Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Divine Control

This issue of divine control has been weighing on my mind. I mentioned previously that I wasn't really sure how much God had to do with the random circumstances of our lives. I've always tended to think that things just happen because we live in a fallen and corrupt world, then I guess God just goes behind doing "damage control" working everything out for the good. However, this theory--at least how it's worked out in my life--has a lot of contradictions in it. So, I decided to begin searching for truth, and must now admit that I was wrong.

Here are a few things I have found, starting with Hebrews 12:

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

What I was rebelling against in my belief that God is not in control of every detail was God's discipline to bring me into holy living.

Here is a sermon by John Piper on this passage that is well worth reading.

I was directed to the July 16 entry in My Utmost for His Highest:

The Notion Of Divine Control

“How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?”
Matthew 7:11

Jesus is laying down rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit. By the simple argument of these verses He urges us to keep our minds filled with the notion of God's control behind every thing, which means that the disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

Notion your mind with the idea that God is there. If once the mind is notioned along that line, then when you are in difficulties it is as easy as breathing to remember - Why, my Father knows all about it! It is not an effort, it comes naturally when perplexities press. Before, you used to go to this person and that, but now the notion of the Divine control is forming so powerfully in you that you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit, and it works on this principle - God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry?

There are times, says Jesus, when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural Father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the notion of the mind of God behind all things strong and growing. Nothing happens in any particular unless God's will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. "Ask, and it shall be given you."

God has given us this rule of conduct: to always remember He is there and is in control.

I have depression. It's something I don't want to consider that God intentionally gave me. That makes Him seem very unjust. I don't understand it, and it makes me very angry with God that He won't just heal me. But my anger at God is always a statement that God is unfair. When I don't like my life and what God has allowed into my life, I am being demanding of life, and ultimately of God. I am demanding my will, not His will. I still don't have this all worked out. I am struggling, which is a large part of my reason for quietness here. But I think struggling is okay; in fact, I think it's just where God wants me to be.

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