“You are a great leader and you love being in charge. I think the problem is that you always want to be in control. It seems to be difficult for you to have others in charge.”
Derek nodded his head, so I continued.
“Here’s the problem, Derek. You are contending with Jesus. He wants control of your life, but I don’t think you trust Him enough to let Him be in charge, to call the shots.”
I stopped talking. There was silence. After a while, I continued: “If you resist His authority in your life, He will keep fighting you. If you keep resisting Him and He lets you run your own life, you will make a mess of things. Either way, you lose.”
“I don’t think I trust God enough to give Him control.”
This conversation shocked me. Derek was the perfect Christian on the outside. He even did all kinds of things that no one ever saw. He had his quiet time every day, worked hard at his job earning the respect of other employees, and was a faithful friend to me.
Why did he have such a hard time trusting God? Why did he make all his own decisions? He had admitted that he hadn’t prayed about some big decisions in his life, asking God for a yes or no. Instead, he had plunged headlong into some lifetime commitments that could not be undone. He was headed for more disasters at the time of our conversation.
As we talked, I realized that He didn’t understand the love of God, that somehow if he left the decision-making to God, the Lord would not really have Derek’s best interest at heart, would not want to bless him. Is Derek an anomaly in the kingdom of God? Is he the only one calling the shots of his own life?
I find myself trying so hard to live the perfect Christian life, trying to do such a great job that surely Jesus will think, “Wow! She’s awesome!” There are things in my heart that I just have to have, things I am scared to pray about because I am afraid they might not be God’s will.
What if God’s plan stinks in your mind? What if His definition of “plans to give me a hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11) differ greatly from mine? Can I trust Him to make the decisions, to call the shots?
When I am scared to let God make the decision, I realize that I don’t understand His heart for me. I think that it is like human love: selfish, fickle, imperfect.
But God has my best interest at heart. He is concerned about my welfare. Read 1 Corinthians 13 for a deeper look at God’s love. He is patient, kind, protecting, never giving up on me. He is working in me “to will and to do His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). He is working in our lives. You can remind yourself that “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
He has invested a lot of time and energy in making something beautiful of your life. You can trust Him to have your best interests at heart.
He knows the number of hairs on my head. I love to read Psalm 139 because the Lord knows everything about me. He knit me together, He knows what I am going to say and He stays with me. I cannot flee from His Presence.
He never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! His Word is still true! His gospel still brings life to those who are dead in sin! He still offers hope to mankind!
We can trust Jesus so the solution is simple. Give your life to Jesus, surrender control to Him. Agree with Him that He is the Boss, Master, Teacher, King and Lord.
Each morning, give Him your day. Ask Him to order your day. Each morning, give Him your life. Ask Him to do whatever He wants to do in and through your life. Ask Him to make His will clear through His Word, by opening and shutting doors, and through godly counsel.
Each morning, give Him your dreams and plans. Ask Jesus to replace your dreams and plans with His own.
If you have trouble trusting Him, meditate on God’s love. Pour your heart out to Him. Ask Him to show you why you have trouble trusting Him and surrendering to Him so that you can change.
When He reveals His plan, obey Him with gladness!
“So, what are you going to do?” I asked Derek.
“Pour my heart out to Him. Ask Him to help me surrender everything to Jesus.”
“Good call,” I replied.
Meredith Curtis, pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom of five amazing children, has been married to her college sweetheart, Mike Curtis for 31 years. She loves Jesus, leads worship, homeschools, writes, mentors ladies and sometimes even cooks dinner! She is the author of Joyful and Successful Homeschooling, and several high school classes and Bible studies. She and Mike are founders of the Finish Well Conference, a Christian conference aimed at equipping families to disciple their children to be world changers.