I once had a "not so happy" woman come up to me and declare with no small amount of intensity, "Frank Friedmann! You are a controller!"
To which I replied, "Yes maam, but you know what the difference is between us? I am willing to admit it!"
We ALL struggle with control issues. We want to control our circumstances, control our kids, control our spouse, control our congregation, and control the pastor... Control! Control! Control!... but dig deeper!
Why? Why do we want to control?
One reason is that we do not want life to surprise us. We no longer live in the garden of Eden where life was harmonious and sure, all the time. In the world we now live in, change is around every corner and most of us do not like change, especially when the change is very often contrary to life as we desire it to be. So, we try to control, but control on our parts, is an illusion. We really cannot control all that much in this world, but we sure try, and that can wear us out.
A second reason we try to control is often missed by many people. We need to understand and embrace that the desire to control is deeply rooted in the lie that ALL of us were birthed into with the help of our brother Adam, that "we shall be as God". Only God sits on the throne of the universe and accomplishes His will with His nature as the Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent God of the universe. We need to understand, that if we try to be God, it will wear us out because we do not have the resources in and of ourselves to function as God! It’s hard to be God, when you are not God!
By the way, that is why we struggle with wanting to know everything, cannot admit that we do not know all, and find it difficult to admit we are wrong, and feel the need to be strong, and have this crazy thought that we are supposed to be the source of life for others.
God is all those things. He knows all things, He is everywhere, and He is all things to people, and He is strong, and HE IS IN CONTROL! We are not, because we are not God.
Herein lies the glory... we were never designed to be strong, or have it all together, or know all things, or be in control... We were created to be dependent on the One Who is all those things and offers to be all that He is to us in the moment of faith! And the glory of the New Covenant is that now, this incredible Person known as God, Who is strong, and is in control, lives in us! Like Paul said, “This is our hope of glory, Christ in us!” (Colossians 1:27).
Dear Ones, I do not believe there is a man or woman alive who really comprehends how "BLITZED" we were by the lie of the garden and how it continues to effect all of us as we "labor to rest" in the finished work of Christ. Being free of our “goodness” involves not only us coming to know the truth that sets us free, but rejecting all the lies that we have believed.
So, let's move further on in the journey and begin admitting the truth...
... that all of us are "recovering god's"
... that all of us struggle with control issues...
... that all of us think we know more than we know...
... that all of us find it hard to embrace and live in our weakness
... that ours is really a "vision problem"
... that we see ourselves as bigger than we really are...
... that we see God as a lot smaller than He really is...
Maybe we could start running the church like a 12-step meeting!!!
We could function in honest confession with each other.
"Hello, I am Frank and I am a recovering "god wannabe"
And all the other "recovering god's" could say: "Hello Frank"
The idea behind that is that we are all in this same struggle together as a community.
That would be wonderful, because then we could take off the fig leaves of pretending to be like God. We were never designed to wear masks with others, we were designed to be ourselves. Then we could stop trying to be God, and start being who we really are... weak and frail people who have an opportunity to live FROM God – (Key word – we live from God, not for Him!).
He is a REALLY BIG GOD WHO is crazy in love with us. Truth be told, it is my firm conviction that He wants to do so much for us than we are willing to let Him do.
Let’s all stop living from and for ourselves, and live from Him, and let the world stand amazed at the glory that will flow through us, as He expresses His own LIFE in union with our own life. Let the world see the love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control manifest in us, by the presence of the Holy Spirit of God Who dwells within!
Wow! And again, I say, WOW!!!