My father was a professional boxer while I was growing up. While in training, he would watch previous fight videos of his future opponent so he would know what to expect when he faced him in person. Other times he would take me with him to go watch an actual fight when someone he was planning on fighting was in the ring. He learned a lot by looking for his future opponent’s weaknesses and strengths. As difficult of a profession that my father chose for his career, he still had some knowledge and understanding of how to fight his opponents before facing them most of the time. He would also relentlessly train to keep himself in top condition for these fights as one could always come up at short notice and it helped that he was in shape to handle the battle.
I learned a lot about life from being raised in the professional boxing environment, and by watching my father. One of the things I have taken away from my experience is to always be prepared for a battle. I am not only talking about physically being prepared, this lesson applies to my spiritual life as well. But what happens when you are not able to prepare for a battle, or when you are faced with a battle that no one has been faced with before? What happens when you don’t understand what you are faced with and feel out of control?
The Big Mistake People Make…
The biggest mistake most people make when in prayer is to ask for understanding. That may be a bold statement, but follow my thought process and you may agree. When we ask for understanding, what are we really asking for? Are we asking for understanding so that we can agree or disagree? Are we asking for understanding because we want to make sure God is handling things the right way? Are we asking for understanding because it helps us feel like we are in control of something?
I feel the reason we ask for understanding is because of our lack of faith. When we ask for understanding, we are really asking for control of the situation. Think about Jesus sleeping in a boat in the middle of a storm while his Apostles ran around in a state of anxiety and worry. They wake him in a panic and ask why he is just sitting there sleeping, they appear to ask for understanding, but what they really want is control of the situation because they are afraid and have a lack of faith. Jesus tells them they have little faith and then calms the storm for them. Jesus is not worried, and does not expect us to worry either.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
It seems so simple…trust God and don’t worry when you don’t understand something. But why is this easier said than done? The problem most people have is that they cannot control any part of what is happening in the world today. When people are not in control of their own destiny it sets the stage for anxiety. But there is a big secret to life that you may not be aware of that will help you completely relax and enjoy life once again.
The Big Secret to Life…
The big secret to life is that you were never in control of anything to begin with! You only fool yourself into believing you are in control. God is in control and always has been. Yes, you have free will, but God has predestined you for Heaven and all you have to do is trust Him and follow Him. Just let go – and let God!
When you are faced with a situation you lack understanding and knowledge in, that is a perfect situation to throw your hands up and ask God for help. Asking Him for help does not mean you have to ask for understanding. On the contrary, it means you need to praise God for everything He has done for you, and will do for you in the future, then humble yourself enough to admit that there is absolutely nothing you can do. So trust God to handle it from here! Instead of asking for understanding, ask for an increase in faith. You will be happily surprised at how that will help you get through whatever you are facing. Trust God.
All we can do is pray!
One of my least favorite sayings is when people say, “All we can do now is pray”. It almost seems like they have tried everything else on their own first and now that they have failed its God’s turn to give it a try. God needs to be welcome into whatever situation you are facing from the very beginning. Keep God first, and “In all your ways, acknowledge Him”, just as the Proverb above says. In ALL your ways. That means when you are stressed, when you are relaxed, when you happy, when you are sad, when you are at home, when you are at school, when you are at work, when you are doing anything and everything…acknowledge God in ALL your ways!
It’s time we all show that we trust God, and allow Him – the Creator of the universe and everything in it – to be in control for a change. Remember that God never laughs harder than when we tell Him we are in control!
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