Saturday, October 29, 2016

What happens when we feel "out of control?"

Typically, when we feel out of control, we take control.  We need to feel like everything is safely within our grasp and arranged in perfect order.  This need will be more pressing for those who are fearful or already have a need for strict perimeters in their lives.

I've been observing the presidential campaign these past couple of months--and just life in general.  I've been struck by how divisive things have become so quickly--especially on social media. I think it's because we all feel out of control.  Things aren't normal or the way they used to be.  So we've grabbed the remote control of life and have determined to change channels.  Some have gotten loud, angry, and demanding with their opinions because they've determined the way things should be and everyone is not cooperating to get life back to that familiar place--or to a completely new place.  They feel like they have the answers and want everyone to agree with them.  The problem is...everyone has a different opinion about the way things should be!   Even Christians!!  We all resist being controlled.  We hate being told what to do.  So when someone is shouting at us to tell us what to do or what to believe, we resist them and their message.  But we all still put our opinions out there in hopes of compelling people to conform to us.

I had to stop this week and ask God, "Am I totally off course?  Because things sure feel off balance!"  And I had to remind myself of the basics of life...of the Christian life, that is.
  1. Press in to God and follow Him.  
  2. Hear His voice.  
  3. Read the Word. 
  4. Pursue Truth. 
  5. Be still and know that He is GOD!  
  6. Trust Him.  
  7. Submit to the Holy Spirit.  
  8. Remember God's good plan.
God has an ultimate plan for this world.  Things are going to happen which are completely out of our control.  But we have a choice in how to respond to those things.  The safest place to be when our world turns upside down is nuzzled in right next to the Good Shepherd.  His ways are right and perfect.  He's watching over His sheep day and night, safely guarding and calming them.  We need to press in to Him.  We won't have to convince anyone of anything--except to draw near to this Good Shepherd and hear His voice.  He can be trusted to lead us in the paths of righteousness.  And for all those sheep still out of control, going their own way?  Pursue them in love and bring them back to the Good Shepherd who is Truth.  No wonder Jesus prayed, (in John 17)  asking that we would be one as He was one with the Father.  Unity is a sweet thing.  It's coming in agreement with God which brings harmony between us, His sheep.

"If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another."  Galatians 5:25-26

"Brothers and sisters, if someone you know loses his way and rebels against God, pursue him in love and bring him back to the truth."  James 5:19

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