Kingdom Principle: The King’s in control is to be our confession.
Our desire for control constrains God’s desire for transformation.
|Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18||Psalm 27||Philippians 3:17-4:1||Luke 13:31-35|
If the King is in control, then there is no such thing as should of, would of, or could of… The power of the “should”, “would”, and “could” will prevent you from discovering what shall be done in the will of the Father, as we live into all that can be possible.
There are two ways to avoid the should’s, would’s and could’s in life– 1. Be driven enough to get it right the first time, this also means working on something until it can’t be improved. This is the pursuit of perfection. –or- 2. Release your expectations and embrace the forgiveness that God is willing to redeem your life, conforming your will unto His.
In the first option you end up with some form/degree of OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) or you end up in a child-ish state (as opposed to child-like faith) where you find yourself without hope of maturity resulting in your emotions being in control of you. With the second option where God is in control – should’s become shall, would’s become will, and could’s becomes can. Re-read the texts and look for the “will” and directive measures that are taken by David, Abraham, Paul, and Jesus.
What does Spiritual OCD look like? First let’s have a agreed upon based of clinical OCD.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine – The World’s Largest Medical Library defines Obsessive-compulsive disorder known as OCD an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief. If there person does not perform the obsessive rituals, great anxiety is raised. While there are several theories about the cause of OCD, none have been confirmed. Currently there is no known prevention for this disorder. Therefore – from a medical standpoint – they can’t tell you where it comes from or how to get rid of it – but they can tell you that living with OCD will cause major disruption and duress in your everyday life.
Spiritual OCD can come in two extremes – the one is known as legalism, where with a spiritual motivation a person controls their world (as an honor to God) in order to perform religious acts. (A physical disorder that has these traits is Anorexia Nervosa.) This is an OVER or FOR posture in connection with the book “With. The other extreme of Spiritual OCD reveals itself where life is lived in absence of control, here a person relinquished control yet fails to submit that God is in control therefore their life is filled with chaos and tumult. (A physical expression of this is Hoarding) Most commonly from an UNDER posture, but it could be FROM as well. (the connections of medical terms is just to give a physical picture and the book connection are all mine)
Only Christ can remove the chaos in your life, in Him we begin to confront it by removing the should of, would of, could of’s in your life – this is to live as a Kingdom Servant – knowing what you shall do, when you will do it and how you can do it in His strength.
Rather than releasing the control of our lives unto God we are often drawn to admire a believer who’s life seems in total control? (this is obedience vs. submission) While this can look like the absence of Chaos and Tumult – so can the order and perfection of someone with OCD – which is far from living in the peace and comfort of God’s control. Spiritual OCN is played out when we seek to control our lives to the extent that our reputation is at stake if we can’t maintain the illusions of control. Either everything is in the LORD Jesus Christ’s control or its not…. If it is not in his control, then the result will be our control, which will result in Chaos and Tumult. The apostle Paul describes this state in this way: their god is there stomach (temptation 1 deals with the body), their glory is in their shame (temptation 2 deals with the soul), their destiny is destruction (temptation 3 deals with their spirit). See last week’s post for a Biblical overview of this pattern.
I have stated that not praying can actually bring about more change than praying – because in praying we continue to move forward in God’s will, but in not praying we deviate from God’s will and enter in to wilderness experiences where while we can discover God’s will, through pain and discomfort we experience the change more clearly. It’s like watching the grass grow – you don’t see it change, but if you stop watering it, while it stays green for a number of days/weeks but in one day it will go from green to brown. Prayer is our watering hole of the Holy Spirit…
We more than Conquerors in Christ Jesus –this means we have no need to be in control…. I must confess that a few weeks ago two people on Sunday in our worship fellowship made a simultaneous comment to me that has stuck with me. This morning was as I was moving them all into groups to interact in a time of sharing… while this is not unusal, two people both commented to me as I directed the groups as they moved – “Why so many rules today?” I confess in my flesh, I felt like replying – “I wouldn’t need so many rules if everyone could just listen to me” But I know that wasn’t true – the reason for the rules was that I wanted to ensure the outcome that I wanted…. And I wanted to be in control. So thank you BB and NB for helping me see my need for God to reveal his will for me again… I have often suffered from Spiritual OCD.
This week count the times you use the words, should, would or could. Then move in the direction of letting God be in control of those areas.
If you want to read more…..
Jesus moved and had his being in the power of the Holy Spirit, yet he was warned by the Pharisees in Luke 13 that Herod wanted to kill him. I believe this to be a true warning and not a trick by the Pharisees, but there is a catch. If Jesus is to heed their warning, he empowers them based on their perceived control of the situation. In a sense it is to live in a state of what could have happened. How much greater is the control of the Spirit when someone declares – I had no idea how valuable my insight or assistance can be and if you asked me to repeat it or do it again – I can try, but only as God wills! This is where the glory of the Lord is given unto him rather than to our own shame.
When we encounter trials and tribulations that are beyond our control, we are to count it pure joy (James 1:2-12). For in such a test – God longs to conform our mind unto His to know his will. (Romans 12:1-3) David clearly presents this process in Psalm 27. It begins and ends in relationship with the LORD, waiting in his great shelter and in the middle shows us the process of being taught the way of the LORD. When we take things into our own control we break the relational covenant with God… Being in relationship is to trust God with the control factor. Many have mistaken the Law to be the control factor. But the Law was not given that we would remain in control of our lives or have religion to provide that control, rather the Law was giving to demonstrate just how far our lives fall out of control when we don’t rely on the promises of God to be in control. (Gal. 3:19) It is for this reason that Abraham found righteousness apart from the Law, by faith, trusting in the promise of God to provide. Yet, Abraham was not perfect and took matters into his own hands, at the encouragement of his wife, Sarai. – They willfully chose to enter a wilderness of over 13 years by bringing forth the promise of God by their own means and control (that Abraham would have an heir of his own flesh and blood).
As I write this my 93 year old grandfather is in the hospital (just out of ICU) with double pneumonia. I have a walked with a number of believers in there latter years who have struggled greatly to release the control of their lives into the hands of their Savior. They have known him and prayed to him all their lives, but they have retained control over many of the areas of their lives. In their journey on this earth there is an eerie consistency I have found – there is often a medical battle of health related events that slowly teach them to release the control of their lives. This wilderness as we have been looking at in lent is much the same. As we come “face-to-face” with our Savior (for this is the place of transformation) it is in His loving kindness that he removes the reigns from our hands so that he can lead us into the presence of the Father.