How to Let Go of Control and Let God Work

Apr 27, 2012Find joy today, Heal from the past

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about God initiated-work and me-initiated work. I’ve written about that in this post entitled, “The Shocking Thing I Learned About Last Year.”

The past few weeks, I’ve been reading through the perils and joys of Israel, all their wandering, all God’s acts, how they conquered a land, etc. And I realized that when God recounted their victories (or they did), all pointed to Him as the One at work.


And when I look back at my career, I see this dynamic in action. Me working like a crazy woman, being obedient to agents and publishers, longing to be the “good” author who does everything asked of her. I’ve anticipated a breakout book far too many times to count, only to have success be mild, unremarkable.

Yet God hasn’t revoked the call on my life to write.

So I write.

And I work.

And I promote.

Which is good on one hand. It means that I am stewarding the gifts God has entrusted to me. But it becomes sin for me (for you) when the focus becomes making things happen in our own strength.

The Christian life is a great letting go. Of loosing our control and letting God be God. Slow down and remember. Look back on your life when God did great things. What did you do? How did you make those things materialize? You didn’t.

It’s time to slow down. To recount.  To give up. To listen.

“Listen to the village musicians gathered at the watering holes. They recount the righteous victories of the Lord.” Judges 5:11a Oh how we need to listen to those victories. To remember them. To wallow in them (in just the right way).

In light of that, here are some of my recent God moments, where He did the work, and I sat back in awe:

  • A conversation that changed the course of someone’s life.
  • A nudge from the Holy Spirit that materialized into a new quest for a friend.
  • An opening up of a heart, once cold, now warming.
  • Favor from leaders who have agreed to read my next book for endorsement.
  • An opportunity to travel overseas this summer to do significant, God-breathed work.

None of this I made happen.

Which is why God is cool, and I need to remember how important it is to let go of control, and let God do His thing.

What about you? When have you let go of control? When has God done something cool? What lessons have you learned about control and God’s initiation?