Here’s what has to be one of the worst life plans ever hatched: “I know I don’t get to be in charge, but maybe God and I could co-reign. If we did, I’m sure I could be a huge help to him.”
I mean, why not do the two-rulers-for-the-price-of-one thing? I would never insist on ruling alone. Of course not! We could trade authority back and forth between us, depending on who’s offering the better idea for my life at the time. (Naturally, I’m going to be the best judge of this.) One day God might be 100 percent in charge, but the next day it could just as easily be me. We could divide things fifty-fifty or assign categories: You take health, God. I’ll take finances.
It sounds pretty ridiculous when you see it in print, but I’ll bet you’ve considered this reigning-with-God arrangement more than once. I know I have. Here’s the problem: crowns are made for one head, not two. Thrones are designed as single seats, not love seats or sectional sofas. The very word sovereign doesn’t suggest a committee—just the opposite. So there can, by definition, be only one sovereign entity. Only one supreme authority. Only one being who wields absolute, unlimited, boundless and full authority and control. And that wouldn’t be me.
Co-reigning is futile and needless. We have a King. He is good and loving and wise. We should rely on him—and him only.
The thing about competing with God for control is, it’s hardly ever a one-and-done deal. We’re never completely surrendered—at least not for long. I’ve heard it said that living sacrifices have a way of crawling right off the altar, and boy, do they ever. Even though I believe and agree that God deserves and should have 100 percent authority and control over my life, I sometimes take a little back.
On a good day, I can rely on God’s Word and my past experience of his faithfulness to help me surrender my will to his. On a good day, I can say, “This is how I feel, God—but what you say in your Word is true.” But let’s face it: not every day is a good day.
So when the battle for control begins again—and it will—what do I do?
- I acknowledge the struggle. (Denying it doesn’t help. I know. I’ve tried.)
- I confess my strong desire to be in charge, and I name my fear of not being in charge.
- I admit that my emotions do not always tell me the truth about my circumstances or about my God.
- I search God’s Word for truth and keep it always before me. I read it. I pray it. I sing it. I write it on my hand with a ballpoint pen if I need to. I have it ready.
- I remind myself of God’s faithfulness to his children throughout history and of his faithfulness to me.
Then I do the next thing I would do if I were surrendered to God on this day, in this situation, at this moment. Because the smallest act of trusting obedience can serve to remind me of the one who loves me, who sees me, who has my back, and who’s already gone out ahead of me to make a way.
And finally, I relax.
Because I don’t need more of me on the throne.
I need more of him.
WHITE FLAG PRAYER
God, I don’t want to compete with you for control of my life. You know me—all my fears, impatience, and, at times, even my unbelief. Holy God, Creator of the universe, help me to daily surrender to you as the Lord of my life.
Laura Story is a wife, mother, songwriter, worship leader, author, artist, and Bible teacher. Her songs—which have won Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, and Dove Awards—include “Blessings,” “Mighty to Save,” and Chris Tomlin’s “Indescribable.” Laura has a master of theological studies and a doctorate in worship studies, and has served as a worship leader at Perimeter Church in Atlanta since 2005. Her greatest joy is being a wife to Martin and mother to Josie, Ben, Griffin, and Timothy.