Who’s in Control?

I saw this quote on IN OTHER WORDS and decided that I wanted to write about it. Unfortunately, somehow I was a day behind. I won’t link it to IN OTHER WORDS, but I think it is still worth posting. I will, however, provide the link in case the concept interests you. There you can read what other people, those who knew what day it was, wrote about this quote.  As for me, I’ll try again next week. Hopefully, I’ll get the right day.

“Satan’s ultimate lie is that you are capable of being the god of your own life, and his ultimate bondage is getting you to live as though his lie is truth.”
~ Neil Anderson ~

Remember when you were a teenager? I remember. And since I work with teens, I see a lot of my mistakes repeated. That’s comforting, in a way. To know that I wasn’t the only kid who was stupid sometimes. But sometimes it breaks my heart to see such mistakes repeated over and over again.

Teenagers are carrying on the rebellion that started when they were two. Problem is, they are a whole lot closer to being on their own. Their first jobs. Their first cars. Their first boy or girlfriends. They are giddy with the idea that they are finally going to be adults. That they will control their own worlds. What a lot they have to learn! And the thing is, they have to learn by experience.

So did I. I had some of the same problems that they do. Doesn’t every teen? I was insecure about my appearance. I wanted to belong. And I thought that adults had done a rather poor job of running the world. I was sure that I could do better.

So what did I do? Just like the kids, I created my own world. I still do. Now I just laugh and tell my husband what I am thinking like it’s a story: “Well, in Beckyworld, where things work just the way I want them to…” When I was younger, though, I didn’t know enough to do that. To laugh at myself, I mean. And I still don’t know to do it right away.

When I was twenty-ish, I read a story about a young woman who was dating a man her parents didn’t approve of, and she decided to marry him and still live at home. She just wouldn’t tell her parents about it. I was dating a man who did not meet my parents’ expectations, and I thought her solution would work for me. You know. I would still live at home. I would soften my parents up, and then they would understand and be accepting of my husband. The I would tell them that I was married.That’s not exactly the way things turned out, though. And in the process of trying to get what I wanted, I caused myself, my husband, my parents, my whole family really, a whole lot of heartache. I believe the heartache happened because my young adult years were a time in my life when I thought I was in control. Fortunately, I am blessed with Christian parents, and once they found out about my marriage, they accepted my husband as a son. God is so good!

I like to think I am smarter now, but I still look back on those times as some of the most momentous learning of my life. I learned that my deception, which happened because I wanted something my way, put distance between me and those I loved. I learned that I hurt people that I loved a LOT, and I learned how much they loved me because they did not throw what I had done back at me. And in my parents’ case, I mean they NEVER threw it back at me, although I know my actions disappointed them.

Although I was a Christian at that time, I certainly wasn’t living as one, and I know that was a victory for Satan. What kind of a witness were my actions? In hiding my marriage, I really wasn’t being loving toward my husband. And I have a younger sister. What kind of example did I set for her, not to mention the others who found out what I had done?

I also wasn’t a parent at that time, so I really had no idea how I disappointed my parents. I saw my actions, I guess, as my right to have my own life, and while I think that sometimes as an adult you do have to take a stand to do that, you had better beware of how you do it. I could deceive my earthly parents. But I couldn’t deceive God although, just like Cain after he killed Abel, I hid and thought that I could.

As I grow older I have, I hope, a better understanding of God as my Father and how He must have felt as he watched me try to get my own way. Because my husband and I have children, I know how we felt when we watched our children stumble. We felt sad. We felt disappointed. We waited to help them as much as we could. And we came to realize, I more slowly than the hubby, that there were some things that we just couldn’t help with because they were adults. Their choices were their own. That free will thing. The hubby and I prayed for our children and we never stopped loving them. We tried to love them with our arms wide open. Only they can tell you if we succeeded.

I’m not going to tell you that I never try to be in control of my life anymore. You’d know better if I tried to tell you that, anyway. In fact, especially when it comes to the upcoming retirement, I have my own little Beckyworld scenario. And I want it, I really do. But I don’t want to live out of God’s will, and it is that desire which, most of the time anyway, directs my prayers. I remember, eventually anyway, what living out of God’s will is like. And besides, the way I see it, if my actions are under my control, then Satan has gotten what he really wanted, hasn’t he?

And I don’t want to live in bondage to him. I want to walk in the light.

I John 1:7

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.


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