More Than Conquerers
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”Romans 8:31-39
Life is better when you lose control. Let me repeat that, because it’s a big statement coming from a reformed control freak: life is better when you lose control. God never intended for you to control your environment, the people around you, or your circumstances. He lets you try, because He will always let you exercise your free will, and He waits close by to help you pick up the pieces when your plan fails.
There’s all kinds of way we try to control the world around us. Perfectionism, eating disorders, addictions, anxiety, anger & more - these are all results of an attempt to control our environment. Most of them start small, with good intentions, lots of hope and selfless thought. I’m helping them, you think. I know what’s best. If they would just listen to me… With consistency, the need for control only grows until it suddenly is controlling you. The more you focus on producing a specific outcome, the further away you get from the throne of God. The problem with control is, it leaves no room for faith. Control says “I know what’s best, and I will make it happen”. Faith says “God knows what’s best, I will trust Him with the outcome”.
Even an assignment from God can get abducted by control. There are times when God gives you a specific directive, when He reveals His will and desire for what’s ahead of you. It can be an area of your life that needs some improvement, or an event at your church that you are participating in. If you grab that directive from God and exercise your control to make it happen, you can miss the next Word He gives. When God lets you in on His plan, He is not depending on you to make it happen. He is inviting you in to the journey with Him, not dumping it on your lap and judging your performance. There is a big difference between the two.
Here’s the great thing, Beloved: you’re never too far from losing control. There’s nothing that can drive a wedge between you and the redeeming love of Christ. All of those behaviours and habits that you use to control the world and people around you, are easily shed in the presence of the cross. It’s like leaves in fall, when they turn from green to red and gold. The secret is this: those gorgeous fall colors were present all along. All summer long, that red and gold was holding strong, waiting for the green to go. Cholorophyll, which colors every leaf green simply masks the other colors for a short period. At the right time the chlorophyll no longer feeds the leaf and it’s true colors are allowed to shine.
Now is the time, Beloved, to let those true colors show. Let your faith determine your actions. Shed those habits that were never yours to hold and allow the beauty of God’s Kingdom to shine through you.