Many of us, including Jeff, may label ourselves a control freak. Jeff defines a control freak as a person whose behavior indicates a powerful need to control people or circumstances in everyday matters (see: Webster’s definition).
Now, while us control freaks may chuckle and nod along in agreement with our pastor. The truth, as Jeff points out, is that we are struggling. You and I are struggling with a lack of trust. To illustrate his point, Jeff introduces us to another control freak. We read about him in 1 Samuel 13. His name, Saul.
Saul finds himself outnumbered and out matched by the Philistines at Gilgal. His troops, gripped with fear, flee and hide (1 Samuel 13:5-7). Saul is quickly losing control. So, like a true control freak, Saul makes an impulsive decision in an attempt to gain control back. Saul chooses to ignore Samuel’s instruction to wait for him to come and make the burnt offering (1 Samuel 10:8). Instead, Saul offers the burnt offering on his own (1 Samuel 13:9).
When Samuel arrives, Saul quickly tries to make an excuse for his impulsive decision, “I thought, ‘The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering” (1 Samuel 13:12). Here, Jeff points out the flaw in Saul’s thinking: Saul, you cannot out think God. How many times have you and I been guilty of the same thought?
Saul’s foolishness, pride, fear and impulsiveness cost him greatly. Samuel says to Saul, You have been foolish. You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man after his own heart,and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over his people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded (1 Samuel 13:13-14).
Jeff shares, wanting to be in control reveals a heart that is not trusting in God; a heart that is not still. The cure for this heart condition is a confession. We confess, I am NOT in control. I am NOT God. What can we control? Jeff shares, we can control our white flag moments. We can surrender (Jeremiah 38:17). Instead of finding way around, we can faith our way through.
Paul says it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Jeff concludes with this verse from Romans, “Do not boast that you are better than those branches. But if you do boast—you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you” (Romans 11:18). Jesus is the root. Allow Him to sustain you. Jesus is in loving, sovereign, joyful control of our lives. When we release control to Him, we gain peace.