Wednesday, February 19, 2014

God is In Control

Our understanding and experience of God's sovereignty develops counter to all power-based and piety-based assumptions regarding God's effective rule.  We quit spinning our wheels on utopian projects and dreams.  Following that, we begin to realize that if God's sovereignty is never canceled out by the so deeply sin-flawed leaders ('kings') in both our culture and our church, we can quite cheerfully exult in God's sovereignty as it is being exercised (though often silently and hiddenly) in all circumstantial details of the actual present.

This passage is from Eugene Peterson's introduction to 1 & 2 Kings in The Message.  I'm reading through the Bible in this translation and Peterson's introductions to the books move me nearly as much as the Scripture verse itself.

Who needs to hear what he is saying this morning?

I do, for sure.  In a world/culture/environment where God seems at best ignored and at worst mocked, I needed a reminder The Lord is still The Lord.  When sin is shopped to young and old on every street-corner of our lives - whether physical, online or in the media, it is far too easy to think satan is getting his way.  It is easy to slip into complaint mode, to wonder where God has run off to and feel like you are praying futile prayers that will come to nothing.

When I read the Bible, I am reminded of two things. 

First - humanity has not changed very much since the beginning of our creation.  Oh, we can point to technology, physical differences and genetic mapping as proof of our "evolution" as a species.  While we may not be throwing our babies into literal fires anymore, the same issues that happened back in Genesis (and other ancient writings) are still happening today.  Dysfunction reigns.

Or does it?

That goes to my second point.  When I read Scripture, I am also reminded while humans are still human, God is still very much God.  He is large and in charge.  So large in fact that our natural minds and bodies cannot comprehend the way He works.  We spend far too much time trying to figure out His plan when He would rather us just go with it.  I think that is why we have a tendency to ignore Him or write Him off because we cannot see/hear/touch/feel what He is doing so much of the time. 

Just because He is working in the background doesn't make Him any less powerful or effective.

The Bible provides a lens, a scope of perspective on human history that reminds me God is always the King of Kings.  Christ is ever and always on the throne, no matter how bad things get down here.  The enemy would like us to focus on the evil.  It delights him when we do.  He knows he will lose ground when we start purposefully zeroing in on the good, God's good.  He loses his power of illusion and distraction when we turn our eyes to Jesus.

I'm not saying we shouldn't work for righteousness and justice.  Let's start ministries, bringing about Jesus' mission from Luke 4:18-19.  Let's take the Great Commission from Matthew 28 seriously.  We should continue to pray and petition and work towards His ends being made real.  Rather, when those efforts seem thwarted or nonexistent, we don't have to be discouraged.  We don't have to sink into depression at the state of affairs of the world.

It's bad, yes.  But God is always good.

In eternity, I think we will understand that evil is just a drop in the bucket.  It doesn't compare with the enormity of love in the universe.  Love is the fabric upon which existence is made.  If God is love, and He is, the awful (and it is) that seems overwhelming in the natural doesn't hold a candle, even if satan would like us to think he is God's equal.  Where He is, that's where we are.  Nothing can separate us from Him.

I know that's a leap of faith, but The Holy Spirit makes the leap possible.  We aren't Pollyannas or ostriches with our heads in the sand.  When our eyes are trained on God rather than circumstances, we are viewing things as they really are.  That deep, constant, abiding reassurance we are loved isn't just a feeling.  It's the truth - Christ in you, the hope of glory! 

Nothing that happens here can take that away.  No ineffective government or even willfully disobedient leaders can change that.  We can joyfully say,

Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Put that thought to the test today.  Ask Jesus to show you His sovereignty.  Maybe you start small, or maybe you go big.  Either way, Jesus is in the business of showing His people He is the real deal Holyfield.  You can and should put God to this kind of test.  Don't be afraid.  He is waiting to show you just how in control He is.  He will grow your faith to believe Him for bigger and bigger things.

It's what our fathers and mothers in the faith, as seen in the Bible, did.  Let's follow their example.

1 comment:

KT Smith said...


Love it and agree! The sovereignty concept creates a lot of complacent Christians who abdicate their role in the Christian walk.

God is in control of those who let Him control them!