Are you overloaded, always busy, always trying to “catch up,” and constantly living for the weekend? If so, you’ve probably lost control of your life. Don’t mistake the prevalence of these symptoms in so many people’s lives as an indication that this is “normal.”
The problem with most people’s lives today is that their lives are too fast, too complex, out of control, and overloaded. And as a result, their potential impact for the Kingdom of God is underutilized. This is not God’s design for our lives. God wants us to surrender control of our lives to him, but how can we surrender control of that which we do not possess?
We need to first take back control of our lives from the circumstances, people, obligations and desires that seek to possess us. Below is a brief overview of 10 choices you can make to take back control of your life and give it to God.
1. Stop Climbing Up, And Start Down The Ladder To Success
To make real change in our lives, we need to first stop and change directions. So stop striving for the top and give humility a try. Throughout scripture we see paradoxical truths about how humility leads to greatness. I Peter 5:6 says “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time…”
2. Let God Be God
When and where in your life do you find time alone with God to ask him to speak into your life? You should be asking him how you could be a better leader, father, mother, friend, follower of Christ, etc.…but asking is only part of it. You also need to listen for God’s answer. So create time of silence and solitude so that you can hear His voice.
3. Don’t Barter With Love, Give It Away
Make love your gift and people your priority. Luke 6:35 says, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High.” Love is one of the only gifts that actually increases when you give it away with no expectation of something in return.
4. Serve Your Way To Success
Nurture a servant spirit in every part of your life. Jesus says to his disciples in Matthew 20:26, “…whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.” Notice, He didn’t say “whoever wishes to be nice, be a servant.” According to Christ, servant hood is not a sign of weakness; it is a way to greatness.
5. Chase A Better Dream
Dreams are essential to life. They are powerful. Howard Hendricks taught me, “When your memories are more exciting than your dreams, you have begun to die.” Always be setting new goals and capture God’s vision for your life.
6. Build A Life Team
Never tackle life alone; it was meant to be lived as a team. In Ecclesiastes, we learn that in life, two are better than one, and life is better with companions. This is why it is crucial to stay consistently linked with other people committed to Christ.
7. Play To Your Strengths
Stop trying to do everything. Romans 12:3-11 gives instruction regarding using the unique giftedness that God has given to each of us. Remember that God did not design you to be good at everything. Instead, if you focus on the things you are gifted and passionate about, you will accomplish more on less.
8. Improve Your Flexibility
Be a lifelong learner. In Luke 5:39, we are warned that “no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” The reason we lack greatness in our lives is because, too often, we settle for good. My practical tip for maintaining a habit of learning is to read one new book every month, meet with one good friend every week, and spend time with God every day.
9. Slow Down And Focus
Throughout your day, continually slow down and ask yourself, “What am I a trying to do right now?” Work on just one thing at a time. Paul gives a great example of the power of focus in I Corinthians 9:26 when he says, “Therefore, I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air.”
10. Nurture Sanctified Stubbornness
Keep the faith no matter what. Hebrews 11:1 defines “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” So, nurture a faith that can stand up when it is tested.
This list can feel overwhelming, but all of these choices do not need to be tackled at once. Pray through the list and ask God, “Which of these 10 choices do I need to go to work on first?” and then start there. Baby steps!