10 Jun 2004

Does God actually intervene in our lives?

Submitted by theshovel
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Does God actually play a tangible intervention/ guidance role in our lives.., like bringing things to pass, arranging circumstances and situations etc?

I have no doubt God is behind everything having to do with my life. Of course, that might mean something totally different than what you're asking, as its meaning has indeed changed for me in view of the overwhelming reality of Christ.

I suspect our view of God's operations is tied to a desperate need to believe that we actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Do we matter? Do we have any real value and uniqueness? Or are we just part of the purposeless mass of humanity? I think we're desperately hoping to convince ourselves that we do matter because deep down inside we have always feared we don't. After all, it's pretty easy to find many who will gladly validate our inferiority. It's a universal struggle that reveals itself in every imaginable relationship.

So, if I am fighting against my own internal sense of inferiority I must establish an alternate framework - or perception - by which I might view myself differently. Yeah, I could cite you a few examples from my own life, though I'm sure you have enough of your own to recognize what I'm talking about, huh? :) My view of "Divine guidance" will be significantly formed upon the outworking of events and circumstances AS I SEE THEM in connection with myself ... whether or not there is any real connection.

Once again, my observations are NOT suggestions that God does not intervene in amazing ways, but that our desperation may be forcing circumstances to validate our divine usefulness. For there is a world of difference between God's orchestration and someone's perceived need to figure out what's behind that orchestration.

Also consider that since God is for us then all things are for us, even those that seem to be against us. If we are seeing Christ we might see him in everything simply because we inwardly know that he is our life, even if the particular circumstances are unrelated to what we think.

Jim

Anyways I guess the reason I asked it in the first place was (and I know your views on prayer-which I love) that over the last 6 months there have been about 3 times that I can nail down that I have specifically prayed to God about something and its happened in the most prompt and tangible way. I want to think woo hoo Gods listning and makin it happen and playing a tangible part in my life but my cynical side says...that was always gonna happen...it was just conincidence you prayed for it just before that... Know what I mean??...does yr answer still apply? : )

Ah yes, the cynical side! :)

If you saw The Matrix you'll remember the scene where the Oracle tells Neo not to worry about the vase. As Neo says, "What vase?", he knocks it over and immediately apologizes. The Oracle says, "I told you not to worry about it.", then she adds, "What's really gonna bake your noodle later on is would you have broken the vase if I hadn't said anything." Hahaha! The whole attempt at trying to reason the intervention of God is rather futile. Christ himself is our confidence.

What if God's workings, especially in responding to our requests, turn out to be pure simplicity that is only complicated by our ridiculous attempts to figure out the eternal according to the temporal? What if God is really never taken by surprise?

I had a situation happen to me years ago where I told everybody I was sure God had a place available for us to move into about 20 minutes to the south of us. My wife asked me a few times how I knew, and I said, "I just know". The time came and the place I had found during the whole ordeal was not going to be ready, so we were left high and dry. All our belongings were packed away in a U-Haul, and we had to stay with my dad instead of moving in. The next day the place was made available, and we "miraculously" moved in. Shortly after, when a friend at the church we were going to asked me how I knew God's leading I just said, "God". Of course, the insinuation was that I somehow had found that miraculous place of faith.

Maybe God didn't tell me anything ... at least in the way I was assuming he would. But maybe God did indeed respond to our requests. Funny thing is that when more of the story is told it sounds less like the miraculous leading I desired it to be and more like an interconnected set of twists and turns and trials and doubts and desperation and fears ... and very assuredly, faith. It just so happens that when I was contacting the landlord it became known that I was looking for God's leading in this thing, and it turns out the guy was a believer who did everything he could to make this happen ... even letting us in before they were totally finished (the AC wouldn't get installed for at least a week).
Do I discount God's involvement because of all these less than perfect leading scenarios? Not at all. The truth is that so much of what I had previously assumed and perceived just doesn't matter, for despite all the inconsistencies and discrepancies Christ was working mightily in me! I do know that I was coming to see more and more of the freedom and grace of Christ because of my struggles through it all. The reality that faith didn't need any validation came through a desire to find some.

Jim

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"The reality that faith didn't need any validation came through a desire to find some."

Jim

I LOVE that! reading it resulted in a big, deep, relieving, healthy-for-the-heart-and-mind sigh! :)

Thank you and Hugs!

Dignz

Yes, very cool. what a great tie-in to the leading of the spirit stuff you wrote, Jim.
it is so true that when we try to figure it out, or do our famous, "I wish I hadn't of done that stuff... As if we really know what would have happened if we had done the other stuff we didn't do. You know, the perfect hind sight decision we should have made. And as if it really matters.

