Psalms: 31 & 35
OT: Deut. 7:12-16
NT: Titus 2:1-15
Gospel: John 1:35-42
If you’re like me, you love to be in control. As a first born son, I was put in charge by my parents often. I was supposed to be the responsible child and watch over my younger brothers. At first, it didn’t seem fair. As time went on I fell in love with being in control.
The problem with loving control is that life is messy. Just the other day I was trying to clean our ice maker. I read through the directions a couple of times and discovered that it was a very easy process. I followed the directions to the letter and it didn’t work. The machine just beeped at me and asked for me to give it cleaner. I had already filled the machine with the required cleaner and water. Yet, it just beeped. I had lost control of the situation and then lost control of my emotions (my wife would say that included my mind).
I will never forget sitting in my pastor’s office and talking about the Holy Spirit. He was talking about the necessity for the Christian to submit to the leading of the Spirit and to not seek to quench the Spirit’s work within them. This would require obedience. His admonition sounded a bit like this stanza of Psalm 31:
For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. (Psalm 31:3-5, ESV)
He challenged me to commit my spirit into the hands of God. He asked me why I was hesitant. It struck me, I didn’t want to lose control. I did not want to relinquish control of my life to God. I wanted to hold on tight. I wanted to be the captain of my destiny.
At least, I thought I did.
I was scared to let go of the control over my life. The thing is, if I held on to control then it necessarily meant that I was rejecting his refuge, leading, and guidance in my life. In a stormy world I was willing to forgo the fortress for the sake of my own control.
That final line in the stanza grabs me, “Into your I hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed, O LORD, faithful God.” Jesus quotes the first part of this line from the cross. He gave over control of his life. Though he was God, gave it over, knowing that as he did there would be redemption, for God is faithful. The resurrection is evidence of the faithfulness of God and the redemption of all things.
The same power that brought about the resurrection lives in us. We have the proof of the resurrection. Will we commit our spirit and trust in his leading, guidance, protection, redemption, and faithfulness?
Losing control is different than giving control over to the faithful God. Will you give over control? Perhaps this Lenten season God is calling you to commit your spirit to him?