One of the television programs we enjoy watching concerns a wealthy businessman who saves failing businesses. He meets with the owners of companies on the brink of bankruptcy and offers his help. First he gets to know all the people involved. Then he studies the day to day operations. Lastly he goes over all the financial records. Once he has become thoroughly familiar with both the business and the people involved, he presents the owners with a plan to save them from ruin.
First he writes them a check large enough to make the necessary changes and to pay off their debt. With the stroke of a pen all their problems are solved. However, the offer also requires the owners to give up a large percentage of their business and to agree to let the businessman make all the decisions about the running of the company. When the owners accept the check, they also accept the conditions.
They nearly always accept the check while nodding their agreement to the conditions. All goes well as they begin to work together to make the recommended improvements; that is until the benefactor makes demands that don’t sit well with the owners. They argue and walk out of meetings, and in one instance, the owner walked away from the deal because he simply couldn’t relinquish control. The outcome is predictable. On the other hand, those who manage to submit to his authority and honor their agreement have a very different outcome – a growing, profitable business.
I think it may be a fairly good metaphor for our relationship to God. We find ourselves in a desperate situation – sinners with no way to save ourselves. Jesus came to rescue us – to pay the debt so that our severed relationship with the Lord could be restored. The gift comes to us freely. The metaphor breaks down a bit here because there is nothing we need to do except receive it – no conditions attached.
However, in time we understand if our relationship is to grow deeper and stronger there are some things that have to happen. One of those things involves willingly giving control of our lives to Him. It isn’t easy. We feel fearful of what might happen if we aren’t in charge. We think we know what’s best for us and struggle mightily in a futile attempt to bend circumstances to that end. The Lord, in so many ways, tells us He loves us and is working all things together for our good. He has our best interest at heart if we will only trust Him. He doesn’t force us. We can choose to stand with clenched fists and refuse to relinquish control. The results are predictable here too.
The only way for the child of God to find the peace and blessing and freedom he or she so longs for comes in the most unexpected way. It comes by surrendering our hearts to the One who loves us too much to leave us where we are.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
- Back to basics
- How About Your Dream?