Week of June 24
The Spirit of Control
Have you ever tried to fix God’s plan? Maybe you grew impatient with waiting on God’s timing or thought you had a better solution. You probably learned quickly that trying to improve on God’s plans and purposes spells disaster.
Read 2 Kings 4:38-44 In the region of Gilgal, the people were experiencing a famine. Elisha had just returned from traveling and told his servant to prepare a large pot of stew to feed the prophets. Even during a famine, Elisha had faith God would provide for His children.
Throughout the Bible, we see that in the midst of disaster, God takes care of His faithful people. Think on the times in your own life when you were surrounded by oppression or grief, yet God watched over you and provided for you. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Psalm 84:11).
God always blesses those who surrender to Him. He delights in those who yield to Him. When God provides, He always satisfies. When we appropriate His provision, we will always be contented. When we are wounded, He is the balm. When we are sick, He is the medicine. When we are poor, He is our wealth. When we are hungry, He is the Bread of Life. When we are thirsty, He is the Living Water. When we are in debt, He is our surety. When we are in darkness, He is the sunshine. When we face a gathering storm, He is our anchor.
Yet we will find frustration when we try to take things into our own hands. We will find heartache when we try to intrude on God’s purpose. We will find dissatisfaction when we try to modify God’s plan.
In Elisha’s story, we see that he had a hearty stew cooking during a famine. Things were going according to plan. Then one man decided he wanted to improve on things. He wanted to have control over the situation. “One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine. He gathered some of its gourds and filled the fold of his cloak. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were” (2 Kings 4:39).
But we can’t improve on God’s recipe. In fact, trying to take over God’s plans can lead to disaster: “The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, ‘O man of God, there is death in the pot!’ And they could not eat it” (2 Kings 4:40). Not only did this man’s idea ruin the meal, but he could have poisoned the prophets. In his effort to control the situation, he nearly brought death upon the camp.
Yet even when we mess up, God still has the power to set things right. “Elisha said, ‘Get some flour.’ He put it into the pot and said, ‘Serve it to the people to eat.’ And there was nothing harmful in the pot” (2 Kings 4:41). The flour was a type of the resurrected Christ. The grain of wheat had to be crushed in the mill of the Cross before it could become the Bread of Life. Jesus is the flour who is thrown into the pot of death and sin. The poison in the pot— brought by man’s intervention, by man’s effort, by man’s work—had to be absorbed out of the pot.
The power of the resurrected Christ can also deliver us from the spirit of control. His power can save us from ourselves and our self-assertion, stubbornness and sin. Are you battling with the spirit of control? Do you have trouble allowing God to do His plan His way? Have you been guilty of poisoning the pot? If so, surrender that control to God. Surrender the spirit of perfection. Surrender your tendencies to thwart God’s purpose. Surrender your persistence in trying to improve God’s plan. Surrender your declaration of independence. Pray to be set free from the spirit of control.
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