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Hey, Who's in Charge Here?
Monday, March 7, 2022 by C. F. Sherrow

Talk about a concept being misunderstood and then misused!

People are always quoting the scripture about all things working together for good. But they stop too soon. The verse (Romans 8:28) continues on to specify

. . . for good to those who love the peace sinking into oceanLord and are called according to His purposes.

It does not say that all things work together for good, always, in all situations, for everybody. That’s not faith, it’s fatalism. Or wishful thinking. No power there!

People also say that God’s in control, especially when something not-so-good happens. I’m sure you’ve heard this common phrase: everything happens for a reason. You may even have said it. Well, of course, there’s a reason! Sometimes it’s simple cause and effect (like getting hit by a car while walking in the middle of the road) and other times it’s more complicated and we don’t know all the facts that led up to stuff happening. Sometimes the reason is completely hidden, like why a tornado hit one side of a town and not the other.

Reasoning like this usually leads to anger at God. People think that He is supposed to be good and then He made this awful thing happen. They think He is in control of everything.

Whoa! Hold up right there.

Where in the Bible does it say that God controls everything?

This controversy goes clear back to Adam. When God created the world, He gave direction. His order was that Adam and Eve were to tend the garden, to care for it. Though God was Creator, He authorized Adam to act on His behalf for His creation. God was not in control; He gave the responsibility to Adam.

the judge's gavelThen sin entered the picture. Adam gave up his authority over the earth (given to him by God). And he surrendered it to the worst possible foe – Satan. So Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden and went out into a world now controlled by Satan. The curses they endured (Adam laboring working to survive by the sweat of his brow and fighting to make things grow and prosper against the thorns and weeds (can I get an amen from the gardeners?), Eve having increased pain in childbearing and putting Adam in the position only God is entitled to hold, etc. – were the natural and legal consequences of this transfer of authority. Their actions gave authority to evil.

When Christ came to redeem the world (redeem: to buy back or recover ownership by payment), He reclaimed the authority from the enemy and gave it back to mankind. He expects us to use that authority wisely, according to His leading. The choice is ours. That’s control.

Christians are not robots, doing the will of an operator without question. However, we often fail to seek God’s guidance and then to use our authority according to that guidance. Natural consequences follow, for good or ill.puppet man

Bottom line: God is not in control, but He is in charge. If He had total control, that would negate our free will.

And He chooses not to do that.

Part one of a series on authority

all illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


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