I’ll Hold the Remote, Thank You

Each week, when I put together the questions for our small group studies and discussions, I often include a “Just for Fun” joke. A few weeks ago, this was the joke: What did the man think when he got his first universal remote control? Here was the answer: This changes everything. Since I’m writing this blog on New Year’s Eve, the answer to that joke strikes a chord with me. I really do want to change for the better as I begin another year of life. But I also know how incredibly difficult it is for me to change. What might be my “universal remote control” that “changes everything?”
You see, I want to be a new creation, not just a somewhat better version of myself. I want to truly experience what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” And I want to be transformed; I don’t want to be another person who tries and tries and tries, only to make minor changes that mean little to myself or anyone else. I want to put into practice what Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
There actually is a “universal remote control” that will “change everything” in my life. But here’s the part I don’t like: if I want it to work, I can’t be the one to operate it. Grr. How in the world can I give up that control? I don’t even want another person to hold the TV remote in my house, (I’ll hold the remote, thank you), so how could I possibly let someone take charge of my whole life? Well, the truth is, I can’t. I cannot relinquish that control, not to another mere human being, anyway.
But I can give God that control by doing things His way and not my own. I like how John Piper put it into words: “Giving yourself to God means longing for him to completely possess, rule, satisfy, and use you for his purposes.” That’s a “universal remote control” I’ll let Someone Else hold; the God of the universe “changing everything” for me just because He loves me. I’m excited for this new year, as long as I don’t try to take the remote back from God.
Troy Burns