Let me ask you this, are you in control or is God in control? This question may seem controversial on the surface, yet it causes us to focus on our responsibilities as believers to a greater degree. In this day and age, it’s not uncommon for a minister to stand over the coffin of a 12yr old child killed in a traffic accident with a drunk driver and quip, “God must have some mysterious plan for taking this young boy from us, so early in life.”
Not only is this statement theologically incorrect but offensive to a God who gave His only Son for our eternal redemption. This claim severely maligns the character of our good God whilst displaying the biblical ignorance of many who serve Him.
In this instance any ember of trust the congregants had in God was likely quenched. No doubt some were fearful that God’s ‘mysterious plans,’ might involve them in the coming days, sincerely hoping that wouldn’t be the case. Time to ‘batten down the hatches’ and remain indoors, just in case God’s ‘mysterious plans’ come too close for comfort.
God isn’t taking ‘taking’ parents from their children or vice versa
Casual bystanders would run from a God who randomly takes people ‘home’ and many have. To witness children losing their parents or parents losing their children, from a traffic accident, is sickening enough without placing the blame on God at the funeral service.
Some have avoided attended church services for the rest of their lives because of such careless statements made at funerals. If His ‘mysterious ways’ result in the random death of innocents, long before the fulfillment of their potential, how can we possibly trust God or stand on His promises for our own lives? There is clearly a gaping contradiction that needs to be rectified between God’s promises and the traditional beliefs of some.
Either God is good, or He is not. Either He is capricious, or He is not. Either He is for life or death. Indeed, we forgive the minister for his ignorance and slander of God’s character but sadly most people think of God in these terms today. As an old capricious curmudgeon with long white beard and stick in hand, ready to whack anyone out of line or ‘take them home’ at a random time of His choosing. But do they know the power of death is no longer in God’s hands (Heb 2:14)?
Free will needs to be considered
The vast majority of religious people and most Christians, use the term ‘sovereign’ as a means to posit that God is in control of ‘everything’ and ‘everyone.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a lie and not revealed in scripture. Trouble is by making such sharp statements, the hair may already be standing on the back of your neck. In fact, sacred cows are in real danger of being slaughtered in this article (I can hear them ‘mooing’ already).
If you are a born again, Spirit filled believer and want to rob a bank, God will let you do so because He honors your free will. God gave us free will so we may willingly serve Him but our free will can also be used in rebellion against Him.
Regarding premature death, we cannot know in each instance the precise reason for bad things happening to seemingly good people, yet we can know the spiritual laws and guiding principles that govern outcomes in this world. If you think God is afflicting you or that God is your problem, then you are in dangerous territory. God is for you, not against you (Rom 8:31).
Let me ask you frankly, would you believe in a Heavenly Father who chooses to randomly ‘take’ people in their prime, teaches people through sickness and is complicit with crimes against humanity? Obviously not. Even worse, we’ve been taught in religious circles that ‘all things work together for good’ and are a part of His ‘mysterious ways.’ Poppycock! These notions come from taking scriptural verses out of context, as we shall soon see.
What exactly does ‘Sovereign’ mean?
If God were an earthly father, this abusive thug would have been locked up in prison a long time ago, yet some theologians especially, claim our loving God endorses thug-like tactics. How can this be? When one considers the term ‘sovereign’ is not mentioned once in the authorized version of the Bible, then why has so much credence been placed on the sovereignty of God? Perhaps a better explanation can be gleaned from the dictionary definition.
Sovereign means, “freedom from external control, possessing supreme power and autonomous.” In geopolitical terms a sovereign nation is ‘independent.’ A sovereign nation is one that has no allegiance to nor answers to any king or ruler. In the case of the United States, it’s birth as a nation was coincidental with severing ties from the United Kingdom. Hence, America became sovereign in 1776.
Is God Sovereign according to the dictionary definition?
Yes He is. God certainly is accountable to no-one but at the same time, is desirous of His love to be reciprocated, although that cannot be guaranteed. Free will was a gamble God took on humanity, the price of which may result in billions not choosing Him but choosing Hell instead. Choice always wins. Our eternal destiny hinges upon choosing to believe on the Son of God. We all are appointed to die, yet there is no appointment for death. God has not chosen a time and place for our demise; He offers more years ‘if by strength’ (Ps 90:10).
