The Great Illusion

Last Sunday, I had the great pleasure of hearing one of my favorite pastors, Pete Wilson speak at a local church in Houston. His sermon was based in part on his new book Plan B: What to do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought he would, which, if it means anything, has my absolute ringing endorsement. I even had an opportunity to chat with him briefly and get him to sign my copy of his book. Come to think of it, he still has my purple pen. Dang it.

Anyhow, I’m about halfway through the book, and while there is much that is underlined and highlighted, I think the following passage convicted me more than any other:

“Every one of us must make a very important decision and this decision will have huge implications on how we process life. We must decide if we are going to put our faith in what God does or in who God is

If you place your faith in what God does, you’d better prepare yourself for frustration and disappointment because you’re never going to figure out God’s ways this side of heaven. That’s because God is God! As he told the prophet Isaiah…

Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are my ways higher than your ways

And my thoughts higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9)”

I MUST stop thinking of God as some sort of cosmic vending machine ready and waiting to lavish me with blessings because I’m trying to live a life obedient to Him, or withhold blessings because I’ve made a mess of things. YES, I desire to live a life obedient to Him, but not in order to receive something back. I want to live a life obedient to Him because I desire to obey the greatest commandment: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37a)

What prevents me from living my life that way? It’s something Pete calls the greatest illusion of all:

The illusion of control.

This illusion is deceptive. When things in life seem to be going smoothly, we can begin to believe that we’re actually in control of the people and circumstances around us. It is usually only when things go wrong and we try to regain our footing that we realize that we were never in control in the first place. I have a good friend who is what I would consider a control freak. I once asked her, “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?” Her reply to me was, “What’s the difference?” I laughed at her response, but I must admit there have been times in my life when I equated what I wanted (being right) to being happy. The great irony of this predicament is that intellectually, I know that peace will only come with surrender. It’s just getting my heart there as well.

“Not my will but Yours be done.”

How about you? Do you ever fall into the illusion of control?

This post is part of the blog carnival on Ego, hosted by Bridget Chumbley. To read more, please visit her site.

« « Previous Post: Kicking and Screaming (by Billy Coffey) | Next Post: My lousy excuse for a blog post » »

24 Responses to “The Great Illusion”