Most days when Erika and I get into our car together we have a battle for control… control of the heating. Without fail every time we are in the car I will set the control to how I like it and within 2 minutes I will see out the corner of my eye Erika adjusting the temperature – this battle can go on for the whole car journey or until one of us gives in. Why is it as people we love being in control?
We live in a ‘ME’ dominated society and are encouraged to live our lives with us as no1. We can go after money, the career, a new car, the biggest house, the latest technology, doing whatever it takes for you to get to the top of the pile. You are the master of your own destiny and there is nothing as satisfying as being in control of your own life, making decisions to benefit you and make yourself feel good. Yes, you could share your life with partners, spouses, friends and family, but you don’t relinquish control because the only person you can truly rely on is yourself.
To many being master of your life is natural, after all who wouldn’t want these things especially if by being in control you can make these things happen and you can be happy?
But do these things really make us happy, does being in control of our lives, making the decisions, looking out only for our own needs bring the satisfaction and fulfilment we all crave? From my experience I would say NO, being in control of my own life is not always what it’s cracked up to be.
If I am honest, there are times in my life when I have wanted to take control and become master , I may make the odd right decision, it may be pleasant to think of myself above everyone and everything else, but it doesn’t make me happy or fulfilled and I end up making a total mess of it. In fact the more I think about myself and my own selfish desires the more unhappy I become.
Jesus calls us to take a different stance to society. Instead of being all about self he wants us to submit to his authority and give total control over to him so he can become the master of our lives. Let’s be honest it’s not always easy to give control of our lives over to God is it?
How many times have we convinced ourselves we know better than God? How often have we given into temptation and our desires to please self? How often have we been tempted to trample over people to get what we want? It’s not always easy to allow God to be master.
We must realise we are in a battle every day, the battle between our fleshly nature and our spiritual nature. Our fleshly nature desires for us to live with the ‘ME’ attitude saying “what can I get ” and squeeze God out of our lives, but our spiritual nature wants to become more like Christ.
Every day we will face the temptation to put our own desires above Christ’s desires for our lives, but with the added distraction of the devil, who will do everything he can to encourage you to live for your ‘ME’ attitude, it can be a difficult task to stay on track.
Paul talks about the battle we face when he says in Romans 7v15 – “I
My fleshly nature and my spiritual nature our in constant conflict with each other, they can’t live together, it’s impossible to have two masters, only one person can be in control, something has to give. Either you choose to live for self or you choose to live for Christ… We can’t have one foot in each camp.
As Revelation 3v 6 says “I know your deeds that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were either one or the other. So because you are lukewarm, neither hot or cold I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” and none of us want that.
Throughout life we will always face the battle between us wanting control and allowing God to be in control of our lives. I know who I would rather choose… the creator of the world, who knows me better than I know myself, who has only got good things for me.
We must make the choice on a daily basis to die to self and to take up the challenge that John the Baptist spoke of in John 3v30 – “He must become greater I must become less”
Why? Because when I allow God total control of my Iife, everything else comes together, I become more like Christ and my relationship with him gives me the fulfilment I deeply desire.
Who is the master of your life? – Choose Jesus…. Choose life!