What do you think when you hear the words, “God is in control”? I’m going to start out today by being totally honest, I don’t like the saying. To me, it’s become something we say when we don’t know what else to say. It’s not about faith as much as it is about resignation, it’s like we shrug our shoulders and say, “God is in control”. It’s like “everything happens for a reason” or “it must have been God’s will”, they are words we use to end conversations about situations we don’t like or understand. When we really think about it, these saying are not compassionate to the suffering, faith-filled to the wavering or loving to the lost; they don’t reach out and draw others in, they tend to shut down questions and push away doubters. Now, I don’t want to suggest that God is not “in control” but I want us to carefully examine what He’s in control of, what it means for Him to hold us in His hands and how our faith in Him flows from the realization that He has first put His faith in us. Last week we talked about expectations, how we sometimes expect of God more than we surrender to God. We are committed to what we believe He should do rather than being surrendered to the truth that He is love and His actions are always good. Sometimes we are our own obstacle. We don’t keep God from working, He’s always at work, but we sometimes prevent ourselves from seeing Him, hearing Him or going with Him. Today I want us to see that our expectations influence our beliefs, we believe in God according to what we expect from God. The difficulty is that if our expectations are man-made rather than God-breathed, then our beliefs will be more about who we want God to be than who God says He is. My prayer today is first and foremost that I won’t cause any of you to be offended, but that together, by the Holy Spirit’s help and the Word of God’s guidance, we will discover that God’s control is over His eternal plan for Jesus’ glory, our adoption and the world’s redemption. He holds our hearts tightly but our time loosely. Yes, He orders our steps but not like a micro-manager that must have things His way. He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death, He sets a table before us in the presence of our enemies, He fills our nets when they have been empty, He makes us lie down in green pastures and He leads us next to still waters because in everything He does He is doing the work of restoring our souls. God is in control of leading us to Jesus, saving us through Jesus and then using us to bring glory to Jesus. God is in control, today I hope we realize that we cannot and should not try to control God.