Close

September 7, 2020

Bursting Your Control Bubble, Part 1

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15 (NIV)

As a kid, I liked to play with bubbles, blowing them, popping them, and watching them float down and burst. It’s even more fun with my grandkids now! Bubbles are fragile. They all pop eventually. I’ve found that God loves to burst our bubbles, not because He wants to toy with us, but so we may learn to trust in Him. One of the bubbles He loves to burst is our control bubble. The control bubble fosters a me-first attitude with the illusion that I am in control of my world and it revolves around me. James speaks to this all too common attitude with a sobering rebuke when he writes, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15 (NIV)

Wow! Makes me wonder if he was living through a pandemic in his day as well! Talk about bursting your control bubble! Once that bubble pops, we soon discover that the universe doesn’t revolve around us; it revolves around God. James reminds us that we don’t even know what will happen tomorrow! He describes our lives as a vapor, a mist that appears for a little while and then like a bubble that bursts, it’s gone!  Instead of presuming on the future as if we were in control, he instructs us to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” What a great way to put our plans into perspective!  

Only God is in control. Only He knows the future. In his short sermon on Mars Hill in Athens, the Apostle Paul said, “In Him (God) we live and move and have our being….” Acts 17:28 (NIV) The truth is, every breath we take; every single beat of our heart finds its source in the God who created us for His good pleasure. The Apostle John wrote, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” The world doesn’t revolve around us. You and I were created for His pleasure! This is the destined end of all mankind, and you will save yourself a lot of heartache if you will pop that bubble of control yourself. It’s a bubble of trouble!  But how? How can we break free from the control bubble?

Because most of us have a little bit of control freak in us, God has provided two ways for us to burst the bubble of control in our lives and experience the peace that comes from resting in His care and control. We must remember how big God is and how much God cares! When we forget these two realities, our hearts become troubled. Fear and worry overcome us, and we scramble for control. Isaiah speaks to these two realities in a powerful passage of scripture we will check out tomorrow, if it is the Lord’s will.