Is God still at the controls, or did I take over again? This is a question I need to ask myself constantly. I know that in order to succeed in a life lived for the Kingdom of God I must make sure that God is the one controlling my actions. I start every day handing everything over to God, but somehow, as the day goes on, it seems that I’ve inched my way back into the driver’s seat. By the time I’m reflecting back on my day, I see a whole lot more of my handiwork than I’d like to.
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed – Proverbs 16:3
This seems so basic! It’s a nice mantra; an easy verse to memorize. But how do I move it from a catchy social media post to a reality that I live out every moment of every day? Trying to answer that question for myself, I thought I would break the verse down and see if that helped. In doing so, I discovered that the Hebrew word that is translated here as “commit” means “to roll”. It literally means to roll my actions to the Lord.
I decided I needed to try to come up with an analogy to help myself grasp what this really means. To tie it to a “real world” concept so that I can live it out. How do I “roll over” my actions to the Lord? As I thought about this, the strangest things came to mind. Like sitting on the floor with a child and rolling the ball back and forth. Or seeing a phone call coming in and letting it roll over to voice mail. Then it dawned on me. Rolling my actions to the Lord is just the act of sending them his way. It’s not me making an effort to do what I do for the Lord, but instead it’s me rolling it all over to God so that he’s the one holding the ball. But unlike a child who rolls the ball back to me or a voice mail that I will have to deal with later, God doesn’t send them back. (I might take them back, but he doesn’t send them back.)
This brings me back to my original question. Who’s operating the controls? And how can I tell? When I’m sitting at work completing the mundane tasks of my job, am I doing my best and with a smile? Then God’s still in control. When I’m taking care of my home and my family, am I doing it with joy and without complaining? Then God’s still in control. When I’m interacting with the people around me, am I treating them like Jesus would? Then God’s still in control. When I’m filling my free-time, am I using my God-given gifts to accomplish something? Then God’s still in control.
With regular reflection on the things that I’m doing and the way that I’m doing them, hopefully I will catch when I start letting my “self” take over so that I can roll the ball back to God. I am only guaranteed success if he’s the one operating the controls!
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5