Tuesday May 17, 2011
When I hear the word control in relationships, there are a lot of negative connotations associated with the word that I have heard in counseling situations. I have heard the parent-child relationship being verbalized by a wife whose husband made all the decisions and didn’t let her have a say in the process of making decisions. I have heard the words being manipulated by a husband when he felt that the wife got her way by using direct or indirect manipulation and guilt. I have heard a teenager who has rebelled against his/her parents when they were too controlling. These I would, and I hope you would, consider to be negative uses of control and are detrimental to the connections of vibrant and healthy relationships.
This morning I saw another type of control that was used that had a very different feel to it, a very positive and comforting feel. In fact it was not just the kind of control the we normally associate control with, but it was expressed in terms of an unsurpassed control, a control that has ultimate power. In Job 1, the angels came to God and satan came as well. God started the conversation with satan and asked him if he had considered His servant Job. Satan knew of Job, but said to God that He had him protected from all sides and satan couldn’t get at him. God responded to satan by saying in verse 12, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Satan could do nothing to Job without God releasing his ultimate power and protection on him. His power was unsurpassed. To me, that is very comforting to know that my God in whom I worship has ultimate power to control and protect me. That is a very positive power that I want Him to have in my life. It means that satan can do NOTHING to me without God’s say so. But there needs to a side bar to this power. This unsurpassed power only works when I am connected to God. Jesus in John 15 states that we need to be connected to the vine in order to experience all that God has for us. When we are not connected to the vine (Jesus), we can do nothing and are on our own power to protect ourselves.
This truth causes me to put my TOTAL focus on God’s unsurpassed power and not be concerned whatsoever with what satan might be doing. Paul concludes Romans 8:38-39 by saying, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”. That is reassuring when we are connected.
On this journey, there will be times of trouble, but be assured that as you are connected to the vine, God has unsurpassed power to meet and take care of every problem you have.
Then Satan went out from the presence of the lord.