Tag Archives: control

Placed by God

People are positioned by God. We don’t always understand what God is doing with the placement of some people; however, everyone is “placed there by God.” He is the authority and He is the One who allows authority of some over others. As a result, we are expected to “submit to governing authorities.”

God has a great plan. We have seen a lot of great leaders in our lifetime, and a lot of not-so-great leaders. But our faithfulness in God does not rest on these people. We trust Him no matter who is in authority and no matter what is happening around us. Because of our trust in Him, we are able to accept who He allows to be in control of our workplace, our school, our church, our home, our city, our state, and our country. All authority comes from God. Accepting the leadership is accepting who He allowed.

Today, embrace who God has placed in authority. Aim to support your leaders, trusting in God’s plan. You never know how God will use the leader for His glory.

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” – Romans 13:1 [NLT]

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Let Peace Rule

The word rule means absolute power or control over something. In this world, we can allow many things to rule over us. No matter what is said, something rules you. I know some people ruled by anger while others are ruled by pleasure. Some are ruled by anxiety and worry. Others are ruled by doubt or emotions. The list goes on and on. Whatever rules you controls your actions and your attitude.

I have seen many people being depressed, get fired from jobs, or have a huge fight with their spouse because they were ruled by something like fear or anger. Paul speaks of being content in all circumstances. That is not possible when we allow the world to have power over us. The Bible tells us to let the peace from Christ rule. Wow! The peace of Christ. How differently is life when the peace of Christ rules!?!

When the peace of Christ rules, it doesn’t matter our circumstances, we are content. When the peace of Christ rules, doubt is replaced with confidence. When the peace of Christ rules, security and trust reign over past fears and struggles. When the peace of Christ rules, you surely can have the peace beyond understanding. It’s a real thing. It’s a possible thing. It can be yours. The key word in this passage is “let.” Let the peace from Christ rule. How? Surrender. Be intentional. Allow it. Speak it. Breathe it. Own it.

“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].” – Colossians 3:15 [AMP]

Responder

God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. God has done the work. We respond. It is very simple but we often trivialize it. If your relationship with God is based on works, then it is not the relationship God intended for His children.

As I said before, you cannot earn your way into heaven. Today’s passage speaks of getting in step with God. How do we do this? “By letting Him set the pace.” We cannot run the parade but so often we try. Notice the verse says “anxiously trying.” We only try and then fail because we never were in control and we will never be in control.

Letting Him set the pace is difficult. Being a responder is a challenge. It means we must humbly obey. It means we must wait patiently. It means we must walk in faith. Like Abraham who believed God, so must we. Like Moses who walked in the Wilderness for years, so must we follow the path set forth for us. I pray that if you haven’t already done so, that you get your life in step with God. Let Him set the pace for the parade.

“So where does that leave our proud Jewish insider claims and counterclaims? Canceled? Yes, canceled. What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.” – Romans 3:27-28 [MSG]

The Can Kicker

One day a fellow lost his keys. He retraced his steps and could not locate the lost keys. He looked everywhere. He asked everyone. No one had found the keys. He was worried and later the worry turned to anger. The keys had to be somewhere. Why can’t they be found?

The gentleman was so angry that he went outside and began to pound on the trash receptacle. He kicked it again and again. He started to tear into the trash can and caused a huge scene. Someone had to step forward and tell him to calm down and leave.

What an impression the fellow left!?! Now whenever I see him I can only think of the actions he took while in a fit of rage. I cannot help but remember the scene outside. It is so easy to let anger control you. It is so easy to be quick to get angry. But as James wrote, it “does not produce the righteousness God desires.” And it always leaves a bad impression that certainly does not give God the glory He rightfully deserves. Today, be slow to speak. Don’t allow anger to control you. Give it to God and be quick to listen.

“And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” – Ephesians 4:26 [NLT]

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” – James 1:19-20 [NLT]

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Unless Your Faith is Firm

In today’s verse, God says, “Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” The Message puts it this way: “If you don’t take your stand in faith, you won’t have a leg to stand on.”

There was a great threat to David’s kingdom and they began to worry. Verse 2 says, “So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm” (NLT).They were fearful but God told the people to calm down and stop worrying. Why? Because nothing was going to become of this threat.

God cannot make us stand firm. Our faith needs to be firm. He has promised us many things, but if we don’t trust in His promises – if we don’t trust His Word, then it does us no good. We have a choice. We can believe. We can trust. We can walk in faith. Or we can worry. We can shake like trees in the wind. He cannot make us stand firm, but he has shown us time and time again that He is faithful, He is loving, and He is in control.

“Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm” – Isaiah 7:9b [NLT]

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Making God Act

In 1 Samuel 4, the people were just defeated in battle. They retreated back to camp and could not understand why the Lord allowed their defeat. Since they did not get the result they desired, the elders of Israel suggested that the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord be carried into battle with the Israelites. The thought was with the Presence of God being with the Ark of the Covenant, they could not lose the battle. He would HAVE to save them then.

