Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Less Than Everything Under Control

It is good to take account of what's happening in one's heart. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the things of life that we lose sight of what's going on inside of us. We focus on externals and forget internals. Yet God tells us it's from inside of us that life proceeds.

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
- Proverbs 4:23

One of the issues I've struggled with for years is control. I confess. I am a control freak. I have been since I was a child. For one, I'm the oldest of three siblings. Bossy girl. For another, my dad is a control freak. His way ruled growing up. Just as he had to pack the car for road trips (and you'd better not get in his way), I too have to pack for trips (because, after all, there's less likely to be a hassle or a mess along the way if I do it). Oh! And don't get in my way, either. Unless you want to be blinded by my glare. Lastly, if I'm in control, then I'm the only one who can screw it up. And I'm great at admitting my own faults, so I don't have to worry about whether or not someone else will take the blame for their mistake.

Yes, I am the most freakiest of control freaks ever.

Which is why I cringed when I got to these sentences in Mary DeMuth's book, Everything. "Could it be that we are guilty of flawless Christian performances? That we've taken up ownership and control of our relationship with Jesus?" (p. 77)

I'm sure you could hear me gasp clear out in California. She pegged it. I'd have to say it's been probably three years since I sat down with God and did a serious weighing of my heart. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2) Sure, I've prayed, fasted, read my Bible, sought the Lord and His will. I certainly haven't neglected our relationship. But I've also become that Christian performer, controlling the relationship. If I'm honest with myself. Truly honest.

Which makes me feel, well, less than. It's humbling to come to a realization that I've been reading less than what God would have me read. I've been praying less than I should be. I've been focusing on Him less than I've focused on outward things. I've done less than I could do for my husband and my kids. I've been less than compassionate. I've been less than zealous. I've been less than humble. Less than.

But Jesus is more so. So much more. Jesus is Everything. And it's time to make Him Everything in my life once again. It's time for me to relinquish control and allow God to take me on a journey down unfamiliar roads. My heart longs for a new adventure. One only God can lead me on. One I need to follow Him on, rather than lead another.

Have you ever been in a place like this? One where you suddenly discovered such a truth about yourself and an even bigger one about the Lord? How did it make you feel? What did you decide you needed most? 

Graphic courtesy of


  1. I absolutely love your honesty!

  2. "Flawless Christian performances" - goodness have I seen some of those! And sadly, I've staged plenty of my own. Thanks for the encouragement to close the show and be real. I'm right there with you - less than.

  3. "One I need to follow Him on, rather than lead another." Yep, I've been there. Last year was completely based on that idea. What you said makes me wonder, though: what if He could harness that control nature to USE it for His everything? Like breathe His life into it?

    1. Laurie,
      I've actually prayed that exact desire over my son, that God would use his aggressiveness for His everything and breath His life into it, rather than allow my son to use it for his own purposes (which usually aren't great).
      I hope He'll use my weak areas to lead others into His truths.

  4. Jesus is everything. So simple, but we so easily miss this truth. We get caught up in our busy lives.

    Although at this point in life, my family is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. My dear, dear father-in-law is headed towards heaven. With peace in his soul. He is so thankful for each day he's here and for all God has done. We will surely miss him, but he's focused on what's important in life. It's God and others.

    And I certainly have been living life intentionally with my in-laws. Intentionally supporting and helping any way I can. I don't want to have any regrets when he slips into the presence of God. By His grace, I'm learning to listen to what God says is important.

    Thanks for sharing Alycia! We do need to stop and ponder our relationship with God. And make sure we're not in control.

    1. Mary, That's so great that your father-in-law is focused on what is important in life. It's always great to reflect on life when we face death. It brings us to a place where we recognize what has true value, heavenly value, and what doesn't. Hang in there, my dear friend! You're doing great! There's always life after death when we submit ourselves to God and His will for our lives. :)
      Love you!


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