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Control By Ed McDowell

The Truth About Control

In one verse, God’s word gives us the truth about control.  There are two sources of control, a focus of control, and two very different outcomes.

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

Romans 8:6 NLT


Our sinful nature and the Spirit of God are the two sources of control. Our sinful nature is the opposite of the Spirit of God. It is opposite and opposed to God and stands in direct conflict with God and His good will for our lives.

The sinful nature seeks to control our minds with a deadly outcome.

By contrast, the Spirit of God seeks to control our minds by leading us to a fullness of life that can be lived with peace.

We live with the illusion that we are strong enough to control our minds in our strength.  We can’t, and we won’t.  Here’s why. 

We were made to be in a relationship with God. Our minds are created to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is where we experience life and peace. This only happens when we give our minds to God and surrender control to the Holy Spirit.

Satan and sin came along and said we can self-determine our future without God.  We can, in effect, trust ourselves apart from God.  When we give our minds over to this, we experience hurt, destruction, hate, harm, and death.


We like to be in control. Scripture itself talks about the value of self-control. The kind of self-control described comes from a direct relationship with God. We give our minds to God’s ways. We live in submission, asking the Holy Spirit of God to guide and inform our thinking with God’s nature.

As we do, an increased sense of peace fills our lives regardless of circumstances. We feel that we are living a life with value and purpose. We have the confidence to live with God forever because of Jesus Christ.

May we let the Spirit of God have control of our minds.


Dear Jesus,

We pride ourselves on staying in control. You offer submission to the Holy Spirit as the best way to live a fulfilling and peaceful life.

Please receive these simple words of submission.

“Dear Father God, I am not confident in my way of thinking apart from You. I am asking the Holy Spirit to guide my thinking to reflect You, Your ways, and Your will in everything I do.”

In Your name, Jesus, we pray,



Ed McDowell is the CEO of Warm Beach Camp Ministries. He also coaches and consults in board leadership and development to bring fresh perspectives to perplexing situations. Ed authorizes a devotional series titled A Well-Planted Faith in an Uprooted Culture. His writing and speaking aim to challenge people to have God’s Word inform how they live. Ed and his wife, Bev, live on Camano Island, Washington, where they live out their mission statement: “To give our lives away for the cause of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.”

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