22 Aug 2008

Regarding God's Control

Submitted by theshovel
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While I fully believe that God is in control, I've often made assumptions as to how that has to appear. Every time I've thought I had an understanding of His control figured out it has inevitably fallen flat in front of me ... or should I say, from under me. As you are now considering, perhaps the real issues we argue about really do have more to do with our own belief systems than with the truth we often seem to be discussing.

Yes, I understand that sense of being shown to be right, and yet in the process I've realized that the real truth of my being made right in Christ has no bearing on what I was trying to communicate. If I also wanted to speak of freedom in Christ to the person I was debating with it seemed I had to create a bridge from what I had been saying up to that point. For me anymore, if the good news of Christ is not directly related to what I discuss in my God-related topics then I'm not sure they're worth discussing. The subject of God's Control is one of those topics that most of the time have nothing to do with my true life as being joined together with the God who is in control of everything. It's what I see as a doctrinal divide, that is, truth without life. We have far too much of that, and I don't want to add to it.

Regarding control, I might convince myself of the truth that God has control even over bad decisions, but then if I end up using my wonderful intellect and therefore reason that I have no real choices, rather than finding comfort in the reality that I have been made truly free by the determination of God in Christ. The doctrine of Free Will is not about the only free will in the universe, it is about the attempt to prove that we can strive against the odds and make ourselves free. The irony here is that while we're trying to prove that our belief system is right we might be still trying to win that same old battle about how we are the ones have chosen the "right" way. But we've been made right in Christ ... and that's not referring to our belief systems.

We can make our decisions according to our belief that God is in control ... but then what if it's better than that? What if we make our decisions IN the God who is in control? The difference is found in Christ. And that is where we are.

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Posted: Aug-25-08 at 5:18am by Tim P
Deep stuff, bro.
"Truth without life." I feel like some of my toes have been stepped on, deservedly of course.

"... make our decisions IN the God who is in control." Tell me more. What goes through your mind as you do this.


Posted: Aug-25-08 at 12:25pm by theshovel
Hello again, Tim! :)

I feel like some of my toes have been stepped on, deservedly of course.

Perhaps the toes that have been stepped on belong to a man who is no longer you, as well as who is no longer alive.

"... make our decisions IN the God who is in control." Tell me more. What goes through your mind as you do this.

I don't know that I can give you any specific answer, since different kinds of decisions produce different reactions, except that behind my varied experiences there has been a sense of knowing that everything I do I do in him. The confidence I have is not found in some kind of certainty that all my decisions will be proven "right". In fact, I have become painfully aware that I may just as easily suffer as a result. I have lost any romantic concept that I can make everything turn out okay by making a supposed God-led decision. If those who are examples before me have taught me anything of this, it is that doing the will of God can have hazardous results. I can tell you that I have found great freedom in knowing this, for it frees me from the judgments of those who would question my every move.


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Random Shovelquote: Asking God to remove your sin (view all shovelquotes)

Now, if any of you are hearing this with the spirit of condemnation hanging over your head, it’s only because you’re trying to hold on to two radically different propositions at the same time. It’s like trying to travel east and west simultaneously. But trying to do the one while believing we are still doing the other is the very thing that leaves us confused and paralyzed. You see, asking God to help you to remove your sin is built upon the assumption that Jesus Christ hasn’t already done it. source