Something about us, as human beings, wants to be in control. When we feel in control, we are comfortable and at peace; when we feel out of control, we tend to feel stressed and unsure. In truth, though we often act otherwise, there is very little we have actual control over. We can, to some extent, control ourselves: our thoughts and emotions, our actions and reactions, but even those play out better when we release control to the Holy Spirit.
Human control yields human results. It does not follow that those achievements are never impressive – we, as created in the image of God, are capable of wonderful and sometimes unbelievable things. However, no matter how astounding, the accomplishments of man are always, and only, man-made.
Submitting to God’s control will yield supernatural results. This so easily rolls off the tongue, although it’s anything but easy to do. Everything in us fights against letting go, and the uncertainty and “what-ifs” pile up and take over. Letting go, though, is the only way to “let God” do what only he can do through us. It’s leaving the security of the shore and jumping into the rushing current of God’s will, lifting up our feet and being carried wherever he takes us. In the end, we just have to trust God, not to do what we want him to do, but what he wants to do. If we can do that, look out. God things are going to happen!
So how do we “let go and let God?” Jesus gave his followers the answer in his last extended time with them:
“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain joined to me, and I to you, you will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me.” (John 15)
“Bearing fruit,” or being effective in the work God has laid out for us, depends completely on our connection to Jesus. Put another way, if our eyes are on Jesus, fruit grows; but if our eyes are looking for fruit, nothing happens.
As uncomfortable as it is, we need to release our control over the kingdom work in which we are involved, letting go of our expectations for the results we want to see, and choosing instead to live in the unknown and unexpected, but better, control of God.