Control Freak

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There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  1 John 4:18

Infected saints tend to be control freaks. I try so hard to keep my life in order in a way that makes sense and is comfortable to me. I work really hard to make things happen like I think they should go. I struggle in situations where I do not feel like I am in control. I have a hard time trusting others who are handling things on my behalf. I have been told by people who speak hard truth to me that I am a Control Freak. Jesus associates with trying to control things as being a slave to worry (Matthew 6:25). We need to learn that we are not able to bear the burden that comes with worry.

I am learning that when I allow God to work through me He carries the load. When I put my energy into trusting God and not worrying and scrambling,  I enter a state of rest and peace. When I try and make people do the right thing or get a certain outcome I want, I have to stress over it and exhaust alot of energy to make it happen. If it works out the way I want, I feel relief from the stress momentarily until the next situation I feel is “out of control” arises. This approach too life weighs us down and exhausts us.

Stress is heavy. When we look to God we release stress because it is simply to heavy. It weighs us down spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and emotionally. When we run ahead of God we get lost and frustrated.  We doubt God’s ability to lead. We question his competency.  Reality is He is sovereign over all things and we have little to no control over anything. Control freaks do not want to give in to that fact but it is both futile and sinful to try and jerk the reigns out of the Lord’s hands.

God is the one who controls the wind. I heard it said recently that we cannot direct the wind but we can control the sails. It is crucial for a believer to set sail towards the will of God and ride His wave of promise. His promise to us is that He will never forsake us; that He will work all things for our good; that he will provide for us. If we could control things we would mess it all up. We don’t know what is best for us. Only God has our best interest in mind. Only He will work in us for His glory.

We waste a lot of energy on things we cannot control. When we get worked up over traffic, weather, or people who annoy us, we are wasting energy on things we cannot change and allowing that to bother us. The one thing we can control is our attitude. Instead of choosing to be frustrated over our lack of control over situations and people, we need to focus on what God is doing in and around us. Maybe He wants to teach you patience or how to be more merciful.  Try praying for the people in those cars at a stand still around you in busy traffic. Our go to should be prayer. Is prayer our steering wheel or spare tire? Do we look to prayer only when we are at our wit’s end or do we go to it immediately as our source of strength and comfort?

We need to see our attempt to control things as a faith issue. God demands and deserves our trust. We are not in control nor were we created to be so. We don’t have what it takes to be God. Let Him do His work in you and trust in His will.

More of God and Less of Me

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Does God use infected saints? He chose Moses. Out of all the kings, warriors, and competent leaders, God chose a meek shepherd who had trouble putting his thoughts into words. He chose Moses to do an incredible task… to be His mouthpiece to a million Israelites. Moses had a speech impedement and zero confidence. High priority mission led by a shepherd who stumbled over his words and had no desire to lead is a recipe for disaster. All Moses insecurity paralyzed him as he stood before that burning bush and heard the voice of His God.

You can almost see Moses looking down and fidgeting as he protested,”Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?… Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before or since you have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 3:11; 4:10). We feel Moses here. He didn’t have what it took to do this. He wasn’t even close to capable. I have felt that myself. When your body temperature rises as you flush from shame over your own insecurity and weakness. The harsh reality that you don’t measure up to what the moment demands. You want to go hide. I have been there many times. God knew Moses insecurities. Did He sympathize with Him?

Actually, God’s response to Moses was not sympathy but anger. He was not moved by Moses’ humility over the recognition of his own lack of ability. He was angry because Moses failed to respond by faith in God’s ability. God responds, “Who made man’s mouth? Who makes him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak” (Exodus 4:110-12).

Moses was paralyzed by his insecurities and unworthiness. What should our approach be when we have a strong sense of our unworthiness and uselessness? Though billions of dollars are spent on books and seminars on the subject, self-esteem is not the answer for what ails us here. Notice God did not say to Moses, “Don’t cut yourself down. You are a somebody. You matter.” He doesn’t boost His self esteem. What God said was, “Stop looking at yourself. Stop focusing on your lack of talent and ability. That mouth you think doesn’t work well. I made it. Quit looking at yourself and look to me. I will help you. I will lead you. I will not call you to something I do not equip you to accomplish.”

The answer to our feelings of low self esteem is not to increase our self-esteem; it is to fall more on God’s grace. No matter how much you boost your feelings of self you are still unworthy and your self esteem is merely a facade of what is actually true about you. On your own you don’t measure up and that is ok. You don’t need too. God’s grace is more than sufficient!

Our value does not come from what we do. Did you get that? You sure you are receiving that right now? Our true value is found in Christ. The measure of our worth is in his faithfulness not our own. We do not need higher self esteem… we need less self.

I no longer live but Christ lives in me!

Dax