The Control Trap
Key Scriptures: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant, Mary answered—“May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Lesson One: Our sinful nature drives us to desire to control our lives.
A. We try to control people
B. We try to control situations and circumstances
Proverbs 3:5-6 CFV (Control Freak Version), Trust in the Lord with some of your heart and lean on your own understanding; in some of your ways acknowledge him, and you will make your own paths straight.
Lesson Two: Control traps us in a cycle of fear.
Cycle of Fear: The more that we try to control something, the more we fear that we will lose control—the more that we fear that we will lose control, the more we try to control it.
Genesis 16:1-4, Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So, after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
Lesson Three: Jesus came to free us from the cycle of fear.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Galatians 4:19, I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.
Practical Questions to ask ourselves.
1. Is it worth my concern?
2. Is it mine to control?
3. Is it for God alone?