Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Is God ALWAYS in control?

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

We who are believers in the Lord, believe that God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (everywhere present).  As a result, when bad things happen and sometimes when good things happen we tend to say, “I am glad that I know that God is in control.”  We also say, “There is no such thing as an accident with God.”  The presumption is that if God is God, He has everything managed and planned and nothing can turn aside His plans.  Is that ALWAYS TRUE?

There are two words in particular that make me pause when I think of God always having everything under control.  One is the word “sin.”  The other is the word “long-suffering.”  Sin is basically disobedience.  Sin can be not doing what the God has asked us to do or it can be doing what the Lord has asked us not to do.  The first is a sin of omission and the second is a sin of commission.  When people are sinning, is God in control?  I would say no.  Our verse says we have gone astray and we have turned to our own way, it does not say that God caused us to disobey and go our own way.

Our verse really has to do with the disobedience of Israel but it applies to all of us.  Sin came into the world through Satan who beguiled Eve and who shared her sin with her husband.  When Adam and Eve and all of creation was finished, it was “very good.”  Sin is not only not “very good,” it is evil.  So did God create sin?   No!  Did God allow sin?  Yes!  Did God who is all knowing get caught by surprise by sin?  No!  That is why God has always provided for the blood sacrifice of animals to prefigure the way He would put away sin at the cross.  That is why the Lord could say prophetically, “And the LORD has laid on Him (that is on Christ) the iniquity of us all.” 

While God did not cause sin and while sinners are not under God’s control when they are sinning, can God use sin to glorify Himself?  Yes!  If Adam and Eve had not sinned, humanity would never have known about divine love which is the love for the unlovable.  Humanity would never have known how far God would go to forgive our sin.  Mankind would never have known about God’s “long-suffering.”  In 1 Timothy 1:16 Paul says, “ However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”  Long-suffering is the patient endurance of lasting offense.   In 2 Peter 3:9, Peter reminds us that God is long-suffering because He is not willing that any should perish.  He is withholding the fulfillment of His prophetic promises because He still wants to save some.  Thank the Lord that He did not come before I trusted in the Lord.  The Lord was long-suffering to me, to others, and He is long-suffering to the nation of Israel.  Does that mean that He can be charged with causing all the sin that He is being long-suffering toward?  No!  Does that mean that there are limits as to how far sinners can go and as to how long-suffering the Lord is?  Yes!

What does God Micromanage?
There are things that the Lord did and does have completely under control.  His prophetic plan concerning the coming of the Lord into this world was completely planned.  It was completely under His control.  There are certain things with regard to the affairs of the nations that seem out of control but that I believe are completely “in control.”  But one thing I know, even as a Christian I am told to be “filled” or “completely controlled” by the Holy Spirit. This command would not have to be given if each of us was totally “filled” much like a hand puppet is filled by the hand of the puppeteer who controls the puppets movements and speech.  In addition, we are told to present our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).  Obviously, we aren’t always acting like living sacrifices and when we fail, I don’t think we can say that we are being controlled by the Holy Spirit and that God is at fault.

God could micromanage everything but He has chosen to test man’s sense and loyalty by not doing that.  I believe that God is not willing that any should perish and yet many will perish.  I believe that they will have only themselves to blame   I believe that those who perish will finally have to take responsibility for their own sin and they will not be able to blame others or God for their unbelief.  Yes, God is in ultimately in control but that does not mean that He can or should be blamed for all the bad things that happen in this world.

Now are there such things as accidents?  We had a bad one at the end of this last year and I can see good coming out of it.  But did God cause it?  Did He preplan it?  I am still pondering that.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of April 6, 2014

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>