Summary: Part 17 in series Love Never Dies, this message takes note of how growth in the spiritual life requires a loss of control. Faith may actually pose challenges to belief, and we must move forward with courage, even when we have no control over the outcome.
Love Never Dies, prt. 17
Wildwind Community Church
August 8, 2010
What do the following things have in
a. Giving the remote to your spouse
b. Giving someone else the last word in
c. Deciding not to worry
f. Getting married
g.Going on a roller coaster
h.Watching someone you love go
through a serious illness
j. Sitting in the passenger seat
k. Coming to know God
What do all of those things have in
common? The answer is that they all
involve a loss of control. Obviously
giving the remote control to your spouse
involves a loss of control.
Giving someone else the last word in an
argument – that’s scary because to do
that is to decide that you’re not going to
control how it ends.
Deciding not to worry is deciding to
release your need to control the outcome
of a situation.
Getting married is about a decision to
allow someone else to have control over
When you go on a roller coaster, it takes
you wherever it’s going to go and you
have no say in the matter, except whether
or not to get on it to begin with.
When you love someone who is going
through serious illness, you often feel out
of control – you just want to do
something, but you can’t do what you
most want to do which is cure the illness
and make it go away.
Dying, obviously, is the ultimate loss of
control. It’s something that happens to
us, and almost never something that we
choose to bring upon ourselves. Usually
when people DO bring it upon themselves
it’s because they are feeling so out of
control that dying seems like the last way
available to them of keeping some kind of
control over their future.
When you sit in the passenger seat of a
car, you are not in control. Raise your
hand right now if you are a habitual backseat
(or side-seat) driver. Many people
are. It’s hard to not be in control, to let
someone else make the decisions,
especially if you sincerely feel you
usually make better decisions!
Like a lot of other aspects of life, coming
to know God, when it is authentic, when it
is really happening, is a loss of control.
It’s an intentional giving up of control.
Coming to know God is a little bit like the
roller coaster, in fact, because the only
real control you have in the matter is
whether or not to get on the ride. Once
you get on, what’s going to happen
simply is not up to you. You don’t hear
that very often. We’re told in the
church, “Say the sinner’s prayer. Read
your Bible. Go to church. Join a small
group. Grow in grace.” Grow in grace?
That’s a mouthful of mystery right there,
and we need to understand that! Grace is
God working in your life, and it’s clear
that God will work in our lives in ways
that defy our description and sometimes
even our desire!
In John 16, Jesus promises his disciples
that after he is gone, the Holy Spirit is
going to come, and he tells them that it is
through this Holy Spirit that they will
come to understand God more and more.
And we see in one of Christ’s statements
here that this Holy Spirit thing is out of
John 16:1-10 (MSG)
1 "I've told you these things to prepare you for rough times
2 They are going to throw you out of the meeting places.
There will even come a time when anyone who kills you
will think he's doing God a favor.
3 They will do these things because they never really
understood the Father.
4 I've told you these things so that when the time comes
and they start in on you, you'll be well-warned and ready
for them. "I didn't tell you this earlier because I was with
you every day.
5But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not
one of you has asked, 'Where are you going?'
6 Instead, the longer I've talked, the sadder you've become.
7 So let me say it again, this truth: It's better for you that I
leave. If I don't leave, the Friend won't come. But if I go,
I'll send him to you.
8 "When he comes, he'll expose the error of the godless
world's view of sin, righteousness, and judgment:
9He'll show them that their refusal to believe in me is
their basic sin;
10 that righteousness comes from above, where I am with
the Father, out of their sight and control;
Righteousness comes from above, where
I am with the Father, out of their sight and