In the natural, nobody likes to feel out of control. Nobody likes to encounter circumstances that affect their lives, and which are beyond their control, especially circumstances that are negative for them. We seem to have a pretty strong desire to “manage” the circumstances of our lives so that they will go the way we want them to go. Of course, we believe that the way WE want them to go is the right way, even though we may be mistaken.
People make carefully laid plans, taking great pains to cover every detail, so that the plans will work out “just right”. When one of these plans begins to unravel, great effort is made to correct the problem. The author of the plan gets stressed because his plan isn’t working, and all the more so when it becomes apparent that the plan has fallen through. His peace is stolen, and he is “in the flesh”, and not “in the Spirit”. "In the flesh" means that the remnant of our carnal self has risen up and wants to have its way, no matter what the Holy Spirit is saying (see Galatians 2:16-24). When he is in the flesh, his responses to people around him while the plan is failing are not particularly Christ-like. He has acted out the assumption that "he has to make the plan work”. He has stepped outside of his circle of faith in God. While in his “circle of faith”, two days earlier, he would have said that he was happy to have God take care of the events in his life. But, here, he was put to the test, when things didn’t go according to his plan, and he found it impossible to really trust that God cared, and that He would be involved in this situation.
At the moment that something began to go wrong with his plan, he began to “have a care” (see I Peter 5:7). In this passage, God invites us to turn our cares over to him. He wants to be invited into the cares of our lives, so He can take care of them. What is a care? It is anything that is out of our control and also negative for us. If we had something that was negative for us, but was in our control, so that we could fix it, we would just fix it--like discovering that the phone is off the hook. It was in our control, so that we could fix it. It is no longer a care. If it was out of our control, but not negative for us, like the color of the barn in Nova Scotia, then it is not a care for us. But, if something is out of our control and also negative for us, we will want to fix it. However, since it is out of our control, we can't fix it, and that leaves us stressed, perhaps worried, perhaps filled with anxiety. We have a care.
Let’s say we begin to take seriously the I Peter 5:7 passage, and decide to give God a particular care (it is a care because we can’t fix it). He may point out to us that this time He is not going to let us give Him a care that has strings attached to it, like almost all the others we have given Him. In the past, we have attached strings because we wanted to be able to pull it back into our own hands if it looked like He wasn’t going to fix our care the way we wanted it to be fixed, or if it appeared that He wasn't going to take care of our care according to the timetable that we had established for its fixing.
This approach to letting God take care of our cares indicates that we think that we know best how to take care of our cares, better than He does. This shows that we have a “gap in our faith”. We trust Him up to a point. We may trust Him with our eternal destiny, our salvation, but have a real problem trusting Him with the circumstances of our daily lives. “Thanks, God, for causing the sun to come up, but I need to take care of this little problem.” We want to run our own daily lives. Of course, this doesn’t work when our problem is out of our control. We become frustrated by our inability to fix the problem, and we are simply left in our stress. We are left devoid of the peace of Christ. We are left in the flesh, where we operate out of our own wisdom and strength instead of God's, and we are in real danger of making decisions, or saying or doing things that we later regret. We do not want to live this way. How can we get free from this problem?
God has made clear to me that we have all taken control of our lives into our own hands, at an early age, usually between the ages of 4 and 8. We came to believe (even subconsciously) that our needs were not being met to our satisfaction, especially in terms of our sense of emotional safety and security. We entered into a pact with our flesh, in which we determined that we will be in control, to try to ensure our emotional well-being and safety. Since it is the will of God that He be in control of our lives, we have sinned. We have sown to our own flesh. This resulted in consequences, according to the spiritual principle of sowing and reaping. We have reaped a consequence of corruption (see Galatians 6:7,8). The reaping comes in two parts.
The first part of the reaping is that at the very moment of the decision to take control, a signal begins to play in the heart that says: “I must be in control; I must be in control; I must be in control”. This signal plays once every second for the rest of our lives, unless we take action to be released from it. The signal is louder for some than for others.
