- Out of Phase #1 – Being a Servant
- Out of Phase #2 – Boundaries
- Out of Phase #3 – Responsibilities
- Out of Phase #4 – Rules
- Out of Phase #5 – Emotions
- Out of Phase #6 – Work
- Out of Phase #7 – Christian Quips
- Out of Phase #8 – Reasons & Responsibilities
- Out of Phase #9 – Religion
- Out of Phase #10 – Enough
- Out of Phase #11 – Retreat
- Out of Phase #12 – Healthy Relationships
- Out of Phase #13 – Words
- Out of Phase #14 – Depth and Breadth – Impact
- Out of Phase #15 – Control
- Out of Phase #16 – Tradition
- Out of Phase #17 – Pain
- Out of Phase #18 – Our Story
- Out of Phase #19 – Peace
- Out of Phase #20 – Hopes, Dreams & Desires
- Out of Phase #21 – Good Things Bad Things
- Out of Phase #22 – Keeping our Focus
- Out of Phase #23 – Transactions
- Out of Phase #24 – Formula
- Out of Phase #25 – Community
- Out of Phase #26 – Thoughts
- Out of Phase #27 – Doing
- Out of Phase #28 – Trying
- Out of Phase #29 – More
- Out of Phase #30 – Knowledge
- Out of Phase #31 – Tragedy
Over coffee a few years ago a friend said something I have never forgotten: “True freedom is only found inside the boundaries God has established for us. The enemy tries to convince us that freedom is found outside of God’s limits, however what really exists there is chaos. When we live in the chaos found outside of God’s boundaries our response is to seek to control it, but we can’t. So, we hide ourselves emotionally while continually making our world smaller in an effort to control the chaos around us. This cycle continues until we either move back within God’s boundaries or we become completely isolated.”
There’s another statement I heard from a spiritual warfare counselor that also relates to this: “seeking to control someone else is witchcraft.” Take a moment to let that sink in. When we think of witches we think of spells and incantations, right? That’s control—control that’s out of phase.
So, what does healthy control look like?
Scripture tells us to be self-controlled (1 Peter 4:7 as well as several other verses) and to be controlled by the Spirit (Romans 8:9).
Trying to control a person or situation always leads to frustration, doubt, and disappointment. However, when we are controlled by the Spirit we can live at peace knowing that we do not need to allow ourselves to be subjected to the manipulation of others. Likewise, while we are responsible to be obedient to God’s call to share His love with others, we can neither own the responsibility of their rejection nor take the credit for their acceptance. It is this understanding that allows us to effectively walk in the freedom of our calling.
As I write this, I do feel a need to take a moment to weigh in with this distinction of control as it pertains to parenting. Parenting necessitates an element of control – a willingness to be responsible for the health and well-being of our children physically, spiritually, and emotionally. This does require that we control situations in our homes and families – which is not “control that is out of phase.” However, we must do so with the endgame in mind: release.
In other words, when we are being controlled by the Spirit, we will never be “controlling” for the sake of control, but for the sake of ultimately teaching our children the value of self-control and the blessings of being controlled by the Holy Spirit.
In a world that often seems increasingly full of chaos, practicing the discipline of self and Spirit led control will not only grant us peace, but also allows to be an example of the hope of the Gospel of Peace to a world that desperately needs it.