“God is in control!” You hear that mantra a lot in certain Christian circles. Whether over a tragic death, a lost job, or even a lost presidential election, Christians like to brace themselves with the security that despite the circumstances,“God is in control!”
(Except, of course, in the case of lost presidential elections where we Christians prefer to declare “God is still in control!” Conceding that there may be some cosmic purpose behind this tragedy but if we lose again in 4 years we’ll have our doubts)
But what makes us think “God is in control?” Is it because:
* he is “all-powerful”?
* he is “all-knowing”?
* he is “all-present”?
The irony is that it’s these omnipotent traits of God which allows him to not be in control!
God is NOT in Control?
Think about any situation you’ve been in where you had to deal with a controlling person. It could be a controlling boss, a controlling pastor, or even a controlling friend or family member.
Is it a pleasant encounter?
A controlling person will rob you of your ability to make your own decisions and limit you in the expression of your thoughts, giftings, and individuality.
They make you feel like less of a person…
What drives a controlling person to control? Insecurity, fear, a need to guard a territory. They brace themselves by stealing something from you.
But God is none of these things. He’s totally secure, fear flees from Him, and His Kingdom shall never end. He only desires to see you come to the fullness of what you were created to be; to feel more like a person, not less!
All the hallmarks of a God who is not in control!
I know what you’re thinking?
“Not in control? Steve, you’re scaring me. The only security I have in this crazy world is knowing somehow God is in control”
But God has given us a wonderful gift. Some call it “free will” but I prefer the term theologian Mike Lloyd chooses to use. We are allowed to be “self -defining”. We get to define ourselves; who we are and what we want to be. It’s only in our ability to self-define that we can be fully human. Self-definition allows us the joy of freely giving and receiving love.
Unfortunately that same self definition that allows us to freely give and receive love can also allow us to freely give and receive destruction. This tragically has largely been the case and a corrupt and fallen world has been the result.
In and amidst the horrible events in the world people understandably ask, “If God is good, why is there evil and suffering?”
Let’s take a trip back to The Garden
Humans Not Robots
Adam and Eve had one prohibition in the garden; don’t eat the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil. They disobeyed and the rest is, as they say, history. Now why didn’t an all powerful God who is in control simply stop the couple from making the biggest mistake in their lives and wreaking havoc on generations afterward?
He could have! They didn’t do it while he was off having a cigarette break. He was there…
But if He did, He takes control and our ability to self define is lost.
We are no longer human…we become robots.
A controlling God, like controlling people, would love to make people robots. Robots made to love, made to appreciate, and made to respect.
But God is not into making robots…he is in to making humans. Humans who can choose to freely give and receive love. Who can choose to reflect his Kingdom and identity…
God’s answer to a fallen world and our self definition gone crazy is Jesus. God comes into the world, not as a controller to snatch our self-definition away from us and clean up the mess, but as a man. A self defining man who shows us the way home. I can’t say it better than Mike Lloyd did in a talk I heard called What about Suffering?
If you want to see how un-controlling He (God) is take a look at the manger. Here is no cosmic controller. Here, far from one who is inflicting suffering, comes within the range of other self defining creatures and allows them, allows Augustus, allows Herod, allows us, to affect him with the warped and destructive mode of our self definition ,..and he suffers it with us… and he shows us how to define ourselves in such a way as to renew the face of the Earth.
Mike Lloyd – What about Suffering?
God is not in control. It’s just not the kind of God he is. He could wipe out evil and suffering immediately…but then you would cease to be you!
And God loves you to much to lose YOU!