28 February 2012

I'm A Control Freak!


“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9b-10
Do I really understand these verses? Do I walk in them?
Over the past 2 weeks I was confronted with pain and trauma from my past that crippled me, severely.  I have weaknesses, misconducts, bad habits that took root over years, due to my sinful nature, circumstances out of my control (painful childhood years), spiritual immaturity and lack in knowledge of God’s Word.   In the past 15 years I grew in knowledge about God’s Word, I started to crucify these fleshly passions and desires; took baby steps walking in the Spirit and believed over time my life should represent a life living in the Spirit.  With everything in me I tried to walk more and more in the Spirit. I’ve came to know God desires obedience and not sacrifices, and my heart turned from focusing on me, myself and I, to living my life Him, and thus others.  Life should be good - right?  NO!  The more I tried to walk in the Spirit, giving up my sinful nature, the more I experienced a battle against my flesh.
I can relate so much to Paul’s words in Romans 7:15-16:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”
Years ago, Christo and I received a teaching by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson on deliverance ”Teaching and preaching for life-change”.  In the opening teaching he explained how the more we want to walk in the Spirit, the worse the flesh will become. (Galatians 5: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”)
The flesh never gets better. Just read Rom 6 to understand that.


So how can I do this? How can I live everyday life in my home, between my 8 children, walking in the Spirit and model to them a life in Christ?  I’m desperate to find the answer, because being a mother can bring out the worse in me!  There I’ve said it! And homeschooling them, makes it even worse!  Add to that the expectation to be a godly, submissive helpmeet to my husband and I’m totally overwhelmed!
As you all know I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, and I’m almost finished with the book. The principles of being Thankful in all circumstances is a sure key to living a life in the Spirit, but over the past two weeks even that couldn’t lift me out of the pit of my own destructive and sinful nature.
I’m a control freak, and want to be in control of everything in my life. Over the years I’ve read tens of books on Christianity, motherhood, being a helpmeet, homeschooling and put systems into place to help me live a spirit filled life.  I guess for me, I first have to get my mind over the matter and then my heart follows.  As the years past, these systems surely gave me the structure to live the life I long to live in the spirit, submitting every area of my life to God, but in a sense it was only an illusion.  Over time I’ve tried to find fulfillment and security in the structures, and that is outside of Christ. 


The moment my life is out of control, and that happens every single day in my house of ten, I do the things I don’t want to, I walk in the flesh. And walking in the flesh is like a bomb going off, shrapnel flies in every direction and it not only has a destructive effect on my life, it is destructive on everyone around me.  
As I cried out to the Lord in the past two weeks, 2 Corinthians 12 came clearly to mind.  The more I ponder on it, the more I realized, though I cannot live without structures in my life and will always want to be in control and that is good, God put it in me with a reason. I have to let go for God to perform miracles in my life.  I need to get to Jesus’ feet and admit I’m so weak.  I’m not Super-Woman.  With all the head knowledge and heart convictions, that what I am doing is in His perfect will and His calling on my life, I have to get back to my Father and rest in Him!  Knowing I’m in His will and walking in my calling, will not make my road easy.  Quite the opposite.  The enemy will throw  me all kinds of traps, and I need to know it is fine to experience infirmities, reproaches, persecutions, distresses and to have needs - to be so weak, I don’t know what to do next.  

I fell for the lie that when I’m walking in the calling of my life, I will be strong.  I forgot about 2 Corinthians 12 - I will only be strong, when I rest in my Lord, and let Him be strong in me, even more in my weaknesses. I’m going to stop trying to fix my weaknesses, implementing yet another structure to falsely strengthen my weakness, and focus more on what God wants me to do in my weakness. Even though I have an agenda, I need to stay submissive to  God on what is His agenda for every moment of my life.  Will that be easy - no way! Do I understand 2 Corinthians 12? Not even nearly!  It is so much easier to follow my plans for the day, but my plans have proofed over the years to be sown in the flesh, with corruption as harvest. 
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
Letting God, will mean I’ll have to crucify my sinful self even more! It is ironical - I will need to be even more “weak”, I will need to be meek, gentle and lowly in heart.  
These were only beginning thoughts, and I realize I will need to pray and read more.




What insights and revelation do you have on 2 Corinthians 12:9-10?  Please share in the comments below.


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With much love
Linnie










“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest. 
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, 
for I am gentle and lowly in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls. 
30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  
Matthew 11:28-30

10 comments:

Wendy said...

Thank you for being so real Linnie

Anonymous said...

