How many of you remember the ViewMaster? If you were a child of the 70’s and 80’s you remember it being one of the coolest toys out there. You could see different places and stories coming to life, all in 3-D. To get to the next screen, all you had to do was pull that lever down and it would show you the next scene. Scene by scene, each one telling the story.
Every scene giving you a glimpse of what the future held and how the story would end.
We anxiously want to pull the lever. We want to get to the next scene. We want to see what God has next for us, yet wanting the option to look ahead so we know if we are doing this thing called “life” correctly.
Oh, but by faith.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. The one word we wrestle with the most is that word certain. Some of you reading this right now I am sure had plans for your life to go a certain way. Instead you got answers you were not hoping for or things didn't go the way you thought they would.
Here is my challenge to you today. If you want to have a faith that is certain, a faith that looks into the ViewMaster and only sees the scene in front of them, and a lever only God can pull, then here are five things we need to do to give God total control:
Giving God Control
Timing. God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn't always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan. Although frustrating, not knowing the exact timing is often what keeps us in the program. There are times when we might give up if we knew how long it was going to take, but when we accept God's timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems. When you look at Hebrews 11, you see familiar names, like, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Samson, and Rahab. What did they do? They became certain of one thing – God’s timing is always perfect.
Faith. We need to give God a 2 Corinthians 5:7 kind of faith – “We live by faith, not by sight”. All those times things didn’t go our way, know God’s plan is greater. Know that He may have said no to what you long for and instead has something greater for you. Faith takes the limits off of what God can do.
Patience. Patience. Patience. Let’s not be like our kids and ask for things expecting them to happen now. We live in a now society. We want things now. We want our prayers answered now. We want to get out of debt now. We want to get healed now. God doesn’t work in the now, He works in the waiting.
Trust. Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you, He’s good, He has the power to help you, He wants to help you, and He will help you. Christians are called believers, but many times, we are more like unbelieving believers. We trust our friends, the bank, the stock market or the government more than we trust God and His Word. In John 15:5, Jesus says that apart from Him, we can do nothing. We need to lean on Him for help with everything in our lives.
Pride. When we realize that we can’t fix a situation ourselves we begin to understand how little control we have over what happens to us in life. Humility must remove the prideful independence of our heart. Removing the worldly illusion that we are self-reliant, a master of our own destiny, and in total-control.
When life isn’t going the way we planned it, may it be a reminder that we are reliant on the Lord for all things. The truth is every breath we take is by the grace of God. Every good thing we have – our friends, the clothes on our back, the food on our plate, the money in the bank – is a gift from God.
Let Him surprise you in the next scene.