Say “yes” to God. Whenever you sense God calling you to do something, remember that He has your best interests in mind and be willing to surrender your own agenda to Him so you can pursue His plans for you. Pray for the faith you need to stop saying “no” to God and start saying “yes.” Don’t withhold any part of your life from God; be willing to obey God’s leading completely in every part of your life. The more you say “yes” to God and enjoy blessings from Him as a result, the more you’ll learn about God’s goodness, and the more you’ll be motivated to trust Him.

Let go of controlling behaviors. Reflect on the ways you’ve typically tried to control your life (such as through obsessive organizing or restrictive scheduling) or other people (through ways like pressuring them or punishing them) in the past. Then pray specifically about each one, asking God to help you break free of controlling behaviors and replace them with healthy habits. Every day moving forward, rely on the strength that God gives you to gradually control less and trust more.

Wait for God’s timing. Don’t try to control circumstances in an attempt to make something happen right away; doing so can lead to disastrous consequences. Rather than trying to get what you want when you want it, ask God to give you the patience you need to wait for the right timing for Him to bring what you’re hoping for into your life – if it’s His will to do so.

Overcome bitterness and expect a bright future. When you’ve tried to control your life and it hasn’t worked out the way you’d planned, you can become bitter. Pray about any bitterness you feel, and place your hope in God, whom you can trust to give you a better future than you could ever ask or imagine for yourself.

Adapted from I Blame Eve: Freedom from Perfectionism, Control Issues, and the Tendency to Listen to Talking Snakes, copyright 2012 by Susanna Foth Aughtmon. Published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.revellbooks.com.  

Susanna Foth Aughtmon is the author of All I Need Is Jesus and a Good Pair of Jeans and My Bangs Look Good and Other Lies I Tell Myself. After pursuing various careers, including her own interior decorating business, she decided to stay home as a full-time mom. A pastor's wife and mother of three, Susanna assists her husband, Scott, in various ministries at the church they planted in Palo Alto, California.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles, at: http://angels.about.com/. Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.comto send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer

Publication date: July 5, 2012