Remote control, cruise control, video controllers, weight control… Most people enjoy being in control or “thinking” they are in control because things turn out the way they want when they’re in control–pain, displeasure & unhappiness can therefore be avoided—Well, we know that’s not always the case.
The reality is that in life there are things we can control and things we cannot. It’s a wise person who understands the difference because the more accurately we think about something, the healthier our lives will be and sadly the opposite will ring true as well.
So really what in this life can we control?
If you’re a parent you can try and protect your children by feeding them the right food, placing them in the proper schools, and making sure they get their regular checkups… but a deadly disease or a freak accident can still occur. Your children will also (most likely) not always make the smartest choices in life.
If you’re a responsible citizen and work hard and pay your bills and taxes on time there is still a chance that you can have your identity stolen or be a victim of an economic collapse (like in 2008) where you can lose money that you’ve saved for years in your 401K. And, oh yea, let’s not forget about natural disasters–tornadoes, floods, fires and the list goes on.
In this life there really are no guarantees.
God was the perfect parent and provided his children with the perfect environment, blessing them with access to everything in this paradise with the exception of partaking from one of the trees. He also allowed them this ‘little’ thing called ‘free will’ (the ability to make their own choices). God warned them if they ate of the forbidden tree they would die (Gen. 2:15-17). Sadly they chose to listen to ‘the deceiver’ rather than obeying what God had said and so sin & death came into the world for all mankind (Genesis 3). Thankfully God provided another way for those who receive what God has done through Christ. Believers do have absolute assurance of redemption & eternity with Him in the heavenly places (Jn. 3:16; Eph. 1:3-13, 2:1-9).
So really what in this life can we control?
The things we have control of: Our own thoughts, choices and actions.
The things we don’t have control of: Everyone and everything else (although we do have control over how we react to everyone & everything else).
We can be responsible and take appropriate ownership of what is ours to be in charge of and do whatever needs to be done. We can also influence others by our own words and actions.
The following are some helpful tips from God’s Word to be mindful of. When practiced they will simplify your life and help equip you for ‘Cage Free’ living:
- ACCEPT what is (what you don’t have any control over) and LAY ASIDE every weight & the sin which so easily & persistently troubles & afflicts you–the deceitful lusts & desires of the deceiver (Heb. 12:1-2, Eph. 4:22).
- DON’T BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD & TAKE ON or get caught up in the philosophy & empty deceit according to the tradition and doctrines of men and the basic principles of the world instead of Christ. These things have the ‘appearance’ only of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility…but don’t really help guard against sin–these are the things that ensnare and take you captive to do the devil’s will instead of God’s (Rom. 12:2, Col. 2:18-23, 2 Tim. 2:26, 2 Cor. 4:4).
- RELEASE what was (forget those things which are behind) (Phil. 3:13).
- CAST DOWN anything that tries to rise above the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5).
There are some burdens that we are called to bear and so for those we need to remember to allow God to be our strength unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness (Col. 1:11, Phil. 4:13, Neh. 8:10, Matt. 11:30, 2 Cor. 4:17).
- HANG ON & HOLD FAST to the Head which is Christ (in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; & you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power) where there is nourishment and growth (Col. 1:8-10, 2:19).
- TRANSFORM & RENEW YOUR MIND so you’re in tune with what God’s good, acceptable and perfect will is (Rom. 12:23, Eph. 4:23-24, 1 Cor. 2:10-16). This will give you the peace of God and guard your heart & mind through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).
- GO FORTH and run with patience the race set before you, holding on to the Head, Jesus, the Author & Finisher of your faith (Heb. 12:-2). Reach forth to those things which are in front of you and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14). God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).
CHOOSE TO BE FREE! If the Son sets you free you are free indeed! (John 8:36)