Trash Talking


One of my favorite things about being an NFL fan is playing Fantasy Football. I love putting together a roster of real players for a pretend team and competing against my friends.


During the preseason draft, I diligently prepare by researching and making a plan for the players I want to take and when I want to pick them.


Once the season starts, I enjoy watching games and predicting which players will perform best each week, so I can put those guys in my starting lineup. Based on my knowledge of the game and the information I’ve read, I guess which lineup will give me the best chance to win.


But with all that said, the truth is, much of Fantasy Football is out of my control, very unpredictable, and not dependent on any skills I think I might have.

During the draft, I can’t control the players that other managers select…I can’t predict who will get injured…and I have no way of knowing how well certain guys will do on new teams.


When the games kick off at 1 o’clock, I can cheer as loudly as I want for my players to score touchdowns, but I am absolutely helpless from the vantage point of my recliner.


I can’t control the outcome of the actual games or my Fantasy matchups. As soon as I set my lineup, I have no choice but to let go and watch. Truth be told, the actual fantasy is the illusion of control!


In both Fantasy Football and life, we all want to make sure things go a certain way and try to dictate their direction. We hold a firm grip on everything, and when things happen out of our control, we get frustrated and discouraged.


But the sooner we accept what is out of our hands, the sooner we can relax and have true peace. The key is learning how to deal with this reality, and understanding how to surrender to God’s will and His power.


Proverbs 16:9 (AMP) helps us trust God when our plans go differently than expected: “A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], but the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.”


There’s no question we have free will and make choices every day for how we live our lives, but we also have to recognize we are limited, helpless, and in need of God’s strength and direction.


We can do our best to “set our lineup,” but then we must place our trust in God to work and move in a way that accomplishes His purposes and establishes His will.


Although we can control our attitude, effort, and surrendered heart, God is the One above all who knows all and has power over all.


Jesus explains this encouraging truth in John 15:5 (AMP): “I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”


Isn’t it much better to have open hands and open hearts to the One who created us and is sovereign over all? Today, let’s actively seek Jesus and do what we can, but also rest in the work that He’s doing in us and through us.


I’m Bryce Johnson and you can UNPACK that!


PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please give me the strength to let go and not try to control everything in my life. I pray that I would trust You more, and believe Your will is better than my plans. Help me to follow Your way. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.


Discussion Questions for PACKS:


1. What areas of your life do you try to control the most?


2. What are some examples of times when you stopped trying to control things and you’re so glad you did?

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