God is in Control – Right?

September 29, 2013

in Series, Shared walk

I often hear “God is in control”. That sounds nice, but what does it mean?

The control puzzle © Stuart Miles | freedigitalphotos.net

If we take Calvinism to the extreme, God programs us all and we can only do what He wants; free will is an illusion. If we take Arminianism to the extreme, God set the world in motion and has almost no control because we have total free will. Very few accept either of those extremes, but what it the truth? Here is my take on it, worth what you paid for this post!

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Again, what does that mean? First, it says “those who love God”. I don’t think “Yeah, I love God” is enough – I think it’s much more. Jesus said those who love Him keep His commandments (John 14). John echoes this, and adds that those who love God love other people (1 John 4 & 5). Perfection isn’t required, but the bar is set high.

The second issue is what does “for good” mean. I think Saul, AKA Paul, loved God a great deal, and yet he had all kinds of problems (see 2 Cor 11:20-30 for a list). Job also loved God, but he had a few problems too. Then there’s Lot, who loved God but lost his home and pretty much everything he owned because of the choices of his neighbours.

God doesn’t promise us wealth, health, or a secure life. His idea of good isn’t our idea of good, but we know and trust it’s what is good and right.

I think the Bible is clear God gives us free will, which allows us to make a mess of our lives and the lives of others. However, that doesn’t mean God has no control. My favourite way of explaining it is our lives are scripted improv. This means we have free will, but God is able to do what He wants despite our free will. The small details of a single life can go contrary to what God wants, but the bigger story, the arc of history, is what God wants it to be despite what any of us do.

How does this play into our marriages? It means our wives have free will and can make a mess of their lives. It also means they can make a mess of our marriage. It means we have free will and can make a mess of our own lives, and of our marriage. However, God can intervene, especially with prayer. He can limit and buffer the damage, and will do so if we seek His help.

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Great tweet of the week:

Nonchalantly walk up to your husband & hand him your undies. Let him know you want to play hide & seek @generouswife

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

The Generous Wife

http://bit.ly/18krMdd ◄ I will mention this later for Christmas, but if you’re looking for a great gift for your bride, this might be a place to shop.
Sweet Generosity ◄ In addition to making me look good, this post gives a nice look into how a woman’s mind works.
Meet for a Meal ◄ Try something different.


Joe Beam’s Blog

My husband is not happy with the way I dress or look ◄ Joe has a nice, balanced answer here.
My husband wants me to watch porn with him ◄ Some interesting facts here.


Journey to Surrender

My Surrender Surprise ◄ What surrender has to do with marriage.


Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

Be-Attitudes of Marriage ◄ I’ve not read this new book yet, but given what I know of Mark I expect it to be excellent.


Pearl’s OysterBed

Don’t Cool Down ◄ Some foods and drugs that can lower her sex drive.


refine us

Protect Your Rep ◄ Reputation and character are NOT the same thing.


Rock His World

Reflections of a Promise Keeper Conference ◄ PK is alive and well.
More Rockin’ Words ◄ Meant for women, but some of these work on women too.


The Romantic Vineyard

My Spouse Would Be Perfect For Me If Only ____________! ◄ Ever been guilty of this?
Are You A Wise Marriage Vineyard Owner? ◄ Be aware!


Safe at home

Are You Wandering or Really Headed Somewhere? ◄ Not directly marriage related, but an excellent question.

1 comments
Eleutheros
Eleutheros

The ability Jehovah has to discern the thought in human hearts gives Him the ability to know whether any human being loves Him. So, for these that he has this knowledge of He designates them, in advance, to receive His Spirit to the end that they come to resemble His Son, that His Son, The Firstborn, might be given brothers (and sisters). These designated ones then go through a process of calling, justifying and glorifying. Thus Romans 8 is really about what Jehovah is doing for those whom He knows love Him. That this scripture seems to support Calvinism is by the interpretive design that began with the 2nd century Latin translation preferred by Augustine of Hippo.

What does that have to do with marriage? Well, if any human heart is knowable, not only by Jehovah but by other humans, as well, then we can also discern the thought in the hearts of others, as well as our own and come to know why we and our spouses make these 'messes' . Guided then by the Spirit of Jesus and truth, we can then know how to respond in wisdom and from agape both to ourselves and to them.

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