Submission: the alternative to control issues

Jun 27, 2011

I have control issues.

I have a plan of how I think things should go and how people should behave.

My children need to behave so I look good. They need a nap because I need a break. My husband needs to handle the children the way I do because I know what’s best. We need to leave the house “right now”!

How I think things should go. How I think people should behave.

 What happens when things go wrong? What happens when people don’t cooperate with my plan? What if the boys start fighting in the middle of a restaurant? What if my plans fall to pieces?

 Anger, anxiety, frustration, unhappiness…

 But I continue to try to control. to plan. to manipulate.

 When I claimed to be a follower of Christ, I chose to live a life in submission to God’s calling.

 It’s God who is in control. His plan. His will.

Jesus was the ultimate example of true humility. He was completely God-centered. Yes, Jesus is God but He also yielded His will to His father. “He took the place of entire subordination, and gave God the honor and the glory due to Him” (Andrew Murray).

“I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38)

“I have not come on my own; but he sent me.” (John 8:42)

“I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” (John 8:28)

God’s will was for Jesus to die on the cross to take away the sins of the world to re-establish communion with God.  Death on a cross was the plan Jesus had to submit to.

The Ultimate Sacrifice.

Jesus had power. He could have come up with His own plan…A solution that didn’t involve His death. But He didn’t. He trusted His father to be all-knowing. He trusted His father to be good. He trusted the plan.

“He was nothing that God might be all. He resigned Himself with His will and His powers entirely for the Father to work in Him…He lost nothing by giving all to God.  God honored His trust, and did all for him, and then exalted Him to His own right hand in glory…the being and doing nothing of ourselves, that God may be all.” (Andrew Murray)

 In the process of humbling myself, of “relentlessly replacing ‘me’ with ‘He’, am I willing to follow Jesus’ example…to be nothing…to resign myself to God’s will…to be and do nothing of myself?

 My two options:

1) The self-centered, proud, controlling approach which leads to anxiety, anger, and bitterness.

2) The God-centered, humble, submission approach which leads to honor, eternal exaltation, and God’s glory.

“Acknowledge your need for Me! Cast your cares upon Me (1 Peter 5:7), and I will transform you. For though I’m opposed to your pride, I’ll give grace to you when you humble yourself, and I’ll make you care free—not responsibility free, but care free.  You’ll be free from care.  You’ll instead be characterized by joy and peace.” (C.J. Mahaney)

 Choose today. Begin your day in submission to His will for your day. It may not match your plan but you can rest and be free to know that it’s His plan. He is a good God. He loves you. He makes this promise…

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

photo credit: nancy snowflake


  1. S Cathy Price

    Really great entry. Like your mother, you were unfortunately trained to be in control. Employers may love it–God hates it. Pride is ugly. Submission to the will and way of our Lord is not easily learned.

  2. Janel

    Thanks, Heather. Good to hear after a stressful 4 day trip to Yellowstone with the family:)

  3. christina

    hum, me? control issues?
    i struggle with this daily. i am trying really hard to let makenna keep her room in the arrangement it is in right now. i now only ask her every other day if she is ready for change 🙂

  4. Kathryn

    I love to be in control..especially when it is my life we are talking about. I was actually focused on this today. God brought it to my attention and then closed my day with your post. Amazing how he works. Let go of control, have faith that he alone can provide for us, answer us, deliver us from all things. Pray, pray, pray and then listen….I am not the controller of my life. Love you Heather. I loved this post.

  5. Cass

    Amen. BTW, are we twins?? lol. This is a great reminder… control is not a Godly trait… and that’s one it will take me a while to “GET”. Thanks for the reminder!!! 🙂


    Cass @ Unplug Your Family


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