I am a Control Freak

For those of you who know me, you may not think that I am a control freak, but I am.  I tend to be rather easy-going and flexible.  I can roll with the punches.  I am resilient and versatile.  and I am a control freak.

God has recently been shedding light on my desires for control.  Some people try to have control on projects, on their household, or on their relationships; I have a tendency to keep trying to vie for control of my salvation.  I want to control my life.

Explicitly, I know that this is not a healthy mindset to have.  Implicitly, however, I see myself working hard to be able to control my future.  I kept trying to plan my life, and take control of everything that is going on instead of relinquishing control, and letting God (who knows much better than I do how to control my life effectively) have control of my life.  A few months ago, I resolved to make it happen…

Yup, that’s right.  I decided that I would take control of letting God have control…  Over the last few weeks, God has been teaching me just how stupid that sounds.

Our church is working through Ephesians so a few weeks ago, our pastor preached on Ephesians 3.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

– Ephesian 3:14-21 NIV

It was a great message, but I didn’t feel that it was talking about my subtle appetite to have control.  I continued to try to give God control by reading my Bible more and listening to Podcasts.

A week and a half later I was out for a run, listening to a Podcast by Tim Keller on the Glory of God.  A great sermon based on this passage (among others) in Ephesians:

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

– Ephesian 3:14-21 ESV

Amen, God is great and glorious, and we can He can do even more than what we ask of Him when we pray.  He is a great God.

I worked really hard to give God control of my life.  I deleted the games from my phone and spent the time on the toilet praying instead of playing.  I made a point to talk to people about “spiritual stuff” so that I could be trying to think about God more.

A few days later I was reading my bible and read a passage that seemed a little familiar.

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

– Ephesian 3:14-21 NKJV

And then this week, I listened to a Podcast by Francis Chan and he spend a lot of his time on this passage:

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

– Ephesian 3:14-21 ESV

Sometimes, God speaks to you to answer your prayers and we ignore what He is trying to say.  The great thing is that God is  in control.  He had a message to get across to me, and he Got it across.

I may have decided that I was going to give God control, but I was still keeping control of how I gave him control.  I tried to learn his will, but instead of letting the Master teach me, I kept trying to teach myself.

The biggest take away from Ephesians 3 that I needed to hear was in verse 16; it was not up to me to try harder to be better.  We give God control, not by trying harder, but allowing Christ to grant us the strength when we are filled with the Holy Spirit!  It is only through the Holy Spirit that we will every understand His will for us.  No amount of trying will ever get you there.

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