The Idolatry of Control
There’s only one God -- and it’s not you!
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
We might not think of Control as an idol. Yet anything that we come to value more than God, is an idol. And as humans, we love to feel like we are in control of our own life, our destiny.
We believe we have control over our health, our job, our finances, and our relationships. However, that’s not the case. There is only one Sovereign, one Master of the Universe, and it is God, not us.
Here are just three important things that we cannot control ourselves, but God does:
1. How long we will live
We can take care of our bodies with proper diet and exercise. We’re told that this will allow us a long, healthy and full life.
But how long will we really live? That’s up to God. There are no guarantees no matter how hard we try.
Psalm 139:16 puts it plainly: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
An accident or attack can end our life at any moment regardless of how careful and healthy we are.
Because of this, we can’t trust ourselves with our lives. Rather, we must put our trust in God, for He has each moment planned.
2. Our Success
There are countless articles here on the internet that explain how to gain success from business, schooling, and changing your mindset. But, does that mean that success is guaranteed if only we just work hard? Not necessarily.
“Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:13-14
Just think... sometimes a business opportunity promises success. Though you might make a lot of money, you could also lose all of it. Or as this verse says, you might not even be alive tomorrow! (Also see Luke 12:16-21.)
3. Other People’s Decisions
Just as we believe we can control our own success, we believe we can control other people’s decisions and opinions. But, can we really?
“As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises” (Psalm 55:20).
Even if we are loving and kind, those closest to us can disappoint or even betray us. Marriages, can result in infidelity, friends can break promise, and children often go astray, even when we parent them the best we know how. Other people are simply not under our control.
So, what does this all mean? Should we stop trying to care for our bodies, stop trying to make plans, or to stop building good relationships? No, the Bible tells us that these are all important (1 Corinthians 6:19; Luke 14:29).
It does mean that we seek God’s will above our own, and remember every day that His plans are the ones that will never fail! The more we submit to His will and His plans, the more we will experience His peace and joy — even when things don’t turn out the way we planned.
Pray this week:
Lord, forgive me for thinking I am in control of my destiny. Thank You that my life is in your entirely capable hands. Help me seek first Your Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and trust you with my life.
Does this make sense? Want to discuss it with someone? We’re waiting to hear from you today.