February 25, 2019
For the sake of illustration, let's say that you will die tonight and go to heaven. Let's also pretend that God gives you an assignment with Fred Jones, a new Christian still on earth. Fred's purpose in life is to be conformed to the image of Christ. All his strengths and weaknesses appear before you on a computer printout. You know his likes and dislikes, his mannerisms, his family, his possessions, his talents, and his desires. The only thing missing is his future. That is your job. Your assignment is to influence Fred's future.
You are to order events in the world so that Fred learns the right character qualities at the right time, and that the Lord's name will be magnified in the greatest way. The heavenly computer terminal sits in front of you, and you have the power to arrange all things in his life to help him grow up. What would you do? When would you influence Fred to go to the grocery store? When would you have the car break down? When would you oversee that he lose his job or get a promotion? You know when Fred will become angry and refuse to obey, but would you know what is needed to humble him? Would you say this is an impossible task for you? It is!
The Gogh Family
Now let's make it even more difficult. Pretend God gives you the responsibility of an entire family. You need to know the weaknesses and strengths of all the family members to know what events will affect all of them at the same time, but in different ways, so that the greatest number will change for the better.
The head of one house, named E. Gogh, has a major problem with arrogance. His wife Vain ever lives to get the attention of others; spending hours in front of the mirror. The adopted son, Opie M., tries to escape from his personal inferiority and seeming rejection by getting high. And the daughter, Mary Juanna, desperately desires to be the heroine and save her dysfunctional family. The grandmother, a Christian, lives in the same house, and frets internally every day, because she can’t make her son change. How would you organize their lives so that the greatest number in the family become Christians and grow to maturity?
Satan goes to you (for you are God’s representative) and requests permission to have Mary Juanna burn herself. You say, “No.” Again the evil one comes to you, requesting permission to have the entire Gogh family be stopped by a Mack truck. You say, “No.” Then the devil approaches you requesting permission to have Mr. E. Gogh lose his job. To this you say, “O.K., this fits in the master plan.” With this information, all you choose to do is motivate the grandmother to tell her son lovingly about God’s wonderful plan for his life.
At breakfast, the grandmother’s control kicks in, and she nags her son to go to church. The son leaves for work in a rage. His temper is so out of control at work that he violates a company policy and loses his job. Vain Gogh no longer has money to buy paint for her face. In the family turmoil, Opie M. loses himself deeper in his dope. Mary Juanna also gives up, and lets her life go to pot. And grandma blames herself for the problems. Through all of this, every family member is convicted in his or her heart.
Financial difficulties worsen. The dad, not willing to humble himself declares bankruptcy and fights to hold onto his name. Mary burns the candle at both ends and overdoses on pain. But Opie M. comes to the end of himself, admitting his need of the Lord. And Vain Gogh finally realizes that beauty is vain. Grandma finally realizes that she cannot make others change; she needs to trust in the Lord’s ways.
While three of the five encountered a positive change, the other two continue to receive God’s conviction regarding their own choices. What Satan intended for evil, God used for good. The dinner was not pot luck, but a masterful orchestration of events where God was drawing all people to Himself.
All 10,000,000,000 People
But let's make the integration of people's destinies even more complicated. No longer are you responsible for five people. Now you must organize the entire world, so that as many of the 10,000,000,000 people over 7,000 years become Christians and grow as spiritually as possible. In addition you need to send the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die on the cross and pay the price for sin. You need to order all events so that God fulfills all His promises. Also, you need to work through a chosen people. You need to gift people in different ways so that over 40 different authors over 1500 years write sections of the Bible containing no contradictions, and on and on and on. In addition to all this complexity each person is given the freedom to make his or her own choice. No human being could do the one job of persuading the life of Fred Jones. God does it for everyone everywhere at all times using "all things." What an awesome God we serve!
The phrase given to God’s infinite control of everything and His infinite knowledge of everything is His sovereignty. Check out these Bible verses
God’s sovereignty rules the universe
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all (Psalm 103:19).
God’s sovereignty rules when government leaders are wicked
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes (Pro 21:1).
God’s sovereignty rules when the righteous suffer
(Example:) As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive (Gen 50:20).
God determines the rise and fall of leaders
Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God; (Psalm 62:11)
For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation; But
God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another (Psalm 75:6-
God does whatever He pleases
But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3).
God orders the future
The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps (Pro 16:9)
Knowing that God is in control of everything and that He loves me produces many benefits. I can avoid cursing, because ultimately cursing is anger towards the One who has arranged my life. All events beyond my control are designed or allowed by God to accomplish the greatest good in my life. Even if Satan seems to be on my back, either I did something to put him there, or God allowed it for good. Therefore, there is no reason for me to get angry at God. The Lord is in control of everything.
… we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love
God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew,
He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, (Rom 8:28-
Why does a loving God allow evil to exist for good people?
What is Always Right?
When you argue for your beliefs, on what do you base those beliefs? Is it always right?
Is a High Really a High?
Why is it you can never experience
a second or third high as high as the first?