Devotions

Are You Trusting or Controlling?

August 11, 2021
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (CSB)
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As much as we try, we can’t control everything that happens to us or around us. We can’t control the decisions others make that deeply affect us.

Even if we’ve walked with Christ for years, we can still find ourselves in a place we never dreamed. A place we never intended to be. It’s like we can get caught up in a current and drift without even realizing it.

If you’ve ever felt this way, I have good news for you. You are not a failure for feeling like you do. And you don’t have to figure out all by yourself how to get out of the place you drifted. God is eager to help you. He’s always wanting to get you from where you are to where you need to be — no matter how far you’ve drifted.

One of the biggest ways I know I’m about to drift is when I want to take control of something. It’s like my own personal litmus test. Of course, we never think we’re trying to control until we can’t control the very thing we want to control.

It shows up in my life when I depend too much on people acting in predictable ways, on things being done a certain way and on everything being in its place. Without meaning to, I can become obsessed with schedules and plans and wanting everyone to be working a plan.

After years of doing the hard work of learning to trust God through every unknown, I have come to understand that some of my controlling tendencies have their origin in coping mechanisms, ones I developed because of my background of trauma. Still, God invites me to trust Him.

Do you tend to start controlling when instead you should be trusting God? It can creep into our lives in so many subtle ways. For example, caring too much about what people think of us can be a sign of control. As much as we’d like to, we can’t control what people think of us, and yet we still try.

Another way we can start controlling is when we shift our trust from God to leaning into our own abilities, talents or gifts. God has generously graced each one of us with attributes to serve Him and to serve others, but so often we put our trust in those attributes and then expect the kind of results that only God can give.

Our key verse, Proverbs 3:5-6, says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Control can be so sneaky. How many times have we found ourselves disappointed, disillusioned or heartbroken because something didn’t turn out the way we expected? All because we thought, on some level, that we could control every aspect of a project or a dream, as well as the outcome.

No doubt, there are times when we have to give up what we imagine something should look like and trade it for God’s bigger picture — to trust that, while we might know a certain direction is God’s will, how all the details play out is really up to Him.

I have found that we can be working on a team, doing our best to work together as a team, and still be trying to control — whether that be in our friendships, our parenting or our marriage. No matter which of our relationships we try to control, it never works. What we have to accept is that everyone will disappoint us eventually, especially if we’re expecting from them what only God can give us. We need to let everyone off the hook.

I’ve said many times to my husband, but primarily so I can hear it for myself: “You are not God.” It’s not an insult but a reminder that no one can give us what only God can give us.

At some point, we have to surrender our attempts to control everything and everyone, and we have to learn how to place all our trust in God. I’m so grateful God never gives up on us … no matter how many times we take matters into our own hands.

Heavenly Father, please help me trust You more than I want to control anyone and anything in my world. Thank You that You are always eager to help me get from where I am to where You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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For more on the ways we can stop drifting and draw closer to God, pick up a copy of Christine Caine’s latest book, How Did I Get Here? You can find it here.

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For more from Christine Caine, including her daily inspiration delivered to your inbox, visit ChristineCaine.com. You can listen to her podcast, Equip & Empower With Christine Caine; watch her TV program on TBN, Equip & Empower; or visit her YouTube channel. Find her on Facebook and Instagram @ChristineCaine.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of How Did I Get Here? by Christine Caine. To celebrate this book, Christine’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, August 16, 2021.}

FOR DEEPER STUDY

Isaiah 26:3,“You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you.” (CSB)

In what ways do you start controlling when you know you should be trusting God? How can you surrender control to God today? Share with us in the comments!

© 2021 by Christine Caine. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Thomas Nelson Publishers and Nelson Books, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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