And then there was CONTROL, a subject I was prompted to write on after I let my feelings about a situation steal a good portion of my day and just about all of my peace.
The funny part is as I opened up a document to write on the issue, my issue of control, I noticed this half written blog from a few months ago titled “Control, Submit and Resist. Interesting enough, it looks like God and I started to deal with this little issue in my life a few months back and then I got distracted and here I am, trucking back around the same mountain.
The unfinished blog from a few months ago starts here:
The past month has been what I like to call a hot mess. Maybe not so much on the outside, but on the inside, the inside of my brain.
Every once in a while, I will tend to have a mini meltdown. The problem is a few weeks ago I had like 7 complete meltdowns in a row.
I was basically over myself. Thankfully God was not over me, but I pretty much thought He was, it was the strangest thing. I am not normally THAT off balance. WHOA.
Then it was a health scare that kept my attention and shook my faith in God.
In the end, as usual I learned that God is simply in control and I either have to choose to believe that or not.
That was all I wrote, I didn’t get to a place that it was ready to post, I was mainly just putting my thoughts and feelings out on paper, wondering if anyone could relate.
Today I had a similar but slightly more subtle control issue. I was mad about all these things I couldn’t control but thought I should have a say in. It was completely illogical but seemed so very logical in my head as I heard the enemy whisper in my ear:
“Lindsay, that is ridiculous, you can’t stand for this, you must say something, do something, you can’t let this go on.”
After hours of agreeing with him, I finally let go and asked for help. I prayed even though I didn’t “feel” like it would be a lick of help.
Suddenly it was obvious to me; I was trying to control these external factors, that truthfully, I have NO control over. I wanted control, but in this circumstance, no one was asking me, so I had a choice to either bang my head against the wall (figuratively wishing I had control) OR I could submit my will to those God placed in front of me. Ultimately to Him. Which means resisting the lies of the enemy telling me I had a right to push my thoughts or feelings on others.
Can I take my thoughts and feelings to God? Absolutely and He is happy to listen and give me peace if I will allow Him. But I also heard God ask me if I TRUSTED HIM. In my head I was like “YEAH, totally”, but in my soul it was like I was saying “well, I am not so sure God, if things go my way, of course I trust you.” eeeeeeekkkkkkk
“Create in me a clean heart OH God and renew a right Spirit with in me!” Psalm 51:10
“Trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will make my path straight” Proverbs 3:5-6
In what areas of your life do you struggle relinquishing control to God? Do you trust Jesus with no parameters?
Why is it that worry strikes again? You have been there and done that, you have moved passed it into faith, into belief, you have prayed through it (my favorite prayer when I am worrying is: Lord, you say in your Word, do not be anxious for anything but in everything by prayer and petition present my requests to you and you will bring me peace in Christ Jesus, here are my requests Lord, I lay them at your cross, help me to let go. I can’t do it alone.)
SO I prayed that this morning about a situation, about my day in general as I have a lot on the schedule of my brain. I felt to sit down and pick up my Bible, so I did. I read for a while, it was awesome, I remembered how powerful the Word of God is, even though I forget just about daily and tend to read my devotionals, my scripture cards, facebook, instragram and twitter before I will reach for my big old Bible. Why is that? I think the enemy knows how powerful it really is, so he whispers in our ear “Oh Lindsay, you have read that book before, there isn’t anything new in there, it’s so old what does it really have to offer”
NOW, I know in my head this is SO not true, BUT I think it seeps through my head into my soul and I kindly agree without even thinking.
The same thing happens to me with prayer. I know prayer is powerful, I tend to be one who believes that prayer is more powerful than anything else we could do on earth. But there are those days and more than I care to admit that I think prayer is pointless. In a similar way, I hear these thoughts come through my head that I do hope are not my own saying “Lindsay, God knows what you need and what you want, you don’t have to pray so much, God knows you are tired Lindsay, a quick prayer is ok” and here is the thing, I know there is grace, I have zero doubt about that, but I also know that the enemy lies and wants to water down the power God gives us, the ability to really draw near to God.
As with all things, take it back to God and ask Him for yourself, these are just my wonderings.
