Lately God has been bringing my attention to the trials we must face in life and the victory that he promises for those who persevere and believe in him. Through this process I have come to a strong belief in the truth that everything happens for a reason. I know that’s a favorite cliche, but God has really been impressing this upon my heart in a way like never before and although I am not completely there yet I can already feel the sweet freedom of realizing that God is in control of ALL things and nothing is coincidence or a stroke of luck. He is the captian of my life, our lives.
I went through a stage in my life where I was very confused about Gods role and the Devils role and who controlled what and I think that is part of the reason God brought this to my attention; the confusion really set in after my mom died almost 2 years ago and my pastor at the time, with the best of intentions, told me that I musnt believe people when they say God plucked another flower for his garden because God has no part in death and it is in fact the devil who caused her to die. I came to understand later their deeper beliefs and interpretations of the bible and realized it was not in line with my beliefs and so we parted ways but that comment always hung around in the back of my mind; the other part of why God brought this to my attention is possibly because it’s a message that I need in my life right now; we are blessed in so many, many ways but we are also going through a very confusing, transitional phase at the moment and very often God drops in with little messages to let me know He’s still there, he hasn’t left the wheel.
I recently finished reading a study on Job by Charles Swindoll and it was amazing to go through all the details of such a great man. Job, a very well respected elder of his town, was brought to his knees; he lost his children, his businesses, his wealth and his health and as he came down to his knees he uttered the words “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away… And yet I will praise”, this is the truest example of a man who lives in full realization of who is in charge. He didn’t run around pointing fingers, looking for someone to blame. He didn’t curse the devil or gather a group of friends around to speak positive things about his situation, or call up a friend and ask them to send good vibes his way. He knew without a doubt that God was in charge and nothing and no one could change that – if the Lord chose to take away what the Lord had given him who was he to say otherwise.
In Randy Alcorns book Managing Gods Money he gives a great example of how it’s all Gods anyway. “When teaching from 1 Corinthians 6—“You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (NIV)—I occasionally ask someone in the front row to lend me her pencil. When she hands it to me, I break it in half, throw it on the floor, and crush it under my foot. The reaction of the students is shock and disbelief. What right do I have to break someone else’s pencil? When I explain that it’s really my pencil, which I planted before the session, everything changes. If it belongs to me, I have the right to do with it what I want.”
Many of our problems begin when we forget that God is the boss of the universe.
“And that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42.2
Charles Swindoll writes “It is impossible to frustrate God’s purposes. In Job’s words we find the term thwarted. God’s priorities are never thwarted. The Hebrew term is from the verb that means “to cut off.” “No purpose of Yours can be cut off.” God’s purpose can’t be blocked, restrained, or stopped. God’s intentions can neither be altered nor disrupted. What He purposes will transpire without delay, without hindrance, and without fail. Everything that happens on this earth falls within the framework of exactly what God has purposed. Yes, exactly. None of what occurs is a last-minute, stopgap response, therefore He is never surprised. Whatever occurs is unfolding precisely as He has planned it in His omniscience. With Him, things that occur on earth are never out of control.”
I’m inclined to believe that Job had previously been through tough situations in his life so as to come to that point of complete awareness and trust in God and his supreme power and majesty. Only someone who has walked a bumpy road with God can react in such a blameless way as Job when disaster strikes.
Dr. R.C. Sproul in his book “Does God Control Everything?” Writes about how in the past God was seen as the cause of everything. “If someone became sick, the illness was attributed to God. Now, of course, we are told that illnesses are due to microorganisms that invade our bodies, and those tiny organisms operate according to their nature, doing what they have evolved to do. Likewise, whereas in former days people believed an earthquake or a thunderstorm was caused by the hand of God, today we are assured that there are natural reasons for these events. They happen because of forces that are part of the natural order of things.”
If God is not sovereign, God is not God. If there is even one maverick molecule in the universe—one molecule running loose outside the scope of God’s sovereign ordination—we cannot have the slightest confidence that any promise God has ever made about the future will come to pass.
Dr R C Sproul goes on to tell how “In the eighteenth century, a book was written that has become the classic of Western economic theory—The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith. In that book, Smith tried to “apply the scientific method to the field of economics in an effort to discover what causes certain economic responses and counter-responses in the marketplace. Smith wanted to cut through speculation and identify basic causes that produced predictable effects. But even while he was applying this scientific inquiry to the complicated network of economic actions and reactions, he spoke of the “invisible hand.” In other words, Smith was saying: “Yes, there are causes and effects going on in this world, but we have to recognize that above all there has to be an ultimate causal power or there would be no lower causal powers. Thus, the whole universe is orchestrated by the invisible hand of God.” In our day, however, we have focused so intently on the immediate activity of cause and effect that for the most part we have ignored or denied the overarching causal power behind all of life. Modern man basically has no concept of providence.”
It would seem as man we have made such advancements in life, but as spiritual beings we seem to be loosing touch. We’re looking in all the wrong places. The bookstores and lined with self-help books and all of them basically say the same thing but use different words and people are soaking them up in an attempt to find answers but we’re not getting any closer to the truth. We’re desperate for control, in fact we are wired to believe we HAVE to be in control and the more we strive to be in control of our lives, and everyone else’s, the more miserable we become, the more anti depressants and sleeping tablets and drugs and alcohol we consume to try and suffocate our feelings of disappointment in not being in control. We were never meant to be in control. We were never meant to run the show.
Charles Swindoll says it so well, ” Everything that happens, including the things you cannot explain or justify, is being woven together like an enormous, beautiful piece of tapestry. From this earthly side it seems blurred and knotted, strange and twisted. But from heaven’s perspective it has an incredible pattern. Best of all, it is for His greater glory. Right now, it seems so confusing, but someday the details will come together and make good sense.”
So here’s to taking our hands off the wheel. Here’s to not knowing, and being okay with it. Here’s to sleeping more and planning less. Here’s to laughing more and worrying less. Here’s to being okay with the fact that this is all a journey and yes, there will be hard times but hard times make the sweet times sweeter, dont ya’ know! 😉