<<manage, be in charge>>
The desire to control people and situations, but conversely not be controlled by them is a very basic human tendency and a sign of our rebellion against God.
This commanding influence can range from an oppressive restrictive control in which all freedom is taken from another to the beneficial initiative of a capable person taking the lead to provide direction in a situation. Power and authority can often be abused and corrupted to serve the controller’s own needs and ego, rather than being used to benefit those under them and for those to whom it should be directed. We are accountable to God for what we allow ourselves to be controlled by or under the dominance of. Our spirit (under the Holy Spirit’s control) is to be in charge of the mind (soul) which in turn controls the body.
There is a tension between our freewill and being under the authority or control of another. Our freedom of choice (freewill) is a God-given trait; we are answerable for what we decide to do or not do (Rom 14:12). In the Garden of Eden mankind exercised their freewill and choose not to obey God, opting not to come under His control. Yet there are always blessings when we obey and consequences when we disobey.
God – the overall manager
God is in control
Him…who sustains all things by His powerful Word” (Eph 1:11,20-22; Heb 1:3; 1 Pet 3:22).
Those opposed to God actually “Did what your power and will decided beforehand should happen” (Act 4:28). They were not ‘forced’ to take such steps but they chose this pathway, which was in line with the divine master plan. “The king’s hearts is in the hand of the Lord. He turns his thoughts wherever He wants” (Prov 21:1). In a similar way He is working all things out for our good and His glory as we submit to and obey Him (Rom 8:28). Christ is to be the governing person in our lives, so submit to His Lordship asking for His help to control our tongues (Ps 37:5,6; Prov 3:5,6; Gal 2:20; Jas 3:2-12).
Satan – the deceiver
Because Adam and Eve gave in to Satan’s temptation, he has been given limited legal power on earth for a time because “You are slaves to the one you obey…The whole world [coming] under the control of the evil one” (Rom 6:16; Eph 2:2; 1 Jn 5:19; 2 Pet 2:19). At the end of the world, Satan will be stripped of all this restricted power and subjected to the fires of eternal damnation (Rev 20:10).
We can ultimately have only one master or authority figure in our lives – the choice is ours (Mt 6:24). Make a wise choice and serve God joyfully and wholeheartedly (Josh 24:15). He is the one who created us, and has our long-term interests at heart by implementing the way of salvation (Rom 5:8). Doesn’t your heart rejoice you are vitally connected to this all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing person, who is our loving Saviour?
Godly self-control or sin’s control
Who is the control in my life? Either we choose to remain in control of our lives, (actually under the influence of the sinful flesh with its destructive habits and vices) or increasingly let the Lord control us. Christ redeemed us, so “We are not our own; we have been bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:19,20). We have a new master – Christ. It is our responsibility to obey Him. Satan continually tries to regain territory and seize control in our lives – tempting us to sin, which is turning our back on how God wants us to live. Paul says, “Count yourselves dead to sin [legally it has no control or power over you] but alive [submissive and responsive] to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires…For sin shall not be your master”. He then says offer your bodies to God’s service (Rom 6:6,11-14, 12:1). We are to be in control of our thoughts, emotions and actions (2 Cor 10:5).
not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you” (Rom 8:6-10). It is our responsibility to choose to be controlled by the Spirit, through our obedience;
Be in control because of self-control
otherwise, obviously by choosing to disobey and sin we are not being controlled by the Spirit, instead yielding to the flesh, which is influenced by Satan. Proper control starts with an attitude and grows, manifesting itself in action. Jesus gave some wise advice to those wanting to be in control, “If you want to be great you must be a servant. I came to serve...” (Mt 20:26-28).
Emotions control those who, when things don’t go the way they would like, unleashed their hurt feelings physically or verbally. Others manipulate with tears, tantrums, or mood swings stating ‘You don’t love me’. However the Bible states, “A wise man controls his temper, overlooking insults…Greater is the person who controls his spirit than he who captures a city” (Prov 14:29, 15:18, 16:32, 19:11). Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit in us (Gal 5:22).
Other controlling agents
We choose who is in control of us – God or Satan
dictating a prescribed response. When people are allegedly ‘out of control or lose control’, they are lacking self-control. Many people come under the control of others or things such as money, sport, sex, mind altering drugs or evil spiritual forces (Lk 8:29; 1 Tim 6:9; 2 Tim 3:1-5). In today’s self-centered society, many come under the dominant influence of their own selfish nature, not concerned about anyone else, only how events affect them. God said we are not to have any other gods in our lives, only Him (Ex 20:3).
God also works through delegated authorities (which exercise partial control over us, such as governments over citizens, parents over children, employers over workers during working hours). A pastor should not control, rather shepherd those in his spiritual care (1 Pet 5:3). Ongoing patterns of control and manipulation are damaging to a relationship, as they affect the other party’s freedom, dignity, worth, hope, psychological and spiritual health as the personality is crushed. When we submit to another’s control, we are giving them our allegiance so only in certain aspects of life, limited to specific actions and situations, should we allow others to exert control over us, and us over them, therefore have clearly defined boundaries. Our attitudes, morals and minds are not to be surrendered to another – a healthy guideline is ‘I’ll be your servant, but you will not be my master’. Work together in co-operation or partnership towards common goals without the overt stance of ‘I’m in charge, you are the slave, don’t question my decisions’.
The lender has control over the borrower (Prov 22:7). Today being in debt is considered normal yet there remains the obligation to repay what has been borrowed with the added burden of interest. The Bible’s states, “Repay all your debts except the debt of loving others – for we can never finish paying that” (Rom 13:8).
As the world heads towards the last days on earth as we know it, the control of the New World Order/World Economic Forum will increasingly get more restrictive affecting each area of life. This will be a harsh time for humanity yet the words of Jesus to us are, "Do not be afraid of those who can only kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell" (Mt 10:28). If we are His children, even though the journey to heaven may get a bit rough the destination is secure.