Here is what I have recently discovered – when my life is out of control – I begin to control. I am controlling the LACK of control in my life. Some people would call that a part-time control freak.
Several years ago I had a spirit of Jezebel on me. I was truly a controlling person. I was set free from that ugly demon and found a greater sense of trust and peace. I no longer had to have my hands in everything around me – I could relinquish control. Once I went through deliverance I thought that was the end of it – no more rude comments, no more investigative questions, no more offering my opinion when no one asked – but I should have known better. Those demonic strongholds that we are set free from like to leave their fingerprints. If we don’t walk out our deliverance completely and throughly the stronghold returns. I had done all this for years – so why the problem? Fingerprints leave traces.
It took me hurting someone I love deeply to see those ugly fingerprints of control. My 22-year-old daughter has been living at home with us. We spend a lot of time together. In the last few weeks I have asserted my parental authority by offering my unsolicited opinion in several areas of her life. Now, because I am a believer I try to cover everything that I do in prayer. So when I would make these “suggestions” I really thought that I was doing “God’s will.” My daughter would express her hurt and I would question if I was wrong. I was becoming confused.
Then yesterday I did it again. I questioned my daughter about how much time she spends on the computer. I was going to “help her” with her time management. This time I truly felt I was in the right. Once again my daughter was deeply hurt. I had not yelled, berated or used a wrong tone of voice. It was the fact that is was just none of my business. My daughter is an adult. How much time she spends on the computer is none of my business. I was once again trying to control her through my suggestions.
Throughout the night I cried out to God. What is happening? Why do I keep doing this? Why am I sinning like this? Somewhere around 2 a.m. God showed me that our family has been under a tremendous amount of stress. Things have happened that have taken us by surprise. Because I feel lost and totally out of control I must control something to feel that I really do have control.
I heard my daughter stirring early this morning. It was still dark out. I came into the living room and sat next to her. With a broken heart I held her hand and asked her forgiveness. I truly was sorry for what I had done and I confessed my “habit” of controlling when life seems to be spiraling out of control. She graciously forgave me. I told her that I was praying that God help me to make me aware each time I am tempted to control and to break this horrible habit.
Parents particularly can nag their kids until it destroys the relationship. Nagging is another way to control. So often we can not control our children’s decisions, friends, life choices – so we snap at them, control them and nag them – when the real root of the problem is not them but us – we are no longer trusting God to take care of the situation so we step in and play God. In the mean time we hurt those we love. We become ugly, nasty control freaks. We lose our peace.
Wives and husbands can nag, intimidate, annoy and antagonize each other. So often the stress of life is taken out on each other. We think we are “changing them for the good” when all that we are doing is driving them crazy and driving them further from us emotionally. Remember, the root of this is the lack of control you are feeling in your life. Don’t take it out on your loved ones. There is nothing sadder to see than a spouse who has left his or her marriage because they just could not be accepted for who they are. We are not talking about blatant sin, that is completely different and needs to be addressed. We are talking about picking at a person for things that really don’t matter but you have chosen to make a big deal of it.
Dear Lord, I have sinned. I have not trusted you for answering prayer. My life seems out of control but I now acknowledge it is in your control. I ask that each time I am returning to the habit of controlling others you would show me what I am doing. Help me to break this bad habit. Help me to find something constructive I can pour my energy into when I feel my stress level is rising. Lord, I want to shower those around me with your Agape love, please teach me how. In Jesus name I pray. amen