“Today I know that this having to control at the operational level – even if we have consciously given God control – is the way the disease works in my life and in the lives of many people who come to the program.” J. Keith Miller, A Hunger For Healing
The New Testament says that those who confess Jesus is Lord with their mouths and believe in their hearts that He was raised from the dead will be saved (Romans 10:9). Note that the Apostle Paul didn’t stop at ‘confessing Jesus’ with our mouths…anybody can do that. Hitler could have confessed Jesus as Lord with his mouth! The second part of that sentence is at least as important as the first part: ‘Believe in our hearts that Jesus was raised’. How do we know if we believe Jesus is Lord in our hearts? By our actions and choices; in other words, at the ‘operational level’ of our lives. If I claim that Jesus is Lord and cheat on my wife repeatedly, have I truly made Jesus Lord in my heart? If I confess Jesus as Lord on Sunday morning but then make a series of choices throughout the rest of the week that would make Caligula blush, is Jesus truly seated in the throne of my heart?
When I say “by our actions and choices”, I am not talking about ‘performance Christianity’ or making a good show for other people. Putting on a show of holiness to impress others or convince them I am a ‘good Christian’ is just a form of manipulation and denial. I am talking about my day-to-day life, the ‘operational level’ of my life. Giving God only ‘conscious control’ of my life is how I’ve lived my life up until recently. I went to church, said the right words at the right times, agreed with the pastor on the right issues, etc. But that’s just confessing Jesus with my mouth; that’s not real belief. While I was confessing Jesus with my mouth and claiming He was in charge, I was still calling the day-to-day shots. I still had ‘operational control’.
One of my most-used forms of ‘conscious control’ was the excuse “I don’t want to bother God with this.” That was just another way of saying, “I don’t want to give God control.” Claiming that God is not interested in the smallest details of my life, thus justifying my need for control of the ‘minor details’, is absolute garbage. The God of heaven has numbered the hairs on my head; He’s not above the smallest details of my life. Claiming He’s ‘too busy’ for me is an example of my disease, my denial, my sin at work.