Friday, February 22, 2008
It's hard to find time to use this - I've actually had to start a list of all the thoughts I'd like to blog about at some point! Tonight everyone is in bed early and I'm still awake, so I thought I'd try to get some thoughts processed through here! So, here's what's been on my mind and heart a lot lately - the sovereignty of God. I've been re-examining a lot of the pat, Christian expressions I've uttered in the past, and realized that a lot of them don't line up with what the Bible really says. And, because of that, they don't show how big and sovereign God really is. Take Romans 8:28, for instance. According to the New American Standard translation (which I am coming to love because it seems to give such a better sense of what the verse actually means), it says: "And 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." Usually, when I'm talking to someone, I can't remember the exact words of a verse - so I'll paraphrase! With this verse, I tend to say "God works good things out of all situations." When I say that, I mean (or at least, I used to, before I noticed this point I'm writing about here!) that God will bring something good out of even the worst of situations. And, in a sense, that's true. But what the verse is really saying is that God CAUSES all things to work together for good. He doesn't take the lemons and make lemonade - he makes the lemons AND the lemonade! Think about what that says about God's sovereignty. If you think God sees a bad situation in your life and then finds a way to bring good out of it, you're really saying that God was surprised by the bad situation in your life and had to figure out how to change it so that something good could come out of it. That's not sovereignty. That, in my book, is not God with a capital "G." BUT - if, instead, you look at a bad situation and say God is working good out of even this situation, which He caused, then God is sovereign. Then God is GOD. I used to think that by saying it that way, I was saying something bad about God - afterall, do I really want to worship a God who causes bad things to happen to people? But if you really think about it - really, truly think about it - I, for one, would much rather worship a God who causes both the good AND the bad, rather than a God who is surprised by the bad and has to scramble to somehow make it good again. What kind of God is that?! Now let me be honest - I'm still a little fuzzy about how all that works . . . Does God truly cause children to get cancer, or innocent people to die? I don't know. From what I read in the Bible, though, it sure does seem like it . . . And from what I read in the Bible, it seems like he uses ALL of it for His perfect purposes. That is way more encouraging - and more awe-inspiring - than a God who has nothing to do with the bad things. At least if God is in charge of causing/allowing the bad, too, I can find hope in the fact that there will be a purpose to it, since God is an orderly God . . . But that's another thought for another post!!! My point is - I'd rather follow a God who causes rather than a God who has to figure things out when they come up. Wouldn't you?