Recently I was preparing an alpha talk on How does God Guide Us? I love this talk I find it such an encouragement to reflect on and write down some of the examples from my journey with Jesus. In the week before the talk I had one of those interesting God Moments, you know the ones; you are busy cooking with a documentary in the background when all of a sudden it’s like the TV got turned up for a second; a sentence resonates and your whole body responds.
The scenario: a man’s wife and children are shot dead by his daughters boyfriend and he’s in hospital recovering.
Friends reassurance ‘God is in Control’.
Red light in me hears these words and shouts ‘No He’s not!’
Now my brain is awake ‘ Can I say that? Is that blasphemy?’
Time out. Step back.
Let’s think this through.
God is the creator and sustainer of the universe. He is present now, has always been and will always be. (Genesis 1, John 1:1-5) He knows us each by name, infact he knew us before we were formed in our mother’s wombs (Ephesians 1:4, Galatians 1:15) . He sees from the beginning to the end of time. He has plans for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11). He is good (Mark 10:18). He is over all things (John 17:2, Ephesians 4:6). He is in control.
(Isaiah 9:7, Mark 13:13)
So if God is in control how did this happen? Did He shut one eye for a second?
Of course not. God is not a created being like us, He sees all things (Isaiah 40:28). He is victorious and all powerful. We do however, live in a fallen world (Genesis 3). God sent His own Son as a sacrifice, as payment for our rebellion, so we could be in relationship with Him again (John 3:16). Whilst victory (through Jesus) is assured, the fighting is far from over. We are not all on the side of ‘team God’ and looking to live life His way.
God, in his love and grace, gives us free will (John 8:32, Genesis 2:19, Luke 22:42) . We are not puppets on a string. God does not control our individual actions, move our arms and legs or make us run. He is moved by injustice, wherever it is found (Micah 6:8). Selfishness and evil; ours and others, unjust and ungodly actions affect our lives. The enemy prowls around like a lion ready to pounce (1 Peter 5:8). Fact. God longs for us to stand up against these things (Psalm 103:6). He will use any situation to bring good; beauty from ashes (Psalm 50:2-6).
Sometimes we say things, however true and well meaning they may be, which do not convey the compassion of God or a full measure of understanding (psalm 103:8). Like the phrase ‘What will be, will be!’ We are not powerless. We can stand against the enemy schemes (Ephesians 6:11). God gives us the wisdom (Ephesians 1:8). Prayer, our weapon of warfare, is powerful. Prayer changes circumstances and situations (Mark 11:24, Exodus 17:10-12) . God does have plans and purposes for our lives and we can search them out (Jeremiah 29:11).
The situation was devastating. God knew. The God of compassion and abounding in love knew what was happening. (Matthew 9:36) If he was a heavenly holy dictator he might have intervened but being true love and grace he did not (1John4:16,17). It doesn’t mean He is any less powerful. God our creator is always in control.
Written by Jane Reynolds