In Brennan's Manning's last book, The Furious longing of God, he doesn't talk about going back in his life and changing circumstances, He talks only about loving. he would love more. only that.

"The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love."

I have been thinking a lot about that verse, Matthew 18:18
"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Thinking about it for some years even. Did not really make sense.
And i think because of this christian nonsense that Heaven is some FUTURE place. that being drummed into our heads from sunday school and on into the joy of funerals.

But i think the kingdom of God, aka heaven is a NOW thing. Seeings how He says we are saints and that we are seated with Him etc. He's alive and so are we...

so, i think now, that what we cut loose here on "earth" now, is cut loose in "heaven" now. same thing really.

not something reserved for later. maybe i am wrong. what do you think?

For example, if we cut loose our love, our life, our smiles, our joy, which we have now, how can that be any good for some afterlife purpose?

It only makes sense in terms of now.

that is why i love dancing. i can do it now...

And hopefully forever. whatever new body we will or will not get, there has to be dancing later too, don't you think.? and i am hoping flying. Just rambling.

there simply is so much joy in letting go of worrying about circumstances and what ifs.

Let me try. The reality that my decision making ability doesn't need any validation came through the desire to find some.

talk about peace.

thanks for the encouragement too, Dignz.

Vivien.

Vivien

theshovel's picture

Yes, my dear Vivien, we indeed live in the now of God's eternal kingdom! I am thoroughly enjoying the expressions of your freedom in him. :)

Love, Jim

Does God actually play a tangible intervention/ guidance role in our lives.., like bringing things to pass, arranging circumstances and situations etc? -Questioner You know, I did not take this as this person asking about having significance as much as I heard him asking the question that is begging to be asked in reavaluating all things according to Him. wE WERE FORCE FED the idea[and it made some sense to us too] that God would ‘rescue’ us from trials and tribulations and bad descisions and mistakes. We took sermons and stories about Abraham sacraficing his son and the Angel that stopped him from doing it. We took scriptures like ‘..God will not give you more than you can bear’[better known now as God ‘never gives u more than we can handle’ in the IC] and started to get the idea that God would INDEED INTERVENE. We began to expect it. Of course another famous quote fro the Bible to support this idea is the famous “for I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you a future and a hope”. We have hung onto that one with tooth and nail..and have relied on a goodness that was given to a people in the realm of the flesh. We look for that naturally now. Today times are tough, times are hard..we want to make good descisions, we want to not make mistakes. We are being told that we are sinners that are basically being rehabed to be more ‘chirist like’ day by day. We get the idea bolstered to us that we are indeed prone to make alwful descisions and that we NEED God’s intervention. Until of course we ‘grow up’ enough to be mature and to make good sound descisions on our own. YOu know, an improvement program. In fact I am sure this is what ties into the desperate need to ‘get right’ as taughtn by the church when someone screws there own lives up so badly that they can not repair it. They find themselves in church begging for guidance on how to get it all ‘right’ again. To get that debt paid..to make amends..to get a job..to get a shave and clean up our moral act. Care to comment on THAT? lol Love, A

I agree with what you have said. We as a society expect to be able to do as we please and then when stuff gets out of hand we turn and say " oh god has a plan." Or expect God to get us out the mess. There are many things that people do on a everyday basis that is considered ungodly and we ask God for blessings and tell people this is what God has brought me to do. for example if God wants me to be a minister and I disobey him and go and become a teacher, while the choice of career was not bad, that's not what God wanted for me and have disobeyed him. In Gods eyes saving souls might be more important than an education from someone who is not too good at working with children. Also I can't expect for God to pass all my test and certifications by some
Miracle if I have not studied for my teaching degree or certification. This is just and example of how people do not sacrifice, we just want want want want
And we never stop and listen to God and give. Do you really think God blessed you with a Hummer? Or a Ferrari? No the only reason anyone would get a
Hummer is if you really have some crazy off road heavy towing to do or
Just pure vanity
And disregard to the environment. We are killing this country with our way of living and we don't even know it and we say we are blessed. We are not blessed we are the problem. Every other country is intoxicated from our pollution and trash bc they are trying to meet Americas demands in luxury and WE ARE BLESSED? No we are not.

