Who Are We Fighting For Control?

Aug 6, 2011, Written by Sue Miley

I know that control is an illusion.  Somewhere, somehow we thought we had control over our life and some of the circumstances in it.

The older I get, the more I realize, that is a myth.

In the end, only God is in control, right?

Who Are We Fighting for Control

Then why do we keep struggling for the control?  If God is the one we are fighting, we just need to give it up.

But no matter how much I understand this intellectually, something in my subconscious forgets.  And like the stupid human I can be, my control meter kicks in.

My Control Switch Clicks On

A past example would be if my business is slow, or I lose a big client, I will more than likely kick into control mode and start trying to hustle up business, start cutting personal expenses, try to figure out in the same day how to grow my business and cut all my expenses at once.  This makes no logical sense.  Yes, we should consistently look at our expenses and prune unnecessary expenses.  But no one grows a business by cutting expenses.

In these instances I will go into an action frenzy.  I will feel stress and anxiety.  And, in short order, will realize that nothing is changing and if this was God’s plan I wouldn’t be feeling so much anxiety.

Then I come back to earth and turn to God for the answers instead.  These types of situations happened regularly, and even though I recognize them and turn to God more quickly, I still go through the motions of trying to “fix it” myself most times.

The Red Flag

I am finally getting a little smarter and recognize pretty quickly that a high level of anxiety is the red flag that I am trying to fix this in my own strength.  Once I recognize it, I have developed a new approach to trying to give up the control and follow God.

A Better Plan

First, I bring the worry or concern to Jesus.  He tells us in Matthew 6:26-34 that we don’t need to worry, He will take care of our needs.  He actually even goes on to explain that our worry is a waste of time and energy and will only hurt us.

Second, I usually have to face my fear.  I journal to God and try to understand what it is I fear and confess it.  By writing in a journal, rather than just praying, I feel like I am able to more tangibly give my fear and worry to God.

Third, I stay close to Him in prayer all day….. sometimes it is just a floating “help me Lord”, in the middle of the day, that is uttered randomly.

Fourth, I do my part.  I don’t think giving up control means to do nothing and wait on God to just shower us with blessings.  We have to concede that His way may not be our desire, but it is probably what is best.  Sometimes we don’t recognize God working because it isn’t how we would have “fixed” the situation.  We nee to look at the situation, whatever it is, and think about what would be our logical steps.

If I want more business, it may be logical to check in on past clients, increase my blog posts or email newsletters, or do other things that would put my name into people’s awareness.

But, I can’t rule out that my slow business would be one of need.  That God knows I need to rest or write that new program I keep putting off.

So, I do my part.  And then I stay productive working on the things I can and need to do.

Fifth, I thank God.  I can thank Him in advance because I know He always comes through.  If I don’t think to do that, it is usually soon that I am thanking Him because His plan is unfolding and my needs are met.  Think about it.  Our needs are usually always met.  Hindsight is always easier to recognize it.  But if I look back I have so much evidence.

God works hand in hand with us, but I have to remember, who is really in control!

** Photo by Katie Miley

Reader Interactions


  1. Mike @GreaterSeas says

    Thanks for sharing this. I like the steps you outlined for dealing with control issues. One other thing I try and do is remove the dollar consequence out of a worry. When you remember that we are in a kingdom economy we can be confident that God will always provide. Separating money from the issue always seems to help, even if it is a big chunk of change that was poorly invested or lost.

    • S_Miley says

      I agree Mike! That issue was one of the first God had do deal with me on. Now it isn’t so much money as it is putting good stewardship as a performance factor. The you go into the concept that it is about faith not works, and I am back in the circular. I know the right answers….it’s a matter of losing my sub conscious once and for all!

  2. Jeremy Pope says

    It never ceases to amaze me the gift you have for putting into words the things I often struggle with yet quite figure out why. I know that feeling of anxiety very well. For some strange reason, I just have not equated that with control.

  3. S_Miley says

    Jeremy, with 35 of my years without God, I became an expert at control in my own strength. I spent the last 11 years trying to change my thinking and my habits. Praise God fir giving us an easier way!

  4. Loren Pinilis says

    This is a great reminder. I, too, struggle with this. It’s so easy to focus on trying to do things in my own power. I think one of the keys for me is to actually take your fourth step, faithfulness, and practice it constantly. If I’m truly doing my part at all times, then I can be content with where I’m at. It helps me realize that my current circumstances aren’t due to any wrongdoing on my part. Then, the rest seems to fall in place a lot easier. Great thoughts!

  5. S_Miley says

    Hey Loren, Even though I know it isn’t by works, but by faith, that we please Jesus, it is hard to not want to show Him we can handle it. It is just counter-intuitive. I just have to constantly remind myself that He wants total dependence! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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