Dateline: June 8, 1985, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, by British rock group Tears for Fears, reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. I was 14 and a child of the 80’s. The Reagan era was in full swing and this was one of the anthems of the time. This popped up on the SiriusXM 80’s on 8 channel (yes, I listen!) last week.

One of the subtleties of getting older is that you tend to listen to the words of the songs you grew up with. The second verse of this song struck me. Here are the lyrics:

It’s my own desire. It’s my own remorse. Help me to decide. Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure, nothing ever lasts forever. Everybody wants to rule the world.

Wow! The truth that is expressed here is the base desire every human has: CONTROL. None of us likes or wants to NOT be in control. We want to be in control and in charge, able to handle the situation! Sometimes in a cool, calm, and collected way. Yet more often than not, with our hair on fire, trying to contain the mess we’ve made.

This is where Satan deceives me (and you). The problem with me (and you)? We want to be like God. We play God and act independently of God. Disagree? Go pick some fruit with Adam & Eve. They were deceived into believing they could be like God. They both acted independent of God and it cost them and all humanity dearly. What if Adam & Eve would have taken the small step of talking to God before indulging their senses?

Life is lived in the small things.

Asking for help and guidance when you don’t know what to do is vital to survival. Or more importantly, when you think you know what to do, that’s maybe a better time to ask for help and guidance (see Genesis 3). We’ve all been there. “Oh, I should have asked!” or “Oh, you should have known!” Both are common refrains we utter after a mistake or failure.

As Christians, we tend to give the big items that we can’t control to God, yet retain control of the small things we think we can handle on our own, without any divine guidance; or we give it to God and then take it back, give and take, give and take, over and over and over. This is a double standard that you and I engage within our Soul. We’ve basically hired ourselves to be God’s personal assistant for our own lives (when He’s given us His Holy Spirit)! The problem with this standard is our confinement within time and space, specifically with our inability to see the future and adequately deal with the past. We spend our time in the present either relying on, remembering, or rehashing our memories (and those are always accurate, right?), or we fret for a future we can’t control (although we try!). We’re unable to see the whole picture from start to finish, and that frustrates our plans, especially when those plans don’t go the way we think they should be going and then get angry or question God about it! So if we are controlling a little part of our world because we think we can handle it, we feel like and believe we are in control. Yet what we are saying to God is that we don’t trust His sovereignty in our lives.

Here’s the truth – life is lived in the small things. Yet when we control the small things and keep God out of them, why are we surprised when the big things blow our world apart? There’s a difference between living in the small things and controlling the small things.

There’s a Room Where the Light Won’t Find You, Holding Hands While the Walls Come Tumbling Down

To gain means to obtain or secure (something desired, favorable, or profitable). When you gain something, no matter how small or large, you have control over it, and if you have control over it, then you’re in charge. We’re all familiar with Mark 8:36, “and what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” As Christians, you and I would say that we live by this and that we don’t have some grand plan or scheme to, “gain the whole world.” Yet too often it seems that we apply this verse only to the big things in life, like material possessions, and not the small things in life, like nurturing a relationship (yes, that’s a small thing that needs daily attention). When a couple relies solely on each other for intimacy and joy, they will be, as the song says, holding hands while the walls come tumbling down, because their control of the situation and each other won’t allow the True Light to find them, which will guide them to sustainable intimacy and joy, allowing them to weather the storm they are facing.

Turn Your Back on Mother Nature

It boils down to a question of whether your Soul is looking to your Spirit or your Body (also known as your Flesh) for its sustenance. Your Soul (mind, will, and emotions) is the driving force of your life. Are you allowing your Spirit to guide you or are you being led by your Flesh? Are you going to live by the natural or tap into the One who controls the winds and the waves? (Psalm 89:9 & Matthew 8:27)

What’s the answer? Like most things, the answer is simple, but not easy. Humbling your heart before God, confessing, repenting, and releasing your control over even the tiniest item, then renewing your identity, and resting in His love for you. Yes, it’s that simple. Is it easy? Not in the least! This is the struggle in your Soul between the Spirit and the Body.

My prayer for you as a Loved, Saved, Forgiven, Child of God – is that you live your life from approval in the Spirit, not for approval in the Flesh. These are not side by side choices, they are as far as the East is from the West.

Directional Choice

Extend your arms straight out from your body to the right and left, just like Jesus on the Cross. Your Spirit is on the left, and your Body (Flesh) is on the right. Your Soul is in the middle. You’ll see that you aren’t able to look at the Spirit and the Flesh at the same time, it’s impossible. Your Soul (mind, will, and emotions) must choose which side to draw strength from to guide your life. Spirit = from approval. Flesh = for approval. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Left or right. Which direction will you choose?

Here are the lyrics and a link to the video.

Tears for Fears

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Welcome to your life

There’s no turning back

Even while we sleep

We will find You acting on your best behavior

Turn your back on mother nature

Everybody wants to rule the world

 

It’s my own desire

It’s my own remorse

Help me to decide

Help me make the most

Of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever

Everybody wants to rule the world

 

There’s a room where the light won’t find you

Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down

When they do, I’ll be right behind you

So glad we’ve almost made it

So sad they had to fade it

Everybody wants to rule the world

 

I can’t stand this indecision

Married with a lack of vision

Everybody wants to rule the world

 

Say that you’ll never, never, never, need it!

One headline, why believe it?

One headline, why believe it?

Everybody wants to rule the world

 

All for freedom and for pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever

Everybody wants to rule the world

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.