Robert Griffith | 11 April 2024
Robert Griffith
11 April 2024

 

Control issues. To some degree, they are a part of every one of us.  Certain control issues are easier to see than others.  Some use intimidation as a means of control.  You know the kind – they are sometimes demanding, threatening, and easily agitated.  Usually, their profound insecurity drives their actions.

Some people, like the worrier who tries to control everything by fretting about it, may exercise passive control.  Even when they have nothing to worry about, it still troubles them!  Human nature simply dictates that we desire to be in charge of our life and believe that we can determine our own fate.

Jeremiah saw the issue and realised that although we can’t truly control our lives, we can give them over to God’s protection and guidance.

Jeremiah 10:23   “Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”

The life of Simon Peter is the best example of this in the New Testament.  Jesus was imparting to Peter an important lesson in self-control that would eventually help him follow Christ and grow into a famous Apostle.  Luke 5 contains the narrative.  Peter had been fishing with his partners all night, but they had not had any luck.  They came back to tidy their nets and end the day.  At that point, Jesus appeared and urged Peter to cast his nets into the deep in hopes of catching a large number of fish. This Peter’s response:

Luke 5:5  “ … Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Peter answered with a mixture of scorn and reverence.  He addressed Jesus as “Master.”  He acknowledged that Jesus was a skilled teacher of the law and spiritual concepts, but it was clear that He knew very little about fishing.  Peter worked as a fisherman.  This was his business, and he was aware that they would not get any fish during the day if they were unable to catch any at night.

Jesus made a suggestion that went against all accepted knowledge!  Peter grudgingly granted Jesus’ request, albeit with the proviso that “because You say so…”  Peter used this as an attempt to refute Jesus.  Peter obeyed in spite of his sarcasm and lack of belief, and as a result, he would witness a miracle!  He had to signal to his partners to help haul in all the fish because the catch was so large!  Peter’s reply in verse 8 is timeless! “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man,” as he collapsed to Jesus’ knees.

Peter came to see that Jesus was not just a superb teacher but also the Lord of all! The definition of ‘Lord’ is ‘owner and controller.’ Jesus was demonstrating to Peter that everything was under His control and that if Peter gave up his control, He would take charge and transform his whole life!

If you struggle with difficulties of control, you can relate to Peter’s feelings of frustration, exhaustion, and failure in trying to manage both his career and his personal life. He returned empty-handed! Not a fish … yet he made his living from fishing!

Peter learned how to let go from  watching and listening to Jesus. We learn the same way! We have to give up control in order to let go. Then we have to hand our life and our decisions over to Jesus. That’s when we can fully come under Christ’s Lordship and authority.

After taking the lesson to heart, Peter wrote a letter to other believers who were struggling with a similar issue. You can tell he learned his lesson well:

1 Peter 5:7  “Cast all your cares on Him (Christ), for He cares for you.”