My struggle was getting something done for someone who was in desperate need, it was consuming my thoughts, I was trying to figure it out. This morning I felt convicted to pray and give it over to God, not try to control or “figure it out” but Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and trust that ALL things (including wisdom and knowledge I assume) will be added unto me.
At 2:00 a.m. the phone rang. I jumped up and answered it.
“Hello,” I said in my sleepy voice.
“Lindsay, Jesus is real; I found evidence!”
I suddenly sat up. It was Dave, a dear friend of mine from back in my “before Jesus” days.
“Lindsay, I am serious; Jesus is real,” he exclaimed.
I thought to myself, “I know, and I can’t believe you know!”
Before I was a Christian, Dave and I had lived similar lives—what one might call crazy, with one self destructive, self-inflicted disaster after another.
However, this particular night, Dave began to share his “findings.” He was convinced of the reality of Jesus. I stared out the window in pure amazement and total shock of God.
Two hours later, Dave asked me to help him know Jesus like I did.
The truth was, I had no idea how to “make that happen.” I mean, I have often heard people say things like,“I led him to Christ,”but in this moment, all I could think was, how? How do I tell a 36-year-old, very intellectual man to “ask Jesus into his heart?”Let’s be honest, it kind of sounds absurd.
In the moment, my heart was racing; I grabbed my computer and frantically typed “Sinner’s Prayer” into Google.I tried to act normal, but then Dave said, “Lindsay, will you pray for me?” I looked up to God and mouthed the words “help me,” then I started to pray, asking God to further reveal Himself to Dave.
Did I chicken out; did I screw up? I didn’t pray the “Sinner’s Prayer.”
My story of coming to know Jesus was a journey that really started unfolding when I was 29. I had always thought of Jesus as a really nice character in a fairytale, like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I mean, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are really marvelous, and the truth of the matter was, I thought the same thing about Jesus.He was marvelous, but he was indeed made up.
So I was shocked, as one Sunday morning I sat in the back of a mega church in Atlanta, listening to a pastor talk about our faith being built on a person who lived 2,000 years ago in history. I suddenly thought, “Jesus was real?”
I had no idea.
A year after I had prayed for David, he called again, asking why Jesus mattered so much. While he had found historical evidence of this truth, he still struggled to understand the connection between the Christian faith and Jesus.
The conversation ended up in a similar place as it did a year earlier. How do I explain that a prayer gets you into heaven? It sounds crazy. I knew it was more than a prayer, but I was having trouble “explaining it.”
The next night, Dave called me again. He was crying rather hard. He was telling me a story about when he realized God had indeed saved his life. But still, something was missing. After three hours on the phone, I had explained God, Jesus, and salvation in every way I knew how. I was literally on my knees at times begging God to speak through me. I was at a loss.
I felt stupid bringing up “the prayer” again even though I knew it had significance. I was having trouble with the explanation on why it mattered myself.He wasn’t buying it, and honestly, I wasn’t sure I was either.
I had now spent 10 hours on the phone with my friend over 3 days, telling him all I knew about the Bible. At one point I started to weep, realizing God taught me this for me but also for the exact moment I found myself in, sharing it with Dave. I was overwhelmed by God’s providence.
It wasn’t until I came across this section of scripture in the Message version of the Bible that I realized something.
But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. (Roman 8:9-11 MSG)
It was this passage of scripture God used to remind me that until Dave had the Holy Spirit in him, he would not fully understand what I was trying to tell him, and that was the significance of the prayer, of praying to receive the Lord into his life.
That evening, I was listening to a podcast where at the end the teacher gave a simple prayer (yes, it was a verison of the sinner’s prayer). I got out my phone, and I texted it to Dave saying, “I thought I would give you this prayer to pray.” The next morning I received a text back from Dave saying, “I said just that in a sincere manner and feel like I am giving orders to our pal, Jesus.”
I then said, “I know it feels dumb and insignificant, but it is an admission of belief. It is the beginning of your walk with Jesus. The rest of your life is a journey with Him.”
I wanted it to be obvious. I wanted to say, “I led my friend, Dave, to the Lord,” but it took 3 years and a lot of divine appointments for me to finally come to more of a true understanding of my salvation. I believe that for my friend as well!
God’s ways and God’s timing are perfect, and I know God is working!
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