I was running late. I am always the first one to arrive in the office, so my tardy presence was going to be noticed. My boss was probably going to say something. If he asked why I was late, I would just tell him that traffic was bad. No—traffic was fine, and he took the same route to work that I did—I can’t lie. Instead, I’ll just be honest—I got a late start this morning and I would just explain that to him and apologize. I would work late today to make up for it, if he wanted me to. Great—I had (obsessively) planned out every moment of the interaction to simulate complete control, but I had none. My boss didn’t even notice I was late.
As I was reading an entry from Jesus Calling, I was floored at my obsessive thought patterns and my need to have control of everything. Many people suffer from this need, but we don’t have to! We can release control. Here are four things I learned in Celebrate Recovery that I’m constantly trying to release control of:
- What I think should happen. I have my own thoughts about what should be going on in my life. But God has other plans! In fact, He assures me that His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8). And honestly, I’m glad God doesn’t suffer from obsessive thinking like I do, because that would be scary. And if God doesn’t think like me, then I need to release control about the plans He has for me—because He’s got this and I can trust Him!
- When I think it should happen. I think I should already be married. I think my business should’ve taken off at the outset in June. I think a lot of things that I believe are going to happen should already have happened! However, what I keep having to remind myself is that God’s timetable and mine are, again, completely different. What seems like forever to me is only a short time to him (2 Peter 3:8). And what He is doing in me during the wait is far more important to Him than when I receive the prize.
- How I feel during it. Impatient. Scared. Lonely. Nervous. Anxious. Excited. They are all feelings, but they are just that—feelings. I acknowledge my feelings, but I should not give them control of any part of my life. When I “follow my heart” I have to be careful of what the Bible says about my heart: that it is the most deceitful of all things and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9). Instead, I should take my feelings to Jesus and surrender them to Him during my wait.
- How others might react. People are always weighing in with their opinions. “You should do online dating.” “You should push your way through.” “You shouldn’t wait.” But the Word says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). How others react cannot dictate how you or I live our lives. The only One we live to please is God—and we need to release control of pleasing anyone else and how they will react.
When you release control in these areas, you allow God to give you peace and joy as you become fearlessly fulfilled. He is doing it for me—He will do it for you, too!
In which of these four areas do you most need to release control? Share in the comments or use my Contact Me page to share and receive a free 30-minute Identity Intensive!