Who Is At The Controls?
By Rico Brown
July / August 2017
Bible examples abound of those who had self on life’s throne. Note the personal pronouns of a certain rich man in Luke 12:16-21. God called him a “fool” (Luke 12:20). Another rich man had the “me” philosophy and awoke in hell in complete torments (Luke 16:23). Self-will took Nebuchadnezzar from his throne (Daniel 4:30-37) and kept Moses from Canaan (Numbers 20:8-12). Felix trembled at the thought of giving control to Christ (Acts 24:25). The prodigal son is not the only young man who has let such thinking take him to a far country and into the pigpen of sin (cf. Luke 15).
The man who says he is in control of his life is mistaken. The devil allows him to think so, but serving self is sacrificing at Satan’s altar. There are no free men in sin’s death camp (Romans 6:17, 23). When we were young, our fathers may have allowed us to ‘drive’ while sitting in their laps. We felt like we were in control, but when the car veered from the road, our fathers quickly took over. Many are sitting in Satan’s lap, ‘steering’ their lives to a lake of fire. “Me” is not a safe guide for the course of life (Proverbs 14:12; Jeremiah 10:23)
Others allow public opinion to make their decisions. How many should make Saul’s confession? “I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandments of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” (1 Samuel 15:24) Adam gave in to Eve and let forbidden fruit get him into a jam (Genesis 3:16); Abraham feared Abimelech enough to tell “a little white lie” (Genesis 20:11); and Aaron made a golden calf at the request of public demand (Exodus 32:21-24). In the New Testament, Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, but he was too much of a people-pleasing politician to stand by his decision (Matthew 27) Many rulers believed on Jesus, but would not confess Him, “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43; cf. 5:44). We must strongly resist the pressure to conform to the world’s mold (Romans 12:1-2). Evil companions are bad for good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33), so we should stay away from them as much as possible (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Pitching tents toward Sodom has left behind the smoking ruins of many families (Genesis 13, 14, 19). Any who love the opinions of father, mother, wife children, brothers or sisters more than Christ, cannot be His disciple (Luke 14:26). Men are not a safe guideline for crossing the chasm that divides earth and eternity (Matthew 7:13-14).
A third choice is to allow Christ to rule over our lives. He stands today knocking at the door of every heart (Revelation 3:20), but He will never force His way in (cf. Luke 24:28-29). He has no draft for His army and one who comes to Jesus must renounce all, take up his cross and follow as closely as he can in the Master’s steps. The choice may be difficult, but is never regretted (2 Corinthians 7:10). His truth sets us free (John 8:32); His life is abundant (John 10:10); and His rule is not grievous (1 John 5:3). Joshua gave God his life (Joshua 24:15) and was never disappointed. Paul gave Christ his heart and never looked back (Acts 9, 2 Timothy 4:6-8; cf. Luke 9:62).
The truth is we must choose- me, men or the Messiah (Luke 16:13), so who is at your controls?