The only answer that really fits with reality is that God can intervene but He has chosen not to until Jesus returns. No other interpretation of various vague open ended Bible verses answers this question except that God planted man in the garden and basically handed him the world and said “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion (in other words this is yours to rule over)” Problem is, after that man choose to bring sin into this world which changed everything, brought death and suffering and evil. This won’t ever end until after Jesus returns, after the day of judgment, in the new heaven and new earth when all things are said to THEN and only then be “made new”. Over 500 million babies have been murdered by abortion in the last 60 years worldwide alone, I will to the death never believe this had absolutely anything to do with God being in control of that. God did not intervene to take control of that at all, man did it, as he has done everything and will continue to do so, to destroy mankind and sin against God his creator as God allows him to continue just AS HE ALSO ALLOWS Satan to continue who does not please God at all, neither is what Satan does God’s will. The hope is that one day it WILL be over…. but not yet. Understand that none of what happens in this world is God’s fault no matter what any Catholic or Calvinist proclaims. Find Christian friends and hopefully a wife/husband whom you can trust who love you and bring hope to your daily life so you can then go and help others suffering, that is the only way to make it through this life without turning against God and becoming a hardened soul, or becoming a pathetic heretic who brings blasphemy upon the name of God by saying God is ordaining and in control of all the evil that happens in this world, and somehow there is some “plan” to some child being raped and beheaded, or hundreds of millions of babies being murdered, yea all for the glory of God right? Not the God of the Bible, to the death I will never believe that demonic lie. What happens in this world is only glorifying to the god of this world the devil. 1 John 2:16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Why are we always waiting for Christ to come back, when He already has?

The destruction of the Temple in 70 AD marked the fulfillment of all the prophecies in Matthew 24. The world as we know it is already over. Christ has come and he reigns!

I think the problem is trying to reason it with the flesh as it makes absolutely no sense to assume he is indeed in control when everything seems to be screaming out the opposite.

Just because the destruction of the Temple wasn't documented in the Bible doesn't mean that isn't one of the most significant things about how we should view the world today!

The flesh has been already judged. Christ the Life now transcends those things that are only temporary, the things we can see now. Just as when those who were of the faith were later on murdered and martyred, Christ the Life was found even in death. Christ did not come to ‘fix’ this world but, to declare it passing away. Those things which are eternal shall stand. I believe this overwhelming reality in Christ was what motivated Paul so deeply. For he knew that to live on in the body is Christ but, to die was gain.[to be with Him] No amount of trouble just suddenly is detoured from us who are living in the world of temporary things. For the elements here are not of the divine nor are they of the eternal beauty of the everlasting God. They are simply passing away.

I especially love the following:

“The whole attempt at trying to reason the intervention of God is rather futile. Christ himself is our confidence.

What if God's workings, especially in responding to our requests, turn out to be pure simplicity that is only complicated by our ridiculous attempts to figure out the eternal according to the temporal? What if God is really never taken by surprise?”

It is truly wonderful to know that GOD is NOT taken by surprise.  :)   I do not believe that the creation can 'fool' or 'stump' the Masterful Creator.  However … HE can certainly take us  by surprise sometimes, can't HE:)

GOD has a completely different view and/or meaning of sacrifice, suffering and death than the mind of the world does.  Sometimes when I am not trying to figure it all out according to the mind of this world, I can 'be in sync' with HIS view, but truly … those moments of internal clarity are few and far between.

There is peace in knowing that GOD 'knows', and if and when I need to know, HE will supply such clarity in times of such need.  I know that is far too 'ethereal' for the inquiring minds that are convinced they need to know and have the right to know and to have power to control such knowledge.  But it has always been so with the mind of man/humanity since it came into such bondage as a result of the fall of the original man, the first Adam. 

It is sad to not be able to realize that the Creation of GOD was for HIS pleasure and to express from HIS heart of Love.  HIS Creation pretty much chose against its own self and HIM, being deceived and manipulated by the source and master of all lies.  That which was lost in the garden had to be re-created anew.  Thus, Jesus Christ!  :)  A new birth from the Spirit of GOD in the human!!  The miracle of the uniting of man with GOD in Christ Jesus by the very Spirit of GOD Himself!  A New Creation!  Only the Faith of Christ has the eyes to see, the ears to hear, the nose that smells the refreshment from the Spirit of Truth, the mouth to speak such miraculous Truth, the heart that feels the very hug from GOD HIMself.  :)

This is all TRUE in the here and now that is Eternal in us, Sourced from GOD HIMself WHO is the ETERNAL.  Sure, it is not yet all revealed as it all is and will be.  Certainly, there is a 'more' that is to come as far as the revealing to and with all Creation as to Who the sons of GOD are, yet the reality of it all is no less real in and of us 'now' as the Miracles that we are in Him.  :)

There is that deep miraculous Sense that we are known of GOD and that HE is our Father and that HE is proud to call us HIS because HE has made it so in Christ Jesus!  HE has called us out of darkness and made us Light in the darkness.  HE has called and made us Alive out of death.  HE has called and made us True when we were once very much false in this world of lies.  HE has made us the Obedient ones even tho' we were once identified as disobedient ones.  HE has called us the Faithful (full of faith and grace and truth) even tho' we were once without the Faith, Grace and Truth of Christ.

