Today’s blog is the first in a three-part series about control.
This installment is a condensed version of what I like to call one of the Godcentric Principles of Spirit-filled Leadership. It’s about controlling the things within your control.
“Control the Controllables” is a phrase we use all the time at Southwestern Advantage and something I take to heart. For many who read this blog not associated with Southwestern Advantage, you may not be familiar with this phrase. This may be new to you. It’s basically a fundamentally sound concept in which you focus on controlling what you can, rather than pouring your energy in trying to control the things you can not.
Think about all the time wasted trying to control things you just have no power over. Things like when your favorite TV show is interrupted for weather alerts, or Baskin Robbins is out of your favorite ice cream therefore only having 30 flavors that day, or like the times you have to get your oil changed so the annoying dash light can be reset. While those are silly examples you have no control over, but can be frustrating, you never had control of the situation in the first place.
In a spiritual context, God allows us to choose, but ultimately, He is always in control. A verse in Proverbs pretty much sums that up:
We may throw the dice,
but the Lord determines how they fall.
– Proverbs 16:33
This is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible! Proverbs 16:33 is all about control. But really, we could also say it’s about lack of control. Okay, it’s both. When I read this verse, I always come to the same realization: “Who’s in control?…It ain’t me.” No matter how much I think I am or want to be, the Lord always has a way of putting me in my place and setting me on a straighter, narrower path. And I’m okay with that. I accept it. God is, and always will be, in control. I know this because I have experienced this first-hand time and time again.
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
– Ephesians 1:11
I believe God is the Creator of all. Since He created everything, He controls everything. For all the things on this earth we are unable to control, we would be better not to waste our time with futile efforts of defiance.
Good leaders concentrate on the things they can control and influence. Good Spirit-filled leaders concentrate on letting God control things out of their control and influence.
By accepting the things God controls and not worrying about it, there is a greater allocation of attention to other things deserving of greater attention such as acts of service, leading, and loving others. Our little human minds have a hard time comprehending this because the devil fuels us with a need to be in control.
It’s okay to want to control the situation, but you have to equally be able to lose control of it (or give it away) when the time comes in order to let God do His thing.
So let God control the uncontrollables in your life. Focus on this Psalm if you have trouble letting God sit in the driver’s seat:
Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
– Psalm 131:1-2
Remember, control the things in your control. If you try to control the things out of your control, failure is imminent.