Just how much control does God have over our daily lives? It might be helpful to take a look at the Bible, God’s handbook for living, to help us decide. This post is based on the
five main points from a message on this topic by Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.
- God is in control of everything that happens in His universe/creation
God does have the power to control everything that exists and everything that happens.
Isaiah 45:7 tells us, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”
Proverbs 16:4 states, “The Lord works out everything to its proper end – even the wicked for a day of disaster.”Ultimately, God is in control of everything, including Satan, Adam and Eve, and even the Jewish and Roman leaders who nailed Jesus to the cross, as well as natural disasters such as tsunamis and floods. He may not cause these things to happen, but He does allow them.
- God’s plan for His universe extends to every part of every life.
God knows about and could change any aspect of our lives, as shown by the following verses.
Daniel 2:21, “He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Acts 4:27-28, “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”
- His sovereignty extends over our choices, mistakes, and failures.
God has the power to accomplish His purpose for your life. His sovereignty extends over our choices, mistakes, and failures. He has a perfect will, and, according to many, also a permissive will, which might be termed “plan B”, to allow for the imperfect actions of mankind.
As a Got Questions article, What is the difference between God’s sovereign will and God’s revealed will? states, ”Because God is sovereign, He must at least ‘permit’ all events and happenings. Within God’s sovereign will, He chooses to permit many things to happen that He takes no pleasure in. Again citing the example of Joseph and his brothers, God chose, by an act of decretive will, to allow the kidnapping and enslavement of Joseph. God’s permissive will allowed the sins of Joseph’s brothers in order to bring about a greater good.”
Ephesians 1:11 describes how all that happens is ultimately leading to His objective, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
- God’s power does not exempt us from the responsibility for our choices.
Scripture tells us to make wise choices, as in Proverbs 28:26, “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.”We must still suffer the consequences of our own decisions.
- God’s sovereignty offers me peace from my past… my responsibility offers me hope for my future
God has the unquestionable power to forgive us and redeem us from our sins, and we are free to choose to follow Him and thereby have a glorious future. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
God is to us as a parent is to a child, but with a difference
These five points help to illustrate the relationship between ourselves and God, a relationship which is in many ways similar to that between a child and a loving parent. When a child learns to ride a bike, the parent watches, guiding the bike’s progress in the early stages, and then deciding when to remove the training wheels to allow more independence. Even after that, the parent is there to provide comfort and a band-aid when the inevitable accident happens.
There is, however, one big difference. The child is aware of the supporting hand, but, with practice, grows in confidence and ability to ride the bike on her own without assistance. By contrast, as each of us grows in our personal, individual relationship with God, we should learn to lean on Him, and to increasingly depend upon Him to guide and support us through life. By creating us with free will, God gives us spiritual independence from the outset, and we need to learn dependence on Him to become spiritually mature.
Dr. Robert Jeffress, Although the Script’s Been Written, You Can Still Improvise, January 31, 2016, http://www.firstdallas.org/files/uploads/secondchanceoutlineanswers1-31-16.pdf, accessed May 23, 2019.