Yes. And No. And it’s getting the Yes’s and No’s mixed up that gets us into all kinds of trouble.
When you try take charge of things that God has reserved for Himself you only end up frustrated. You wear yourself out, and it doesn’t work anyway.
When you don’t take charge of things that God has placed in your control, you end up miserable and upset, and tempted to blame God for your problems.
Right from our creation, human beings were created to rule. God is the Ruler of the universe, and we are created in His likeness. We can never become God. (Have you ever tried? We get into all kinds of trouble when we do that, too!) But rulership, dominion, being In Charge, is built into our DNA from the very beginning by God Himself. And that’s a good thing.
Just look at what God said at our creation:
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”” (Genesis 1:26-28, emphasis added)
You notice there’s nothing in there about ruling over other people. Remember, they are made in the image of God also. Leadership is not about domination; it’s about servanthood. God has strong things to say to leaders who get that wrong. A position of leadership is a serious thing in God’s eyes.
But back to you; there are definitely things God has placed you in charge of. There are things God won’t do for you. And in God’s eyes, we shirk our responsibility when we refuse to exercise the authority He has given us over those dimensions of our lives.
Think About This
Let your mind imagine the big picture of what God is doing in your life, in our lives, in His Church, in His kingdom on Earth. A great deal of what the Bible reveals about God’s purposes involves preparing us, training us, for rulership. He uses the troubles we encounter to mature our character – for what? To be set on a shelf as some pretty glass ornament? NO! To prepare us to sit with Him in His throne, to be an extension of Him in administering His rule in the universe, to be kings under the authority of the King of Kings.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
“and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father– to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:6)
“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
The little book “Don’t Waste Your Sorrows” presents a strong argument that the very reason God allows us to go through troubles here is to prepare us for rulership in eternity. And as the title indicates, the more we allow God to use those trials to change us, the better we can be prepared.
There’s a lot more theology that could be discussed here. But the bottom line: God created you to be In Charge! Not of everything, but of many things. In addition to what we know from God’s Word, modern research has demonstrated that those who see themselves as working together with God to solve problems, rather than sitting back and waiting for God to do it all, generally come through those problems with better physical and mental health and a more resilient spirituality.
This is the third in a series of messages about Taking Charge. If you missed the others, be sure to check out Is Someone Else In Charge of Your Health? and Women In Charge! Next week we’ll continue this series by talking about what it looks like to take charge in the areas you can and that God has placed under your control.
If you’re like me, every now and then a lightbulb moment happens. You’ve been struggling with something that just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. You’ve wished, tried, perhaps prayed about it to no avail.
Suddenly the light goes on in your brain with the thought, “It’s up to me!” That might look like:
- I don’t have to listen to that negative person’s lies about me!
- I don’t have to eat the same unhealthy food any longer!
- I don’t have to keep working in this miserable place!
- I don’t have to stay sick and tired forever!
Has the lightbulb gone on for you? Is there something for which you feel God nudging you to take charge of that you haven’t before? Let me know in the comments below.
And next week be looking for the rest of these messages on what it looks like to Take Charge – of the things you’re supposed to.
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