The elders of Israel would have done better to consider why the battle was lost instead of attempting to figure out a way to win. Why did the Lord let them lose? There had to be a reason. But instead of looking for a reason, instead of asking the Lord for guidance, the Israelites decided it would work best to use the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to help them win the battle. They took something holy and attempted to control God. The Ark held the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and a jar of manna. The Ark was used to communicate with God. They used it as a lucky rabbit’s foot rather than treating it as holy. Their actions surely make it clear that their previous loss was likely justified. They wanted to win, no matter what. Their eyes were off of God.

The Ark of the Covenant would end up getting captured and causing some chaos to other people. Eli the priest, his sons, and his daughter-in-law all would die as well—each death connected to this unwise decision. Oh, and the battle was lost—the Israelites were taught a lesson first hand: you cannot control God.

“After the battle was over, the troops retreated to their camp, and the elders of Israel asked, ‘Why did the LORD allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?’  Then they said, ‘Let’s bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies.’” – 1 Samuel 4:3 [NLT]

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God the Co-Pilot

As I was taking my evening walk, I noticed a collection of license plates including some vanity plates showcased on an old barn. One of the plates said, “God is my co-pilot.” I do not like that phrase. I believe if you consider God a co-pilot, then you have misinterpreted things.

A co-pilot is a second pilot of a plane, a relief pilot to take over if the pilot needs assistance. If the pilot is around, he or she is in charge. If that is how you see God, then to you He is simply there for when you mess up or need help. If you see God as your co-pilot, He helps you steer through life when you give Him the controls.

God should be in the pilot position, in charge of the plane – your life. See we are not even co-pilots—we are the plane. God directs us where to go and we should go. The problem is we want to be the pilot, who lets God do some things when we aren’t so interested, or we want to be the co-pilot, jumping in when we think God’s plan won’t be what we really want. Only when you fully submit to God and allow Him to direct your path, will you find true happiness and peace in life. Today, look at your life. Decide. Are you trying to be the: Pilot? Co-pilot? Or are you the plane, allowing God to bring you to new heights?

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” – Psalm 37:5-6

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That Kind of Thinking

As I have been reading Job, I am gleaning so much from the suffering and continuing speeches between Job and his friends. In Job 21, he says that he “will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking” (v. 16 NLT). Those words certainly peak my interest. Are there times in our lives when we should say that we will have nothing to do with a particular kind of thinking?

Job was suffering from the loss of his family, his land and possessions, and his health. He lost so much and yet he understood the importance of not letting particular things get into his head and cause him to be pulled into another area. We are to focus on what is pure, what is true, what is right—and so there are times when we would put our hands up and say we will have nothing to do with a particular kind of thinking.

If you accept a type of thinking, it will blossom and it will continue to spread and be more difficult to remove. Job reminds us how we must be mindful of our thoughts as well as our attitudes. In keeping ourselves from considering particular types of thinking, we will keep ourselves from walking readily into a bad situation and planting trouble. If there is something that pulls you from God or could possibly be against what God has commanded, tell that something that you “will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking” and move onward. God has so much more for you!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 [NIV]

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Distrust

Abraham believed Abimelech was not to be trusted so he lied and said Sarah was his sister instead of his wife. God saved Abimelech from getting himself into trouble; however, and Abimelech ended up giving Abraham land, money, and livestock. Then Abraham prayed for Abimelech and the people were healed from infertility that had occurred from this situation.

It was one thing to distrust Abimelech, but distrust of a person should never lead to a distrust of God. Abraham was promised great blessings from God. He was promised blessing, land, and descendants. But when this situation arose, Abraham’s distrust of Abimelech caused Abraham to react in a way that doesn’t give God the chance to act in His way.

We can distrust others, but faith in God and His plan should still be intact. We don’t always understand situations, but we can trust that God is working through each situation.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5 [NIV]

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React with Love

1011901_10151996510803776_43729406_nToday when I was walking my dog, he was charged by another dog. I was prepared for the situation; however, because the same dog owner allowed this to happen weeks ago. Last time, he had let his Golden Retriever run loose and the dog came and snapped at my dog. This time, he left his German Shepherd loose, and although there was no snapping, I was not a happy camper at the second episode of negligence.

In life we will meet a person who will do something that irritates us, that hurts us or something that is wrong. We will throw our hands in the air (or sometimes our fists) and demand change. We will get angry. We will say words (sometimes words that are not positive, life speaking words). We will be frustrated by these people who do not do what we want them to do; however, we cannot expect them to change and act as we wish. Nor can we expect someone to follow the commands of God.

I was mad at this man today. He has proven twice that he cannot handle his dogs. The first time I was upset. I was injured. My dog was frightened. It was not a good situation. This second time, though prepared for it, was just as bad. Even so, some people will not change. We can only control our reactions to a situation—not someone else.  It is how you react to any given situation that says something about you. I know I do not always react as I should, but I also know that over the years, the Holy Spirit has helped me to react better to each given situation. Don’t let situations and circumstances control you. React with love.

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14 [NLT]