In today’s Behind the Mic, we’re going to hear what Mike Donehey (from Tenth Avenue North) has to say about control. Control is something that can be a real challenge for many of us to let go, even when it comes to serving God. We compare ourselves to others and can become obsessed with achievements, titles, and much more. Mike has a great outlook on letting go of control and we hope you find this Behind the Mic encouraging and uplifting. At the end of the post be sure to listen to Tenth Avenue North’s new song “Control“.
Giving God Control – Teaching by Mike Donehey
Hi, it’s Mike from Tenth Avenue North and I’m doing nothing. Nothing. I’m sitting on my porch, drinking some coffee. But, other than that I’m not doing anything…and it feels amazing. I’m not even spending time with God today…no, I’m wasting time with God today.
We always say “hey, did you do your devotion today? Did you spend time with God?”. Why does it have to be an achievement thing? Like an investment return strategy. If we’re honest, to just be with God…to commune with Him, for most of us, feels like a gigantic waste of time. Our culture is obsessed with achievement, right? We’re obsessed with success, production, productivity, heroes and we want to do something. So it comes as a great shock to our ego when Acts 17 says “God’s not served by man’s hands as if he needed anything. But he gives to us life, breath and all things.” Isaiah says “all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” In other words…Even our serving God is a gift from Him.
What if I told you God doesn’t need you but He wants you? First you might get offended. ‘Yes, he needs me.’ Really?…God’s up in heaven wringing His hands going, ‘oh my goodness, save the world. You better come through for me.’ No, man. What if I told you your loveliness to God doesn’t rise and fall with your usefulness. That’s tough for us because anybody we interact with, if we’re gut-level honest, their loveliness is rising and falling with their usefulness to us. Do they make us laugh, make you feel good? Do they offer me more insta likes, followers or retreats, whatever. But for God, you know He’s the King of the universe, for him to hang out with any of us He doesn’t climb up the social ladder, He’s climbing down it. Always.
It comes as no great surprise when Jesus descends to earth, and more than that not only does He climb down the ladder to earth…He chases us all the way down into hell. He doesn’t do that because He needs you to be productive. He does that because He wants you, just you, nothing you’re gonna do for Him, nothing you’re going to achieve for Him…just you.
So now I can breathe, right?
Have you ever thought about how before Jesus did any ministry, He lived for 30 years. It’s like, what were you doing all that time Jesus? Just wasting time? No. He was just empathizing with us. Learning the human experience, as if God could learn. It’s a mystery, but it comes as no shock when Jesus doesn’t begin His ministry until He hears something. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Jesus hadn’t done anything yet and God was well pleased with Him. So maybe today you need to do what I’m doing…nothing. Don’t be focused on what you’re going to do but focus on whose you are and breathe. Breathe in the truth that God doesn’t need you, but He wants you.