God is the most uncontrolling person in the universe. Yet He maintains full control. Some parents and bosses are controlling because their lives are out of control. When Nebuchadnezzar realized he could not control three young Jewish men, he became uncontrollable. Control and controlling, close in the dictionary, are polar opposites.
Satan is the most controlling person in the universe. He controls by manipulation, intimidation, accusation, deception, and temptation. If he gains full control of people, he robs them of their identity and possesses them, expressing his own personality through the use of their body.
God, on the other hand, fills us without possessing us. We maintain our own personality, remain in substantial control, and are given freedom to make decisions. God makes truth available, guides with the quiet voice of the Spirit, and shows agape love to persuade us that His way is best. If we choose evil over good, He does not stop us.
When some would-be followers left Jesus because of His hard words, He asked His disciples if they would leave as well. They said, “Where would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” They had been captured by truth, not by force. No one is more gentle than Jesus—and no one more powerful. The strength of love trumps the power of aggression. Some are attracted to force because they did not learn love. For them, weapons of warfare beat the fruit of the Spirit. But not for long. The kingdom of God [His rule and reign] is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Controlling parents are testifying to their insecurity and lack of control. They control with volume of voice and shameful words. They abuse by manipulation because they did not learn or trust a better way. Maybe they were students of controlling parents. So because they were not in control, they seek now to control the one way they know.
God exercises control because He is all-knowing and all-powerful, but He is also uncontrolling. Satan wanted control, so he tried force and lost control. The only control he has presently is what God temporarily gives him and what people vote for through his deception. Revelation 12:9 says that Satan “leads the whole world astray.” Rev. 13:3 says that “the whole world was astonished and followed the beast;” Rev. 13:8 says that “all inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life.” The end of time gives him a level of sinister satisfaction, that he has a level of control—until Christ returns to take over.
Watch yourself when you are losing control. You will be tempted to borrow Satan’s methodology to regain it. It is not comfortable to be out of control. But knowing that God, not Satan, is in full control, that He is the Lord of the universe, exercising His control through unlimited power and love, we can trust His design and His decisions. When ill health, untimely problems, or opposition at work show us that we have little control, that is the time to upgrade our confidence in the sovereignty of God. We remind ourselves that we are not on the throne and certainly not Satan. He is! And He shall reign forever and ever!