Ai,Linnie, dit is presies waardeur ek die afgelope tyd gaan. Ek is nie 'n superwomen/super ma nie en ek kry dit nie reg om 4 kinders op my eie groot te kry nie. Dit is net ONMOONTLIK! Ek voel ook dat alles op die oomblik nie in beheer is nie en die vonke spat gereeld! As altwee babas op een oomblik skree en die ander kinders roep want hulle het my nodig dan wil ek mal word want ek kan eenvoudig nie vir al 4 op eenslag help nie. Ek besef dit sal later beter gaan soos wat hulle groter word maar nou voel alles net vir my een malle gejaag en ek spartel! Ek het ook die naweek heeltemal opgecrack en besef dat ek die Here moet aangryp om my veilige vesting te wees. Ek moet op hom staatmaak en nie op myself nie. Dit is moeilk want hoe doen mens dit? My kinders en huis en man gaan nie verdwyn nie en dinge gaan nie makliker raak sommer in een oomblik nie. Mense kyk ook na my en dan se hulle bv: 'hoe doen jy dit', 'jy is amazing' maar diep binne spartel ek om net die basiese vir my gesin te doen... sjoe.... ek het hierdie week werklik aan die Here getwyfel... hoekom het hy vir my 2! babas gegee en nie net 1 nie. Ek het dan net gevra vir 1! Nou ja, soos jy se... hierdie taak wat die Here vir ons gegee het is iets wat hy geweet het ons suksesvol kan doen SAAM met hom as ons leier en verlosser! Ek sal aan jou dink soos ons altwee aan Hom vashou om ons deur hierdie tyd te dra en vir ons te wys om hom meer te vertrou en op hom staat te maak! En dankie tog vir ons wonderlike mans wat ons help en bystaan ten spyte daarvan dat hulle so hard werk om vir ons te voorsien! Lekker aan en BAIE DANKIE vir die een!

Kimmie said...

not sure I take pleasure in the hard times, in the struggles or the troubles. Might have to ponder that I've been doing it wrong.

thanks for stretching me.

Kimmie
mama to 8
one homemade and 7 adopted

Joyfulmama said...

Linnie. Sjoe. Dankie vir jou eerlikheid - ek het so nodig gehad om dit vanaand te lees. Ek verstaan SO goed wat jy se - ekself is 'n control freak, sit ook heeltyd strukture in plek vir alles (stiltetyd en dies meer inkluis), maar faal hopeloos in my self-effort. Vandag weer een van daardie 'skrapnel'-dae gehad waarvan jy praat en kan vanaand maar net met die skerwe van my dag by Sy Voete kom sit en huilend, biddend vra vir vergifnins en dat Hy my kinders se tere hartjies sal beskerm teen hul mamma se swakheid. My liefies slaap nou almal en ek gaan die Bybel nader terk en bietjie delf in die posrsies Skrif wat jy hier genoem het. Baie dankie en baie liefde. G.

Lizanne said...

ek het net die een kind... en ek weet waarvan jy praat. daai emosionele moegheid wat ek genoem het is weens my "need for control". ek is op... en moeg en kom nie behoorlik by God uit nie. Want ek weet nie hoe om dit te doen as ek so moeg is en my kind boonop so needy is nie. Maar dis alles fleshly excuses. Ek gaan regtig more probeer.

Wendy said...

Oh Linnie, we all battle....its the flesh vs the Spirit. We are doing a study on this in our little housechurch and I have realised that somewhere along the line I began to rely on me and what I can do and have done. But I do not want to be one of those in Matthew 22 who the Lord does not know because we have been so busy doing and not just learning to love and obey Him. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Oh Linnie you seem to be going through similar things to me. It is encouraging for me that you wrote all this. Just two quotes I want to share:

Our most difficult experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal powers, the freedom to hanle difficult circumstances in the future and to inspire others to do so as well

And

Martin Luther King Jr said, "Christianity has always insisted that the cross we bear preceeds the crown we wear. To be a Christian one must take up his cross, with all its difficulties and agonizing and tension-packed content, and carry it until that very cross leaves its mark upon us and redeems us to that more excellent way which comes only through suffering.". He also said, "What doesn't destroy me makes me stronger.". Moltman said, "True health is the strength to live, the strength to suffer, and the strength to die. Health is not a condition of my body; it is the power of my soul to cope with the varying conditions of that body.". Often the weaker we feel, the harder we lean. Weakness can actually be a means of grace if we turn to God with a humble, dpendent spirit. God's strength IS made perfect in weakness.

Have a blessed day, this special extra day (as you reminded me)

Love Sharon

Linnie said...

Thank you dear Friends for all you encouraging comments!
Love you lots!

Taryn @ Hayes Happenings said...

I read this before when you first wrote it, but I enjoyed reading it again for the MAy 2012 SACHS carnival. I so identify with being a control freak! I've had a few recent moments of having to trust God in the hard times when ordinarily I would want to grab and manipulate the situation to my purposes. Trusting Him is so important! Thank you for highlighting that and for your honesty! Much appreciated.

Linnie said...

Thank you Taryn! I read it again for myself, and was surprised how quickly one forgot! I had to do it all over again!

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