Friday, December 13, 2002
The last time I was at a theme park, I ended up on one of the longest lines they had. It was the line for those little "Grand Prix" racing cars. All of us, I mean all of those kids wanted to get on that little race track and pretend we, uh, they were a race car driver. It's fun, but it's fantasy. Oh yes, there's an accelerator, but your speed is pretty much limited no matter how much your floor it. Oh yes, there's a steering wheel - you can turn it - but your turning is totally limited to the track they have your car on. Sure, you can hug that wheel and stomp that accelerator, but the sorry truth is this: you don't have control of that thing!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Illusion Of Control."
For many of us, life is pretty much like driving one of those amusement park race cars. We hold onto the wheel tightly, trying to be in control, thinking we are in control. Refusing to relinquish control. News Flash: it's an illusion. See, we're little masses of protoplasm on this little dirt ball called earth in a sea of billions of galaxies. But we still hang on tightly to our little steering wheel, shouting, "I'm in control!" Until God allows one of those things into our life that shatters our illusion and exposes the truth.
Maybe that's what's happening in your life right now. Suddenly there's something that is clearly beyond your control. It is out of your hands, and God is calling you to a moment of personal surrender - not so you can lose, but so you can win.
It was a moment like that for Joshua in our word for today from the Word of God. It's from Joshua 5 beginning at verse 13. This powerful general is facing a challenge that is far bigger than his resources to overcome it - the walled city of Jericho. As he looks up at that seemingly impenetrable fortress, something happens that makes a victory possible. A surrender.
The Bible says, "When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, 'Are you for us or for our enemies?' 'Neither,' he replied, 'but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.' Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked him, 'What message does my Lord have for His servant?'" Joshua then hears from God an approach to the problem that he wouldn't have thought of in a thousand years - marching around the walls for seven days, shouting, blowing trumpets, and watching the walls fall down!
I believe that God is calling someone who's listening today to the same point General Joshua was at that night facing Jericho. Jehovah God has brought you face-to-face with something bigger than you are so you could be face-to-face with Him. So you would reach a point where you will fall face down before Him and surrender all control. And there, in a confession of your total powerlessness, you will become more powerful than ever before as you get out of the way and God's power totally takes over.
You're used to being the general in your universe, or at least you try to be. You've tried to get it done by controlling your family, or your ministry, your business, your future, your money, your life. But now it's time to release that wheel, to let God show you answers and approaches you could never think of to make it happen. And if you're afraid of giving up control, remember that amusement park race car. All you're really giving up is the illusion of control!