When we surrender to God’s will, we stop trying to control others


When someone tries to control us

  • How many of you know someone who can be a control freak?
  • Unfortunately, some of you really have been hurt by people who tried to control you.
    • No mother-in-law sets out to exasperate their families.
    • No bride says “one day, I will drive you nuts with my manipulative tactics.”
    • No father of a newborn says “someday, I will exasperate you with my endless criticisms and demands.”
  • 1. How do we love those who want to control us?
  • 2. How do I not become them?
  • 3. Am I controlling God or is God controlling me?

When we try to control God

  • The Bible is a story all about God and his people. And yet, people in the Bible were making it all about them. But this is my struggle too. I hijack the story God’s still writing and make it all about me and how I want things to turn out.
  • Matthew 16:21-23
  • After Jesus very clearly explains that he must do the will of God in his life, and Peter unintentionally, trying to do what he thinks is right, literally tries to take control of Jesus, and is going try to distract him from what God wants for the life of Jesus.
  • What if Jesus had taken Peter’s direction??
  • Jesus recognizes here His old enemy in a new and even more dangerous form. For none are more formidable instruments of temptation than well-meaning friends, who care more for our comfort than for our character.

How to not be controlled by people

  • 1. How do we love those who want to control us?
    • Jesus knew what God’s purpose was for him
      • “I came to seek and save the lost.”
      • “I didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom…
    • Jesus realized when he was being controlled
      • Recognize when someone else is trying to push you into doing what they want and away from what God wants
      • The person being controlled is equally at fault for wrongly allowing it to happen. – How many of you would say that you battle with people pleasing?
  • 2. How do I not become them?
    • God never intended for us to carry around the burden of trying to control everything. (i. e. spouse)

How not to control God

  • 3. Am I trying to control God?
    • As you follow Jesus, you’ll find one consistent theme: surrender. Bible – opposite of control, surrendered to God and made their story all about him. It’s the same for us today
    • Matthew 16:24-27
    • The cross involves, “denying self (your own will) “taking up the cross” (accepting God’s will) and “following Jesus” (putting it into practice).
    • I must not force Jesus into my own understanding but must allow his presence in my life to transform me into his image.
    • Examine what we want in the light of what God wants for us.