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Relinquishing Control

Relinquishing Control

When you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep — read Scripture. Distinguish between God’s voice and the voice of fear.

Worry takes a look at catastrophes and groans, “It’s all coming unraveled.”

God says,

Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. — Romans 8:28 MSG

Worry claims, “The world has gone crazy.”

God’s Word disagrees:

[Jesus has] done it all and done it well. — Mark 7:37 MSG

Worry wonders if anyone is in control.

God’s Word calls God “the blessed controller of all things” (1 Timothy 6:15 Phillips).

Worry whispers this lie: “God doesn’t know what I need.”

God’s Word declares,

God will take care of everything you need. — Philippians 4:19 MSG

Worry never sleeps.

God’s children do.

The formula is simple: perceived control creates calm. Lack of control gives birth to fear. Anxiety increases as perceived control diminishes.

So what do we do?

Control everything? Never board a plane without a parachute. Never enter a restaurant without bringing your own clean silverware. Never leave the house without a gas mask. Never give away your heart for fear of a broken one. Some people face anxiety by taking control.

If only we could.

Yet, certainty is a cruel imposter. A person can accumulate millions of dollars and still lose it in a recession. A health fanatic can eat only nuts and veggies and still battle cancer. A hermit can avoid all human contact and still struggle with insomnia. We want certainty, but the only certainty is the lack thereof.

That’s why the most stressed-out people are control freaks. They fail at the quest they most pursue. We can’t take control because control is not ours to take.

The Bible has a better idea. Rather than seeking total control, relinquish it. You can’t run the world, but you can entrust it to God.

God’s Words on Conquering Control

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
— Philippians 2:3 NIV

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like Him in his death.
— Philippians 3:10 NIV

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 3:14 NIV

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
— Philippians 4:13 NIV

*Excerpted with permission from Trade Your Cares for Calm by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.

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Your Turn

What it would look like for you to relinquish control of your present circumstances to God? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!