The OT speaks of living out the ‘full number of our days.’ Days which may be shortened by folly or malice and extended by spiritual or physical strength. More importantly God has bound His sovereign will to His Holy word, something He holds Himself accountable to even if we don’t. If not, He would be the biggest hypocrite of all. God’s sovereign will being bound to His word is of paramount importance and a truth that must be understood before we blame God for something He has nothing to do with.
We must let scripture interpret scripture, rightly dividing the Word of God. Understanding God’s true nature is essential to trusting Him with your life. Some believers claim, ‘God can do anything,’ but believe it or not, there are some things God cannot do.
16 things God cannot do:
- He cannot lie (Heb 6).
- He cannot break His own laws (Ps 119:89).
- He cannot change (Heb 13:8, Ps 138:2).
- He cannot violate His word.
- He cannot be tempted with evil (Jam 1:13-15).
- He cannot tolerate hypocrisy (Isa 1:13).
- He cannot cancel any reaping for what is sown (Rom 8:12-13; Gal 6:7-8).
- He cannot force a man to serve Him against his own will (Jn 3:16; Jn 7:17; Jn 8:34; 1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9).
- He cannot bless men apart from faith (Heb 11:6; Jam 1:5-8).
- He cannot curse men when they meet His terms (1 Jn 1:9).
- He cannot override our free will or rebellious choices against His Logos word.
- He cannot cast out demons for us and will not take up authority He has granted to you (Acts 1:8, Mk 16:17, Eph 3:20).
- He cannot move if you don’t move because we are joint heirs.
- He cannot turn down one soul that comes to Him according to His terms (Jn 6:37).
- He cannot judge the righteous with the wicked (Gen 19:22; Rev 20:5-6,11-15).
- He cannot fail to answer prayer when unwavering faith is exercised (Mat 17:20).
Some facts about that little word, ‘if’
Now you know there are some limitations as to what God can do, let me share another huge limitation. There are a multitude of conditional promises contained in the Bible and these conditional promises hinge upon a little word called, ‘if.’
- There are 1595 ‘if’s‘ in the Bible and 1420 verses with ‘if’ in them.
- The Book of Leviticus has the most ‘if’s in the OT with 167 matches.
- The Gospel of John has the most ‘if’s in the New Testament (82 matches).
- 1st Corinthians has the most ‘if’s in the Epistles (80 matches).
What if, ‘if’ was more important than we thought?
With so many ‘ifs’ in the bible it’s self-evident that God’s conditional promises can only manifest with our cooperation. If they don’t manifest, is He really to blame? In closing, you are in control of your choices in this life. God has requested that you seek Him earnestly in your personal decision making. He’s not a tyrant that bangs down doors; He’s meek and lowly of heart (Matt 11:29).
For that reason, He wants to be invited into your life, but He won’t force Himself on anyone. If you’ve been struggling lately and don’t know why, I urge you to humbly seek God once more with all your heart and invite Him to assist you. Most Christians are the recipients of a continuous fusillade from the enemy without taking the time to compare their experiences to God’s Word. Many of the bad things we experience are the consequence either of our own choices, persecution for our faith or outright satanic attack.
God gets blamed for a lot of things in this world that He has nothing to do with. Maybe you should consider forgiving God of what you thought He should have done, not that He needs forgiveness. But in doing so, this will restore Heavenly fellowship once more and put you back on track to a wonderful future! If you’re confused about some outcomes in your life right now, please don’t fester on them any longer. God is reaching out with open arms, to set aside any confusion and get you back on track! Please choose to take the first step, right now.
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Author – Carl G.M. Joseph
 Merriam-Webster, I., Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). (Merriam-Webster Inc., 2003, Springfield, MA.).
 Dake, Fines, J. Dake’s Topics WordSearch 7 – Electronic Software PC (Copyright 2004 WORDsearch Corp).
 Moore, Keith, Who’s in Control? (Keith Moore Ministries, Audio Mp3 Download, Aug 2015).
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