Matthew 6:34 "... Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Ask this question of the man or woman who does not belong to God. Then ask this question of the man or woman who truly belongs to God. The result: it is as though two unrelated questions were asked.

Those who do not belong to God present numerous answers. It may be money. It may be power. It may be pleasure. It may be "success." It may be image. It may be status. It may be control. Do those answers have a common denominator? Yes -- "me!" Whatever delights "me" as "I" seek "my" gratification controls "me."

The answer is singular from those who truly belong to God -- "God!" I exist for God's benefit and purposes. He controls who and what I am. Why? I came from God. I am God designed. Left to myself, I am destructive to me as well as others. I become the most significant person I can be when I allow God to teach me who I am and my purpose for existing. I learn God's values now so I can live with God later.

In Paul's words of Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

The problem is seen in the struggle. It is one thing to say God is in control of who I am. It is quite another deliberately to place God in the position of controlling who I am.

Why? The majority of Christians take the "down the road" view of existence. "I am afraid that I will not overcome that problem." "I am afraid suffering will destroy my faith." "I am afraid my death will terrify me." We are good at killing ourselves with "what if" questions.

The primary issue is not a matter of "what will I do in the future." Tomorrow is not the issue. Today is the issue. We cannot conquer tomorrow's troubles -- tomorrow is not here. We can only conquer the troubles of now. Only they are here.

How can I let God control me? I place Him in charge of my emotions, motives, behavior, and attitudes today. Why? Simple! Each day has enough troubles now to overcome. I never need to borrow tomorrow's troubles because today has enough troubles of its own.

Thus, I place God in control of today's emotions, motives, behavior, and attitudes. If I focus on placing God in control today, I will continue to place God in control when tomorrow becomes today. Do not look at the future and intend. Place God in control now. Only by having the faith and courage to place God in control of today are you prepared to place God in control of tomorrow.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 21 December 2003

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