The Love of Control & The Control of Love

Brothers and Sisters,

When I was a younger man, I struggled with the need to control everything that happened. The overachiever par excellence, my unspoken motto was, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.”

You can imagine how that worked out. Overworked and underslept, I labored under the pressure of thinking that, if at any point I failed, my entire world would unravel. I stressed my relationships to the limit—wearing others out with my constant interference.

But soon after I became interested in God and the Bible, I learned a key truth that made half the difference in my life: God is in control, and I am not. Why only half? Because it wasn’t enough to learn that God controls all things. I also needed to learn that He loved me.

Reformed Christians are very good at stressing the sovereignty of God—His authority over and control of all things. But what we can never forget is that He is also the God of love. Because the Bible teaches us that God is what theologians call “simple” (i.e., you can’t divide him up into parts), we can never pit His sovereignty against His love.

God’s love is a controlling love, and His control is a loving control.

What does that mean for you? It means you can loosen up your grip on the metaphorical wheel and trust that the One who hung the sun, moon, and stars is working all things together for your good. In love, the Sovereign God of the universe predestined you to become a part of His family (Eph 1:5). No matter what happens in life, He has set His love upon you in Christ and is orchestrating every last detail for His glory and your good (Eph 1:11; 2:4-7).

Sometimes, His love looks like an abundance of blessing (Ps 47:4). Other times, it looks like the discipline of a good Father (Heb 12:6). Sometimes, it even looks like silence (Psalm 13). No matter what, though, we can rest in the fact that God is in control and He loves us.

Our heavenly Father sits upon the throne of His universe. We can trust Him to work all things together for our good—not just because we know how great He is, but because we know how good He is. And, in His goodness, he has loved us with a love that will never let us go.

I pray we would all rest our weary souls in Him. As we do, may we seek opportunities to introduce our friends and neighbors to the unfailing love of our Sovereign God.

In Christ Alone,