This devotional was originally published on Feb. 8, 2012.
The other day, my 3-year-old son, Cade, told me, “You no tell me what to do!” Of course, I changed his mind quickly, but it caused me to think of how often I say this to God. I may not use poor grammar in my communication, but I tell him with my actions. This is a constant battle for me. I always want to be in control.
I think about the times as a kid that I would get so angry at my parents for not letting me do something or for making me do something. (Most of the time it was cleaning my room.) I wanted to be in charge, because then everything would go my way. As an adult, I am glad my parents didn’t let me always get my way. My anger was rooted in my selfishness.
Now that I have a 3-year-old, I realize how ridiculous I was to my parents, and I assume that my son will only get worse as he gets older, but can you imagine how ridiculous it is for us to do the same thing to God? We often get upset with God for not answering our prayers the way we want, because we assume we know what is best for us. Who are we to tell God what to do?
This ability to try to play God isn’t just in our speech, it can also be in our actions. We ignore the way he has called us to live, or maybe we just choose to do things we want because we know we are covered by his grace. Either way, it is still ridiculous to think we know more than God, or that we could do a better job.
Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
— Proverbs 3:5
This is a verse that I have to cling to daily. It reminds me that God’s way is better. And this is something we have to trust. If I put my trust in him for my salvation, I have to be willing to let him lead.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
— 1 John 2:15–17
I have to remind myself daily that God’s way is better and my desires that aren’t in him will pass away. It’s hard to let go of something like control. But, like my son thinking he was in charge, when were we ever actually in charge? God is God.