The second part of the reaping comes when we get older, in middle school and on into our adult lives. We find out that we CANNOT control the circumstances of our lives in the way we had hoped as a child. Most of life is truly beyond our ability to control. We cannot fix the “cares” of our life, those things that are out of our control and negative for us. This produces stress, and then we have lost the peace of Christ. So, the second part of the corruption is “the deprivation of the peace of Christ”. We don’t want this, because it leaves us in the flesh, and likely to do “fleshy” things. When we meet up with a stressful situation (negative for us and out of our control), we want to respond in the Spirit, so that God is glorified, people around us are blessed, and we are blessed by being able to sense the Holy Spirit's leading as we find God's solution to the care. How can we get there?
God’s answer to this problem is a relatively simply one, but which involves a significant step of trust. We turn ALL control of EVERYTHING over to Him. If we have given Him control of the outcome of absolutely everything in our lives, then we have no reason to be stressed. Some haven’t ever considered this, and the idea can be a little scary. Others have recognized their problem with control, and have asked God to help them with it. Unfortunately, they are still wanting to control, and don’t know how to get free of this struggle. The good news is that God has revealed a kind of ministry that enables a person to get release from this problem. He wants us to work with another person, who will lead us through a solemn ceremony in which we give up everything to Him. God has designed the ceremony, and it has been used successfully to release hundreds from this bondage.
The ceremony goes like this:
1.Confess that you took control of your life into your own hands, and that it was a sin
2.Repent of that sin
Renounce that old ungodly decision to take control
Declare your hatred for this way of living
Renounce the devil’s torment in your life, in Jesus’ Name.
3.Ask God to forgive you for taking control
4.Receive His forgiveness with thanksgiving in your heart
5.Release total control into His hands
1.Ask God to help you put a picture of His big hands into your
2. mind’s eye, so you can see them.
3.Then, you place into those big hands of God every person who has ever or is now able to tweak your emotions and cause you stress.
4.Then release them to God. Then, place symbols for every “thing” that causes you stress, or is capable of causing you stress into His hands, and release them, too.
At the end of this ceremony, if a person does it deeply and sincerely, God will have taken the “once per second signal” out of your heart, and filled you with His profound peace, in a way that you can live in, every day of your life.
The key difference in the way a person lives his life after going through the ceremony is that he learns to discern what it is that he CAN do in situations--the part that God has equipped and called him to do, his part—and do that, but then leave the final result of all situations to God. We simply cannot arrange perfection in the completion of our plans. We can do our part, and then we WANT to leave the rest to God, because if we try to MAKE it all come out OUR way, we will probably mess it up.
One may logically ask, “Does this mean that I just sit on a stool and let God earn my living for me? or raise my kids for me? No. God does expect us to use the talents, abilities, intelligence and training He has given us, diligently and under the guidance of His Holy Spirit. He still wants us to trust Him to bring about the conclusions in our life’s affairs that HE wants. He does know best.
To turn all of one’s life over into the hands of someone he has never seen would be madness, and without real intellectual integrity, according to the world’s way of thinking. However, it would not be madness if one could come to some important conclusions about the One he could not see, before he released everything. We know we are talking about God. We need to hear from Him, in some way, an affirmative answer to the following questions.
Ask God, in prayer:
1.Are You really in control of Your universe?
2.Do You really love me?
3.Will You take care of me?
When we get God’s wonderful “yes” answers to these questions we are then able to release control of all of our lives into the hands of God with complete intellectual integrity. We don’t have to have a “burning bush experience”, like Moses, in hearing God on these questions. The idea is simply to hear from God in the normal way you usually do. Most people simply receive an “impression” from God in their spirit, which God then feeds into our understanding. Drink into your soul that assurance that He is in control.....that nothing happens that is out of His control. Even when something happens that doesn't seem right to you, here is where we must relax and declare inside of ourselves, "I don't understand, but I trust that God knows what He is doing. He never makes a mistake".
Drink into your soul that truth that He loves and cherishes you. He loves you as a perfect Father....not as the earthly fathers that you have seen and that have disappointed you. When He is almighty and in control, and He loves you, He will exercise His control on your behalf. Now, you can rest in the knowledge that He will take care of you. You can ask Him to remove the very heavy yoke of self-protection and the need to be in control, and replace it with His yoke, which is easy, because you can live your life totally released into His wonderful care (see Matthew 11:28-30).