Friday, June 10, 2011

God Is In Control....Isn't He?

by Praying Medic
I've been engaged in discussions with people about who exactly is in control of things; God or us. I'd like to share with you a brief explanation of my thoughts on the matter. You're welcome to disagree, but please do so respectfully. I'm writing this as a reference for future discussions. I'll examine only one aspect of the question, though there are others that may be considered.

The scripture teaches that God is an all-powerful, all-knowing being. These attributes are particularly well - illustrated in the Old Testament. I'm not arguing that this revelation is wrong. I would argue that it's incomplete, if you fail to consider what the gospels have to say about the nature of God and his dealings with man.

When Jesus came to earth, He revealed mysteries about the nature of God in the parables of the kingdom. In the parable of the wicked vinedressers, (Matt 21) He confronted the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, but He also revealed that God is one who leaves things in the hands of His servants for a season. Those He leaves in control are free to do as they please with the things He entrusts to them. From this parable, we see that God delegates a level of responsibility and authority to His servants. The parable of the talents (Matt 25) illustrates the same principle. Adam was given authority and dominion over the earth, but failed to rule wisely and suffered the consequences. Adam had been given a real assignment with real consequences that rested on his shoulders. Like Adam, we still exercise a measure of rule over the things that happen here on earth.

Jesus said all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him, (Matt 28:18) but He delegated some of that authority to us. (Luke 10:19) The kingdom of God is a realm where God truly does give power and authority to his servants to do as they see fit; for better or worse. Some use it for the advancement of the kingdom, some do not. God requires an account from everyone at the end of the age.

I am not endorsing deism. But I can't go along with the idea that I'm a helpless being, devoid of authority and that God is in absolute control of every detail of my life. We are His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). As such we're representatives of His kingdom. An ambassador knows the King he represents and how His kingdom operates. We're given a measure of freedom as representatives to establish His kingdom and enforce His will, here on earth.

I've been amazed at the freedom God has given me in the way I live out my Christian experience. Several years ago, He started giving me dreams about the things I might do. At first, I thought everything He showed me was something I would do. But I've come to realize some of them were things He offered and I chose not to do them, choosing something else instead. Once I said 'no' to them, He came along side me and said, "If you're interested in that, I can use you there, too." He then revealed how He would use me in that area. God gives us choices. After we make a choice, He'll give an assignment. It's up to us to choose the area and accept or reject the assignment. If we accept, it's up to us to decide how it's carried out.

A friend and I often say, "God is in control, but he left us in charge."