We like the feeling that we have our ducks in a row, life is predictable and we know what is coming around the next bend. Webster defines control as the ability to “determine the behavior or supervise the running of.” Yep, I like the sound of that! Not only do I want to know what’s about to happen next in my life, I like to control and manipulate all those in my sphere of influence.
For example, you’re going out to eat with your family and the kids pipe up that they want pizza. Again. For the fourth night in a row. However, the thought of pizza for another night makes you want to hurl. You’re absolutely sick of pizza and have thoughts strolling through your mind of a romantic dinner without the kids in tow. But the babysitter cancelled last second and rather than chalk the night up to a complete disaster, you and the man decide to go out to dinner. Now, the kids want to take control of the situation and you find yourself fighting to reign it in.
“Now sweeties , remember we had pizza last night and the night before, so tonight, we’re going to go somewhere else for dinner.”
The man doesn’t want to hear it and he chimes in, “Pizza is okay with me.” Now, you’re really about to lose it! You’ve lost the battle! Everyone is stacked against you and there’s no way you’re going to win. You don’t stop. You dig those heels right into the car mat.
“If Mommy gets to choose the restaurant, I’ll take you to Amy’s ice cream.”
You did it! You saved the day! You remained in control. A bit of arm twisting and manipulation never hurt, right? You might find you’re successful in ruling the roost in some situations. On the other hand,when situations arise where we find ourselves losing control, we tend to go down fighting. We don’t like losing control.
We may be the ones standing in the way, by refusing to heed and listen. The majority of us say we want to know and do the will of God in our lives. Nonetheless, when it comes right down to it, God most likely is speaking and we are refusing to listen.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
It is a visual illustration of a worshipper placing his sacrificial animal on the altar as an act of consecration to God. To offer that animal in sacrifice was not only an act of obedience to the Old Testament Law, but also an act of surrender. The animal was given to God to be used as He pleased and the rights of the owner were given up.
In the same manner, we are to give of ourselves to God. We are to surrender our lives to be used by God in whatever way He pleases. He wants all of us – our time, our abilities, our resources, our dreams, our affection, our EVERYTHING. He wants us to give Him our all.
As for Scamp, the family dog, he has only temporarily lost control. (I know a few of my curious dog-loving friends would want the skinny). He has a hot spot that he doesn’t want to leave alone, so for now, he’ll be sporting some pretty hipster camo undies.