Books. Books and More Books. But, recently, I read a book by Dr. Henry Cloud. I was simply impressed by his thought process around seasons. Dr. Cloud explains seasons in his book “Necessary Endings.” Our entrances into new seasons must be proceeded by exits from the old ones. He argues that endings are not always evil but that endings are necessary. He suggests that we cannot be introduced to new things until we are willing to say goodbye to the old things. So Dr. Cloud believes that the course of our lives is greatly impacted and determined by what we’re willing to leave behind. Furthermore, we have to relax and allow God to spiritually accelerate us into our destiny because God knows where we are going.
As we are racing to the end of another year, I believe that many of us desire and want to experience some new things. If you’re like me, you’re standing in attention, waiting to experience something new.
Shucks, at this point, some of us may desire to experience new problems, (not that we’re looking for any problems), but we’re absolutely tired of the same cycle of problems year-after-year-after-year. By now, we should have a solution to what we’re going through.
Besides, I believe we all have a date with something we can’t afford to miss. And that’s destiny. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we all believed this?
First, we have to acknowledge that God knows the plan for our lives. And, there are some things that God doesn’t intentionally let us in on. More importantly, if we are planning to get to His intended end, His desired destination, His preferred future for our lives, it means saying goodbye to some of the old stuff that many of us would rather hold on to.
With that being the case, can you say goodbye to control?
When David wrote Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. David recognized God as more than a Savior. A Shepherd. He saw God as more than just saving his life. But leading his life. He saw God for more than just cleaning up his past. But guiding his future. He saw God for more than just handling his mishaps and mistakes. But ordering his steps.
What a revelation!
David was clearly in a mature season of mind. He realized that God had brought him through so many things, therefore, he surrendered his sense of control, and allow God to navigate the destination for his life.
In this particular Psalm, David puts his pen to parchment and goes back to where he tended his father’s sheep and says… “as I was to the sheep so is God to me.” David knew how he cared for his father’s sheep so he was able to make a comparison about who God was to him.
David reminiscences about leading the sheep to green pastures. Of course, the sheep had no clue where they were going, they just knew they were going somewhere.
As a matter of fact, sometimes we don’t know where God is leading us. We’re just willing to go; we’re like those sheep giving up control and allowing God to lead us to green pastures.
Those pastures that nourish and gives us peace.
Nevertheless, David realized he had to give up his control in order to get to his destination.
God was his Shepherd.
With this in mind, giving up control seems difficult.
Apart from this, when we really think about it, it’s logical because control is an illusion. It is something we think we have, when we really don’t. For instance, if we’re upset with someone, we roleplay in our mind the conversations we need to have with them. We come up with a false idea or believe, and even, rehearse in our mind all the things that we need to say to express how we feel. The scenario is perfectly staged in our mind. To us, it makes sense, and it appears we’re in control until we’re put in that situation where we have to demonstrate control.
We falter every time.
In the same manner, if we are driving a car, we can control how careful we drive because we are in control. But if someone else is driving the car, we can’t control how careful someone else drives because they’re in control.
Or, if we construct a bid, we can’t control whether or not the bid is accepted. Or, if we place an offer on a piece of property, we can’t control whether or not the offer is accepted.
We can control how good our grades are while attending school, how impressive our resume is, and how well we interview for the position. But we can’t control whether or not we get the position we interviewed for.
Let’s be clear. God has given us the ability to achieve, and influence others. But He hasn’t given us the ability to control our outcomes.
Therefore, control is an illusion, an idea that is wrongly perceived. And when we attempt to manipulate the outcomes. The intended weight is never for us to carry or bear. God is the only one who can determine the outcomes.
Also, when we carry God’s weight, we can expect to crumble under the pressure that was never intended for us to carry. Only God’s shoulders are wide enough to carry the weight.
God knows where we’re going…
First and foremost, when we have those feelings of being depressed, stressed, and being inundated with anxiety, it’s a direct reflection of the weight that God doesn’t want us to carry.
When we struggle to give up our control, it’s usually out of fear. We just don’t have a clue about what God is up to next in our lives. And none of us like to face situations blindly, even though God has promised, He will always walk beside us, no matter what circumstances we face in life. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Without a doubt, we don’t want to relinquish the control of our lives because it feels safer. But if we trust that God has the problems in our lives worked out, while the problems may still persist. God knows where we are going.
Don’t carry your problems.
Let them go.
The Lord is your shepherd, you shall lack nothing.
When we see God in this way and engage in the process of living this way, only then, will we experience Psalm 23 in its fullness the way that David saw God.
Ultimately, what we don’t learn through instructions, God teaches us through experiences.
For this reason, God rejected Saul because of his arrogancy and because he did not follow through with his God-given assignment. God told Saul to destroy the Amalekites. Saul did what he thought was right in his own eyes and he didn’t carry out the mandate God gave him.
In other words, he did his own thing.
See, God can’t use us when we go our own way. Saul wanted control. Undoubtedly, this is the control we have to be willing to give up. Upon receiving instructions, we have to trust that God is going to give us the information we need on a need to know basis.
Nor can we handle all of the instructions at one time.
So we see, there are consequences when we choose not to give up control.
God started with Samuel and ended with Samuel.
God told Samuel to give Saul a message from Him.
Uh! God fired Saul. It was that simple. Saul disobeyed God. Samuel mourned for Saul.
Then, God asked Samuel a question. How long will you mourn over that which I have rejected?
Samuel’s tears did not change God’s mind about what was best for His people. Our tears and mourning won’t change God’s mind about our destiny. We have a place He has favored just for us.
God’s assignment must be fulfilled by people He can use that are willing to give up their control.
After Saul’s disobedience, God shifted and told Samuel to go to Jesse’s house. There he found David and anointed him king. David’s heart was pure before God. Therefore, he was able to fulfill his assignment.
God knows who He can use to fulfill His assignments on earth. He can’t use control freaks.
As for you, you can’t afford to miss God’s assignment for your life.
Our responsibility is to be ready.
From Bible scriptures to church sermons, we’ve been told to let God have the ultimate control over our lives. This seems incredibly easy to do. However, it’s difficult, especially, when things are going extremely well in our lives.
But when uncertainty creeps in and the problems start popping up that we can’t control. We panic and struggle through our prayers asking God to fix the situations that we refuse to let go of. Bricks walls are ways for God to get our attention. God knows where we are going.
Learning to trust God fully is a lifelong process. We have to choose to trust in Him, much like we have to choose to give up control. We need to learn to let go and stop trying to figure out the “whys” of life. This is much easier to do when we realized that God understands more about our lives than we would ever understand.
In closing, get in position because someone is watching you. David had no idea that God was watching him. God had somebody in the right place and time who saw his gift as he tended the sheep. And when time met opportunity. David became king.
God has a way of putting you on the heart of someone at the right time. And the Holy Spirit will put your name in the position where you need it most.
You just have to be willing to give up your control.