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Don't let others Control You

by Tom Brown

Do not allow other people to control you. Paul wrote, "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you from obeying the truth?" (Galatians 5:7). There could be no greater bondage than being under someone's dominate control. People should respect authority—wife for husband, employee for boss, parents for children—yet even those in authority can abuse their God-given authority.


            The only Person that has the right to totally control you is God! No one else has that right. A person loses their right to control you when they "cut in on you from obeying the truth." Truth is a greater authority than any human authority.


            My earthly father was not a believer and he did not want me to be a committed Christian and a minister. He tried to dissuade me from my walk with God. I always showed respect to him, but I would not allow him to dictate my walk with God. God is always first!


Demonic Control


            Control is beneficial when it is exercised by those in authority to benefit others. It becomes demonic when a person dominates another's behavior to benefit their own personal desires and security, without any consideration toward the person they are controlling. Demonic control is selfish!


            A good person who sees you running the good race of faith will cheer you on. They will even be inspired to run beside you. They will not try to trip you and jump in front of you to slow you down. No! They are for you, not against you.


            But controllers want to exercise demonic control. Paul continued to write, "That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you" (v 8). Demonic control is persuasive. There is nothing inheritably wrong with persuasion. As a minister, I try to persuade people to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I will do my best to exercise this kind of persuasion. One atheist told me, "You are very persuasive!" She said it in a way that was meant to criticize me. Yet, God will anoint ministers to be persuasive and to bring people to the gospel!


            I am talking about demonic persuasion that drives people away from the "one who calls you." Professors in universities, even Christian universities, can have a demonic ability to persuade people to reject Christianity and favor atheism or secularism. This is demonic influence. It happens all too often.


Stand Firm in Your Freedom


            There could be no greater demonic control than when people exercise their control over you. Look at the first verse of this chapter in Galatians, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (ch 5 v 1). Legal slavery has been abolished, but illegal slavery still takes place when people rob you of your freedom in Christ. The controller becomes a master. You become the slave. They tell you how to live, who you can see, what you can do. They have undue influence over your life.


            Paul said, "Do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." It is ultimately up to you to end the yoke of slavery. If people are manipulating you for their selfish ends—I hate to say this—but it is your fault! Not that you are to blamed for their demonic control, only that you are letting it happened. Controllers are bullies. They will continue to bully you, until you fight back.


            You have to resist their control over you. No one can resist it for you. Others can tell you the truth how this person is stopping you from your God-given purpose and calling in life, but only you can end the control!


            There is no need to bemoan and cry over their unfair treatment of you, "I don't understand why they treat me this way? Why are they mean to me?" They treat you like trash because you let them! There is no point in pretending that they will change anytime soon. Any change on their part will come about by the Lord dealing with them, and it helps when you and others quit eating the garbage they deliver.


Honor or Worship?


            You don't break free from demonic control by becoming a controller yourself. Here is what I mean. The Bible teaches that you should "Give everyone what you owe him...if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor" (Romans 13:7). You don't break free by dishonoring the position people hold in your life. You should always honor your parents. You should always revere your pastor. You should always respect office holders. However, there is a vast difference between respect and worship. Worship is reserved only for God. Worship is unconditional surrender to serve. No human deserves your "unconditional" obedience. Obedience is good, but never at the expense of obeying God.


            Satan tried to get Jesus to bow down to him, but Jesus replied, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" (Matthew 4:10). Satan will indirectly try to get you to worship him by making you bow down to his servants that try to control you. Jesus said, "Serve God only."


            God is the Maker. A potter has the right to do with the pottery what he desires. God is the Potter. He has the right, as your Maker, to do with you as He wants. God will not use you as an ash tray if you live for Him. He will make you "an instrument for noble purposes" (2 Timothy 2:21). While God will dignify you with a noble purpose, controllers will humiliate you.


            Do others humiliate you? Do they do it to control you by making you feel unworthy to serve the Lord is a dignified way? The Lord brings dignity to you. If a leaders does not bring dignity to you, then something is desperately wrong!


            If you let controllers put you down, it could be that you have bowed down to them. That is why you feel like a floor mat. Get up! Quit bowing down to them. You are inadvertently worshipping them. You do not think you are, but you are if you let them control you.


            Now break free, not by being disrespectful for the office they hold, but by refusing to let them dictate your life. In some cases, you have to leave them! Of course, children, no matter how old they get, should never abandon their parents and vise versa. Spouses should not divorce unless they have biblical grounds. There are friendships that people have entered into knowing those are permanent, such as David and Jonathan. Also, there are undying ministerial relationships. Now, not all friendships and ministerial alliances are unending, yet the ones that are should bind people together. You should not abandoned those permanent relationships without just cause.


            Yet when people hold temporary offices in your life, you are not bound to always stay with them. You can leave! And in some cases, you should!


Characteristics of Controllers


            Jesus was so concerned about His own apostles misusing their authority that He gave them this instruction. "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves" (Luke 22:25-26).


            Jesus used the phrase, "Lord it over them." The word "Lord" was used by Jews to speak only of God. Jesus was saying to His disciples, "Do not play God."


            This reminds me to two boys arguing as to which one was going to get the last pancake. The mother stopped the boys from arguing, "Boys, what would Jesus do?" The oldest boy looked at his young brother and said to him, "You play Jesus!"


            People playing God is no laughing matter. There are husbands who want to be god to their wives. Ah, controllers are not always those in the office of authority, but sometimes controllers are those who should submit to authority. Problems in the home are not always the husband that tries to control, but sometimes the wife.


            Pastors can try to play god. But sometimes members can, too.


            Bosses can play god, but so can employees.


            My point is this, no one, including those in offices and those under offices, should "lord" anything over others. Only God has the right to be Lord!


            Those that misuse their authority "call themselves Benefactors." A Benefactor is someone who bestows benefits to others. Jesus did not say they were Benefactors, only that they call themselves by this title. I think by using this title, Jesus was saying that they really do not benefit anyone. The only beneficiaries are themselves. That is how you can tell a real leader from a false one.


            Real leaders lead for the benefit of those following.


            If a person is benefiting from your relationship, yet you are losing from the relationship, then they are a controller, not a good friend.


            This is ultimately the sign of a controller. Break from controlling people. Stop letting others control you.





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