On the keyboard of a computer the CONTROL key AKA as CTRL is a very helpful key in many situations. Humans were made to have dominion over other things. However, when the Bible speaks of man's dominion over things, man is in reference to humans, not literally the male gender.

Unfortunately, often humans have this need to control other humans. I have watched this manifest itself over and over in not only relationships, marriages, and businesses, but even in a place where we should be free from such sin, churches. Currently my heart is broken to see so many people that I love in the midst of devastation from a branch of churches that have become corrupted with power.

I have been reflecting on the issue of control and from where it stems. It seems it is rooted in one of two issues or possibly both. When people fear losing others, they try to control them. Fear is a lack of the perfect love and trust in Christ working in a person's life. Anytime I fear anything, it is because at the very moment my eyes are off Christ and on my circumstance. But when I allow fear to turn into control, it means I have allowed that fear to consume me and have not put my eyes back on Christ. At the moment I exert control I am in sin. I am not trusting that Christ is BIG enough. It is possible that if this is my way of life to control another, that I have yet to even truly know Christ.

There is an exception. As parents we are called to exercise control of our children through training and discipline, but even that is done rooted in love for our Lord and our children. However, as adults, we are told there is only ONE mediator between God and man and that is Christ Jesus our Lord.

The second root of control seems to be a hunger not for the power of God to work in our lives, but rather to rule another or others with power equal to His. We often see this in husbands who seek to control their families by twisting Scriptures out of context, emotional or physical abuse, or wives who constantly employ a spirit of manipulation, etc. While this brings any of us to tears to know that another wants to take the place of the Holy Spirit, it is even more devastating when we see this on a large scale such as in a church.

God gave us offices in the church to SERVE and ENCROURAGE one another. However, many churches have allowed those offices to become agents of control in the lives of their congregation. They stumble in sin by their lack of trust that Christ can directly mediate between each human and God. They try to fill the role of the Holy Spirit instead of the office to which they claim to be called. In these churches women and children are often the first targets of manipulation. However, all the congregation are called to walk in obedience to the self-anointed prophets or whatever they choose to call themselves. The prophets seek to take the place of Christ and His Spirit in the lives of the congregation. They have become puffed up with a deceptive pride.

The control they employ to keep their congregation under their power is divisive and destructive. If a person dares to question this authority they are banished from the prophet's kingdom (the church) and their family is told to shun them, lest they be driven out too. This often leads the banished person to an entirely new set of issues, such as rejection, guilt, shame, despair, etc. If you are one of those people, let me tell you my dear friend...this is NOT the love of Jesus Christ. It is His kindness, His mercy, and His grace that leads us to repentance. Christ never abuses His power. He is the tender shepherd. He is sacrificial in His love for His sheep.

If you are in a relationship or church that is not showing you Christ's love through sacrifice, mercy, grace, and service then they are not under Christ. They are led by a different spirit, a counterfeit spirit. A counterfeit often looks amazingly close to the real thing and can be difficult to identify. But when you take an expert who knows the real thing, they can immediately recognize a counterfeit. Apart from Christ, you may talk the talk, but you cannot continue to walk the walk. Do not fear to give any church or teaching a litmus test to ascertain if it is the REAL THING! Are you spending the time to become an expert in the Christ of the Bible? Do you know His Word with the Holy Spirit as your teacher to lead you into understanding? Is Jesus your only Mediator?

I adjure each of you to seek to become experts in Christ and His Word that we would not be deceived by the counterfeit spirits among us. I implore each of you to seek to embrace our hurting siblings that have been devastated by control in their lives and have been left with a tainted view of who Christ is. Let them see the love, grace, and tender mercy of Christ shine through us that they might get a true view of the beauty of His grace!

Christ's Blessings to you and yours,

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