Who’s In Control?

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.

Proverbs 21:31 (NIV)

Control. It’s probably one of the most significant spiritual strongholds evil has used to deal out destruction and mayhem in America, including in our churches and our families. We think we need control. We think we have control. We think we can control. And therein lies the snare.

The truth is, control is and always has been an illusion. God is in control, and he suffers no rivals. True, we can influence some minor outcomes in our lives through our decisions. But let’s not fall into the folly of believing that we control those outcomes. As soon as we start thinking we can control, it’s almost impossible to not try to gain control. Struggles for power and control are often brutal, trust-breaking, relationship-straining, and deeply saddening. They can also be violent, abusive, and dangerous.

The moment we begin to grasp for control is the moment we reveal a lack of trust in God; and the moment in which we start to lose our peace, our confidence, our security, our joy, and our freedom. There is no exultation in playing God. There is only anxiety, fear, insecurity, pride, and despair.

As I read this verse, the Lord reminded me to trust in him. He is sovereign. He is good. He is wise. He’s never failed me, and never will. He’s saved my bacon more times than I can count–and those are just the times I know about! Slow down, fix my eyes on Jesus, breathe, and let go. That’s my prayer for this week.

It’s Not About the Nail

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25, NIV)

Do you ever have anxiety? Who doesn’t?!? Chances are there is something worrying you right now, and if there isn’t (praise God!), there probably will be before too long. I have several things keeping me awake at night, ranging from family concerns to decisions that need to be made at the church, and everything in between. As silly as it sounds, one of my biggest sources of anxiety is managing my calendar! Because of my introverted, creative-thinking, absent-minded personality, I easily get so focused on one thing I entirely forget something else I need to do… unless it’s on my calendar. So, making sure it gets on my calendar is something I worry about.

When I see someone else struggling with anxiety, my default response is usually, “Let me help you fix that.” But sometimes that’s not really what they need. As the husband in the video below discovers, sometimes people don’t need a solution–they need a kind word. It’s so much easier sometimes to brainstorm ideas to fix the problem than it is to listen, relate, and say something encouraging. God challenged me with this verse in Proverbs to do less fixing and show more kindness with my words.

My prayer for the week is that you will find an opportunity to cheer someone’s heart through a kind word.


I hope you enjoy this funny little video that reminds us that sometimes we just need to listen and encourage.