothing in the first place so it is quite a trade to give up our nothing for His everything!
Now at this point some will ask the obvious question…do we have ANY part to play in how our life unfolds? Can we do anything to determine the outcome of our time on earth? The ANSWER is absolutely YES! BUT, it is not the part most of us to think we play. Our part is a cooperative one. We cooperate with God’s plans and His power at work in and around us. If we choose to cooperate with Him our life is in secure hands. If we choose to cooperate with Him our life becomes more than we could possibly ever imagine or accomplish on our own. The Apostle Paul himself said, “I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, Jesus Christ now lives in me. And the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself up for me.” But how do we do this? How do we stop living in ourselves and begin cooperating with Christ’s plans for us? How do we begin living by faith in Christ and His power?
To Give God Control of Your Life:
- Pray Differently — Stop praying for God to help you change your life. Instead pray, “God I want to change and am determined to follow You and Your plans but unless You change me I will always be the same person I have been. I pray that YOU will change me and make me different.”
- Obey What You Know to Do — Once we pray rightly God will begin to change our desires and circumstances. Once you know to do something new and different then you are accountable to cooperate with God’s revelation and power at work in your life. Do what you know to do! Obey what you know to obey!
- Look for What Comes Next — A large part of faith is an openness to God speaking into our life. Read the Word of God, pray and seek counsel from Godly, praying individuals. Take a look at your circumstances and see where God may be moving in them. All of these will come together to begin giving you a picture of God’s will and plan for your life. Keep your eyes open to where He is at work around you!
How to Draw Closer to God