The Quest For Control

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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If thereís one thing Iíve learned since becoming a Christian itís that weíre not in control. Even when we have not made Jesus Christ our Lord, we still have ultimately no control over many aspects of our lives. Sure we can make choices without God, often the wrong ones, but when all is said and done it is God who controls our lives. Now am I saying that God isnít a God of free will? No, what Iím saying is that while God does gives humans the free will to make choices, humans still cannot control many of their circumstances. All of that lies in Godís hands. For example, you may choose what career you want to pursue, but God controls how well you do your job based on the skills and abilities He has placed in you. You had the choice of career, but you have limited control over how well suited you are for it. As Proverbs 16:33 says so wisely: ďWe may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.Ē

So knowing that God, first of all, controls many of our circumstances, and secondly, knows whatís best for us, then why is it that so many of us fight against the Lordship of Christ? Itís quite easy to accept God as a friend or even Savoir, but when it comes down to placing Him as Lord and King, thatís when the problems come.

Why do we have such a hard time placing Christ as Lord in our lives?

In basic terms, I think itís because deep down we are all somewhat of control freaks. As soon as we are old enough to know what control is, we want it. Itís kind of like the changes that occurred in me after I got my driverís license. Before that day, I honestly had no problems with my Momís driving. In fact, I actually tried to mirror mine after hers, but after I got behind the wheel myself- something changed. After spending some time in the driverís seat, I was suddenly no longer a silent passenger or very comfortable when someone else was behind the wheel. Just ask my family. Kristen the critic emerged:

ďYouíve put your turning signal on too soon.Ē
ďGo faster- youíre impeding traffic.Ē
ďYou should have taken the other street- itís faster.Ē

Looking back, it may seem funny (it was not funny for my Mom at the time- at all), but I believe this experience speaks great truth when it comes to our spiritual state. You see, we donít have a problem with having God in the driverís seat of our lives when the road is straight and there are no other cars around, but throw in a few curves and suddenly we are no longer silent passengerís:

ďHow come weíre stopping here?Ē
ďIím telling you, we have to turn left up ahead.Ē
ďThe freeway is faster!Ē

And sadly, many times we ask God to get out of the driverís seat completely. And since He is the God of free will, He hands us a road map and sends us off to navigate the system of roads He created.

So we drive. We make wrong turns, we get lost, we break the law and sometimes we even have accidents. Yet, we wonít let the One who knows the road from start to finish navigate, and we wonít let the One with the perfect driving record drive.

I donít know about you, but Iím getting tired of making wrong turns. Iím tired of driving through life so stressed out about the road ahead that I canít enjoy the section of road in front of me. Basically, Iím tired of being in the driverís seat, but the solution requires a decision that is not easy. To not be driving means I have to turn the wheel over to someone else. To turn the wheel over to someone else all comes down to an issue of trust and faith. Because in truth, we wouldnít let someone drive our car (or truck or SUV) who we donít trust or if we had little faith in their driving abilities.

Fortunately for us, we have someone who is willing to take the wheel and He has proven Himself worthy of our trust and faith. God is quite capable of navigating through the mire of our lives. Jesusí life alone is a perfect example of a life lived in the control of Godís. No, it wasnít ďperfectĒ according to the worldís standards, but really whose is? The important thing is that Jesus trusted in the Father and in return He lived with joy and a peace like the world had never seen before.

So, will you hand the steering wheel of your own life over to God? He knows your lifeís road from start to finish and He loves you so much that He will only lead you where He knows you need to be. And not only will your life be less cluttered because of Godís gentle control, but your faith in Him will only naturally increase along your lifeís journey.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.