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Who's In Control?

Who’s In Control?

     The question of “control” is one that is faced in all aspects and phases of life. This was learned as children (or should have been) as parents exhibited their God-given right to correct and guide their children and help them navigate the path through childhood, adolescence, and toward adulthood.    Most of us have also faced the question of “control” in the job situation. The “boss” always thinks he or she is in control.   The amount of “control” in all of these scenarios varies some as participants as well as situations vary.

     But there is one area of your life in which you have total control. That is in your mind. Whom or what you follow, and what you do, is completely up to you!     The fact is that you and I, and everyone will follow someone, or something. But there is a catch, as one can only follow one “master” at a time. In the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6:24, Jesus said: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

     You and I will serve one or the other. We can’t just wish or desire for things to happen and expect them to come to pass.   For instance: You want to go to Heaven after this life and the judgment, don’t you?   Of course, you do!   Who doesn’t?   But one cannot simply desire to go to heaven, or just “believe” they will go to Heaven and make it so.   God has a plan which must be followed for that to happen. God is in control of His plan. He will not deviate from that plan. His Son died on Calvary’s cross to make sure that plan would come to fruition. Then the Holy Spirit was sent as promised to deliver the Word of God so that all of humanity could make informed choices as to the eternal destination of their souls.

     The beauty of God’s plan is that you have full control of whether or not you believe God’s Word, whom you will serve, as well as what you do. The Spirit had the apostle Paul address this in Romans 6:16 as he wrote to the saints in Rome. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  These folks had become brethren when they took control of the choice before them. As we read verses 17-18 we see these brethren not only had once served sin, but also what they did as they took control of their soul’s destiny. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  The “form of doctrine” which they obeyed was the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, in which one participates when they die to sin, are buried in baptism and rise to walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

      But, how is one to remain in control of themselves (of their minds) after they have become Christians?   This is an important question, as it is a fact that one can fall from grace as Galatians 5:4 points out.   Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.  But you don’t have to fall from grace. You have control of this as well. The Spirit had Paul write in 1Corinthians 9:27 that he was in control of his situation. We are told what Paul did and why he did it. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.  The Word of God is what guides us as we choose to control our minds and bodies.

     Life and eternity really come down to choices. Whether we realize it, or are aware of it, we are all in control of our choices. We certainly have control of the choice as to where we will spend eternity. We have to make these choices while in this life.   In Joshua 24:15 we see that the Lord had Joshua inform Israel that they had the control of their choices.   But notice what choice Joshua had already made. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.   

     As we again return to the title of this article: “who’s in control?”, know that you are!  From Romans 6:12-13 we can see that we have a choice and we are also in control of what we choose. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

   Obedience is also a choice, and you are in control of that choice.   If you choose not to obey, 2Thessalonians 1:8-9 tells what will be your eternal fate.   In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;   Win the battle for your mind! Take the control! Obey the gospel and then continue to faithfully serve God in accordance to His Word. That is God’s plan that saves.   This is His only plan.   It’s your choice. You have the control.      

         Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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