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.

Losing Control

Love Never Dies, prt. 17

Wildwind Community Church

David Flowers

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

an argument

c. Deciding not to worry

f. Getting married

g.Going on a roller coaster

h.Watching someone you love go

through a serious illness

i. Dying

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

your future.

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

our control.

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

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