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  • Writer's pictureZack DeBruyne

Fear of Losing Control

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

/ W E E K 5 /

Fear of Losing Control

  • Why is it that we want to have control over things in our lives?

  • How do we feel when we do not have control over a situation, when we cannot change or impact the outcome toward the one we want?

  • What is something that you are trying to control in your life right now?

  • What was a time when you lost control over something or someone important to you? What was your reaction, how did you feel?

  • How do we try to control God or our faith in this way?

The Fear of Uncertainty

  • We live in daily hope of getting our lives under complete control (Yancy, 20).

  • Many of us here today desire control. Control over our personal lives, our relationships, over our grades, and our future.

  • We want to hold it all in our own hands, we want to control it all.

/ R E A D /

Genesis 12, 15, 17:15-22 - The Call of Abraham + Isaac & Sarai

  1. Was Abraham’s response controlling? Faithful?

  2. Was Sarai’s response controlling? Faithful?

  3. What would it must have felt like to be Abraham in Chapter 12? Abraham + Sarai in Chapter 17?

So, what is the difference between faith and control?


Independent - Self-sufficient - Autonomy - Freedom to Choose

  • Control (Daniel 5:23) ὑποτάσσω - To subdue, to submit, to obey. Often referred to as to be placed under foot.

  • Perfectionism/Internal Expectations - We want to have a successful life, we want to submit perfect papers, and get amazing grades. This desire, moves us to taking more and more control over every portion of our lives.

    • We put more pressure on ourselves to fulfill and overfill expectations.

    • We want control over the outcomes of our classes, our grades.

  • Owing - Somebody has something over me if I owe them something. We don’t want others to have control over us.

    • We want to be the ones in control, or deciding who holds the control.

  • Decisions: When making decisions about our lives: where we are going to apply for work, who we are going to date, where we are going to church, the people we are going to spend time with - we want to be in total control of these decisions.

  • We often make decisions and than ask God afterward to bless them, instead of asking God what decision we should make.


Trust - Submission - Selfless

  • Faith (Hebrews 11:1) - Faith is confidence in what we hope for, and assurance of what we can not see.

  • πίστις (pistis) - Reliance upon Christ for salvation. Unwavering trust in the truthfulness of God.

  • Belief with the predominant idea of trust (or confidence) that God is who He says He is.

  • Someone who is faithful is one who can be wholeheartedly relied upon.

  • Decisions: Asking God about His will for a situation, for your future, for your a decision and seeking out how that might happen. This is what prayer is!

Faith vs. Control

  • Open hands vs. Tightly grasped - Letting go of the strings that we have.

  • This daily desire for control distances us and directly affects our daily surrender of faith.

  • Control is inward self-choice and self-determination - “I control my destiny. The choices that I make shape what my life will look like.”

    • I want others to submit to my desires.

  • Faith is trusting submission - To God’s will, to our community, to God’s vision for our lives.

    • I submit my desires to God’s will.

    • Understanding that God’s timing is beyond ours.

  • Certainty - We want to have certainty in life. We want to be certain that our degrees will get us the job we want, that we will meet a spouse, that we will buy a house, and have a family. We want to be certain that we will be successful. We want to have certainty in life!

  • Faith calls us to give up demanding certainty - and calls us to reliance.

We do not determine our lives. We do not determine our faith. We do not determine our future.

How does it feel when you do not have control over a situation that you desire to have control over?

/ R E A D /

Matthew 6: 25-34

Worry: If we aren’t in control, or if we lose control, we worry.

Two questions - two commands.

  1. “Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life?”

    1. μεριμνάω (merimnao) - To be anxious about the care for, to look out for, or provide for oneself.

  2. “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”

    1. ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos) - Those who are lacking confidence in Christ.

  3. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

  4. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

What We Are Responsible For

  • Submit our will and our lives to God’s will.

  • This may be difficult to know, but the first step in listening and hearing is for us to stop controlling and worrying.

  • To open our tightened palms, and open our hands to receive God’s plan for our lives. A plan that is far beyond anything that we can plan and control ourselves.

    • God fulfills our needs, when we seek Him, when we pursue Him, when we live lives for Him.

  • This is not to say that you do not bear responsibility for the things that are clearly in your control.

  • Nor that if we do good things that God will give us whatever we want.

  • Instead, that if we pursue Christ in our lives, if we lay down our personal plans, our daily worries, and the tight grasp of control over everything, we will see that God is active and working in all of our lives.


  • Think about the things in your life that you are grasping tightly on.

    • Your future, your relationships, career success, ability to work and provide for yourself.

  • Ask God to give you the strength, courage, and faith to submit these desires to Him.

  • Write out one thing that you are going to intentionally submit in prayer to God over the rest of the Semester.


Father, we live in the tendency to provide for ourselves. To put our desires, our will, and our agenda before yours. So often we do not even ask you before making a decision in life, instead we ask that you would bless our decisions. We ask that as we look to the future, that we would not worry, but that we would put our wholehearted trust in you and in your hands. You are good, you are our God, and your will is far wiser, and deeper, and love-filled than ours will ever be. Give us the daily strength to open our tightly grasped hands, pick up our cross, and follow you.

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