We are a people who desire control; we love it. All the way through the scriptures there are people trying to control their God. People built towers in an attempt to reach the heavens and to bring a god down and use the deity for their purposes. In the book of Exodus we see that those who came out of the land of Egypt were really used to their gods. When Moses was gone they built a golden calf, which in Egypt is what the gods flew down from heaven on. The calf wasn’t necessarily an idol but a tool to bring God down to the people. It was an instrument built to control God. In our humanity we have had a taste of how good it feels to be in control when the first humans took that fruit that was so forbidden. Some control others, some control gadgets, some people’s lives are out of control and so they control one thing that is damaging or destructive so they can feel in control.
Being in control of your life is a good thing. The scriptures call us to self-control but there is an element of faith where we need to relinquish the need to be in control so that we can allow the uncontrollable God to transform our lives.
One of the earliest concepts of the Hebrew God is that he is a God who is uncontrollable. He is a God that can’t be manipulated or deceived. He is literally a God that controls himself; he is the self-created one. As opposed to gods in other regions that you could control, Yahweh was a God that was so mysterious and He has a name that is so mysterious it is even hard to define. In other religious systems you could do a fertility ritual and the gods would grant you children. You could sacrifice and the gods would give you a plentiful harvest, literally you could manipulate the god.
So the central call of Christianity is to invite a God that is uncontrollable into a life that we desperately want to control. It is no wonder that people come to know Jesus in a powerful moment of church then quickly run away. Surrender is difficult. As you grow deeper in faith, you find that God desperately wants to guide and direct while we also desperately want to guide and direct our own lives.
Today would you take a second and do what Jesus taught?
May you allow the uncontrollable God to control your life today.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.