I have a confession to make. I’m a control freak. It’s not always evident and it doesn’t affect everything that I do. I have learned to temper it some for sanity’s sake. Experience has taught me that there are some things I just can’t do anything about, and there are some people that I’m just not going to change. So I have learned to back off or, maybe it’s just a passive/aggressive response, who knows?
Anyway, I have found that the problem with being a control freak is that it makes it very difficult to follow the biblical mandate of living “by faith.” (Romans 1:17) As Erwin McManus explains, “Somehow we’ve come to believe that faith removes ambiguity rather than calls us to live in it. The church tends to live by ‘the faith’ more than it lives by faith. Many times what we want from God is not a mandate that requires our faith, but a guarantee that in reality, faith was never needed.”
I’m sorry to say that this statement describes me pretty accurately. I have made a priority out of “living by the faith,” but, like many throughout the history of God’s people, I have struggled with walking by faith through the difficult times in my life. I, like most of us I presume, long to see miracles of biblical proportions, but the minute a situation arises that only God can handle I start trying to figure out how I’m going to “fix it” myself. My Type A personality kicks in and I start strategizing. I develop timetables. I marshall resources. I make lists of personal and professional contacts that I have who might be able to help.
Some might be thinking, “What’s wrong with that? You are just using your leadership and administrative gifts that God has given to you.” God does expect us to use our talents wisely, generously, and proficiently. But we are also reminded in Scripture that, “The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory– for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.” (Psalm 33:16-18)