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You’re Not the Boss of Me!


“You can’t tell me what to do! I don’t have to listen to you!” exclaimed an emphatic 10-year-old camper in my office. “Just phone my dad – he will make you do what I want!” 

I have to admit that I chuckled inwardly at this young mans resolve to get his own way and we proceeded to have a conversation about the “serious” conflict he was experiencing – it was his cabin group's turn to be at the beach and he was insisting on going to another activity on his own. While demonstrating an incredible confidence in his dad’s authority over all things, he was also extremely resistant to direction from our camp staff.

This young man’s honesty was not new for us at camp and it spoke volumes about the human heart. We resist authority by nature and this causes problems for us in many areas from our relationship with our parents and teachers to obeying traffic laws and paying taxes… or maybe something as simple as following the rules at camp. 

This rebelliousness in us is the echo of the original departure from God’s plan in the garden when Adam and Eve heeded the serpents challenge of “Did God really say…”. They decided to go their own way, become their own authority on what was good and evil and were dealt the consequences of separation and death that we all must deal with today. 

Thankfully by the grace of God, Jesus has made it possible to reconcile by taking our consequences on Himself so we can receive that forgiveness and new life and reconnection by faith alone in Christ alone. But this attitude of “you can’t tell me what to do” is slow to die in the process of our sanctification and will cause some ongoing headaches and bruises along the way. Take a look at Isaiah 29: 15 – 16 – does this sound familiar?

“Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who
sees us? Who knows us?” You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that
the thing made should say of it’s maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who
formed it, “He has no understanding”?”

If you ever needed inspiration or a nudge to give up this “right” to be in the driver’s seat as a Christian, here are just 3 reasons (there are many more) to let go of our need to control and move towards trusting that God’s way is best. 

1. God’s way is good – Who better to understand our best in any situation than the one who made us (and everything else)? Our protests to God’s will for us are as ridiculous as a lump of clay accusing the master potter of not knowing anything about how pottery is made or how pottery is best cared for!

2. The pressure is off – When we have things “upside down” we fall into the trap of believing that we are in fact god in our own rights with our own kingdoms to manage and rule – when in fact there is freedom found in understanding that we are the clay and He is the potter – we can be free to live our true identity as handiwork of the potter and no-longer insist on our way (which we mess up most of the time anyways).

3. Purpose found in His plan – Once we can accept that He is the potter and we are the clay, formed as He sees fit, for His purposes and His glory – our purpose becomes crystal clear – to reflect His glory to the world around us! There is no happier person than someone who understands who they were made to be and what they were made for. 

Once we can rest in knowing that God is the master designer and sustainer of it all and that our purpose has been defined as a result – we are truly free to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever! 

Spend some time this week considering – what things am I being stubborn about? What are those areas that I’m telling God “You’re not the boss of me!” or “You don’t know best!”? Ask the Lord to show you how good He is and how He knows because He created you and all that you know! Admittedly, this is not an easy or a fun journey to take, but it is the journey of the disciple of Jesus. If you haven’t already, find a travelling companion for this journey and ask them to pray for you and to hold you accountable for those areas that you’re feeling convicted about not letting go of…. and don’t give up when it’s hard and we fail! God’s grace is infinite and it’s not given because we deserve it or have earned it but simply because He is good!

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