If only we could be convinced of the Miracles we are in HIM and never forget it!  :)   If only we could remember that there is a Realm that watches, observes and serves the very work of GOD in our lives.  :) 

And so it is from that MIND and HEART and SPIRIT that we speak to one another of the Truth of Him and us together, united with GOD in Christ Jesus.  The one and only True ONE-ness of the same Heart and Mind and Spirit!  :)  Such Unity is not able to be conjured from this world, no matter how much man tries!  It is miraculous and not from this earthly realm.  It is the miracle in us that is visited upon this current earth … this earth that shall pass and is passing away, while all of Creation waits and longs for the revealing of the Sons of GODheart

heart

If only we could remember that there is a Realm that watches, observes and serves the very work of GOD in our lives.  :)

Yeah, it's so easy to misjudge everything in our lives as simply being the chaotic nightmarish atrocity of a life we're accustomed to.

A realm that serves the life of God in us seems so ethereal and far away. And its only a matter of time when, if one keeps telling himself “I should be happy all the time because God is in me,” that feeling of peace goes away.

It's a Catch 22 in the flesh. Dead to the world yet almost dead to the reality of Christ in me. Why? Because I can't maintain that feeling of peace. But then again, I don't think we're meant to. Maybe we're to live out the death of Christ in our lives: outcasted/rejected by man and ostensibly God too. The suffering of the Cross.

Besides, the Lord Jesus is our true nature in our lives NOW. Not some ethereal thing in some netherrealm.

It's no wonder things seem so upside down, as His life and death in the flesh was upside down as well!

justin ~  big smile

“… its only a matter of time when, if one keeps telling himself “I should be happy all the time because God is in me,” that feeling of peace goes away.”

indeed.  very true.  it is the mind of the world that is convinced that it is owed to be 'happy' all the time.  what makes happiness is as unique as the individual defining it.  it is fleeting to say the least and at best.

happiness and the kind of 'peace' that the world has to offer are both completely fleeting and dependent upon x, y and/or z.  remove x, y and/or z and that happiness and peace completely disintegrate.

“I can't maintain that feeling of peace. But then again, I don't think we're meant to.”

thank GOD we do not have to 'maintain' HIS work in us.  :)   the happiness and peace of GOD that we have in Christ is completely dependent upon the Source of that happiness and peace … GOD HIMself.   HE is not fleeting or removable. 

as Jesus was in the world, so are we.  we are heirs in His sufferings as well as in His blessings.  we are strangers not belonging - not really 'home'; aliens passing through; sometimes rejected and outcast; sometimes completely unacceptable; sometimes repelled, denied, opposed and oppressed; some are tortured; some are killed; some experience more than others, some less than others, etc. 

in the mean time and in the midst, we are HIS and HE is ours and we are One together in Christ Jesus.

heart

“Does God actually play a tangible intervention/ guidance role in our lives..?” The power of God is being sought for in the appearance. But we are the will of God. His life is the very framework in view of which we live, and choose, and do. He is validated in us at all times and through all things. Anything which we may take upon ourselves becomes an opportunity for his power to become evident in us.

DOES GOD ACTUALLY INTERVENE IN OUR LIVES?”

What do you mean? He is our lives!

I have had some time to reflect on this subject. The first thing I had to overcome was inextricably linking the teaching of men from the actual Biblical texts from which those teachings are derived. Too often Believers assume "Brother Schmuckatelli" only utters "truth" without considering that he is human and prone to error like anyone else.

The other thing I needed to sort out was faith and manifestation. Also too often, we assume our faith "will" manifest our desires, both prayed for and not because "God promised". But did he? And is God required to answer those prayers? Is there tangible proof of this? Was Thomas so uniquely faithless or was there another lesson in his "revelation" for us?

People too often ascribe divine intervention for things non-believers accept as the natural process and with zero discernible difference in results. Point in case; two children are admitted with Strep, one prayed for, one not but both are healed. It is a fact that God created our bodies to heal naturally so is it valid to say the kid prayed for was healed through prayer when the other kid was healed without it?

And, when was the last time a Believer lost an arm and anyone prayed for God to miraculously replace it, regrow it, regenerate it...and it happened?

In as much as our faith becomes the manifestation of things (God) unseen, it stands to reason, those things actually promised us, should be manifested in reality....but mountains of evidence seem to point to Christians assuming on the translations of men, rather than the actual teachings of God.

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Somehow, this comment escaped my attention, but I want you to know that I appreciate it.

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