Learning to surrender control can be very difficult when you have developed a habit of holding things too tightly, when you have convinced yourself that you need to always be in control of your circumstances. It can cause great distress when you become keenly aware that life is not controllable. Although, we all have responsibilities and tasks to manage, spouses, children, careers and ministries that God gifts us for a season or even a lifetime, we must also understand that we are not the owners. God is the Creator, the Possessor and Sustainer of all things. We are the managers that He has designated to steward certain assignments for a predetermined time. We are called to steward whatever He gives us, well. We are not called to hold anything with iron fists, clenched tightly with the illusion that it is ours to control.
Corrie Ten Boom stated it this way, “Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
What a powerful statement! When we live life with open hands, we are free to be used by God in all the ways He desires to use us. When we are in a posture of full surrender, He will give us even greater responsibility. However, when we choose to try to hold onto control of our circumstances, we hinder what God wants to do in and through us. We hinder our relationship with Him. Our Heavenly Father wants our complete surrender. He calls us to be willing vessels ready to go where He says go and to stay when He says stay. When He wants us to let go of something, we need to obey, even if it hurts and sometimes it will. We must trust Him, knowing that He is our loving Father and He will always do what is best for us even when it does not feel like it. He knows what tomorrow holds. Unclasp your hands and leave it in the hands of the One who is sovereign over all, the One who sustains all things with His great power.
Our firm grasp on life’s circumstances does not allow for the Holy Spirit to cultivate the growth in us that is needed to stretch us beyond what our human minds can conceive and what our human eyes can see. With eyes of faith as we submit to our loving Father, we can release that which we think we need to control and walk confidently in His plans for us. His plans will ALWAYS be far greater than ours. He knows what is going to happen today, tomorrow and the next day and every day after that. He is unchanging and all of His promises are “Yes” and “Amen.” We never have to try to navigate this life alone. Release control. Rest in Him. He promises to be with us to the end of the age.
Do we forget who are Father is? I think we sometimes do when we think we need to be in control, we are not trusting the outcomes to Him. He is the Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and Omega, the One who called everything into existence. Are we called to be faithful in what He gives us? Absolutely! Yet, it is His to give and His to take away. If we trust Him with our salvation, how can we not trust him with all things? How can we not trust Him with every detail of our lives and those of our loved ones?
It is a sign of pride to hold so tightly to the things of this world, to be wise in our own eyes. God hates the sin of pride. His desire for us is to rely on Him and not ourselves. When we choose to handle things on our own, we act as though we have no need for God. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with this.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Our Father in His great love for us, will discipline us in our pride. Humility in submission and reverence to our Holy, Omniscient Father exalts Him to His proper place in our lives as our Lord and Leader. There is no one greater and no one can take His place in our lives and that includes ourselves. I have heard it said this way, “He is either Lord of all or not Lord at all.”
We can all heed the lesson King Saul learned in 1 Samuel chapter 13 when he was anointed as King of Israel and was going into battle with the Philistines. The prophet Samuel told King Saul to go ahead of him to Mikmash and wait seven days for him to arrive as the Lord instructed. Saul decided to take matters into his own hands when Samuel did not arrive at the expected time. The Lord was not pleased that Saul did not obey his command. Therefore, the Lord made David king because He sought a man after His own heart.
“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” 1 Samuel 13:13-14
He wants His children to be fully dependent on Him. He is perfect, unchanging and He cannot lie. His promises are true and He loves us far more than we could ever imagine. We have no need to rely on ourselves when the One who created us, loves us and knows every hair on our head goes before us. He has us in the palm of His hand and He will never let us go.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being so kind, loving and patient with us. Please forgive us when we try to rely on ourselves and take matters into our own hands, when we get weary of waiting on You. Thank You for loving us enough to prune away all the things that are not of you, pride, arrogance, and conceit. Help us to stop trying to control circumstances to get the outcome we desire instead of the outcome You have planned for our good and for Your Glory. Help us to remember that Your plans are always better than ours. Help us to trust You beyond what we can see. Increase in us, Lord and help us to decrease. We love You and we give You all the honor and the praise. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen!
By Lanette Black