It breaks my heart to know the mentality of many people towards God is that he is controlling. Many people hold to a theology that believes God has prescribed every minute, mundane moment of our lives and there is nothing we can do but robotically complete our routine. This is not the God we serve. The God we serve has set laws in place, but has not taken his hand off of the world to allow it to run its course. The God we serve interacts with humanity on a daily basis out of his love for his creation. This is who the one true God is, the God whose character is love.
God is Love:
In the first epistle of John in the fourth chapter, John writes that love is from God. Love is within the very divine character and nature of who God is. To not love, John says, is anti-God; it’s anti everything that Jesus and God is, does, and stands for. It is even anti-Christian for us to believe that God in any way could be moved by anything but love.
The Bible records that throughout the history of humanity God has been relentlessly chasing after a relationship with mankind even while we were enemies and opposed to his plans. This is how you can know that God is love: while we were still going against God with our entire beings, God sent Jesus to provide the means of forgiveness for our sins. Then, God placed his Spirit within the hearts of believers to transform our hearts on the matter. Jesus’ sacrifice was motivated by his love and desire to be in a relationship with you.
What is Love?
There are a few misunderstandings that we have towards God which contribute to a belief that God is controlling. First, we can falsely believe that because God knows what decisions we will make, he must be forcing us to make them. Conversely, I love my wife and I have a great relationship with her. Because I love her so dearly, I care about what she cares about. I know that when we go out to eat, she is going to order Coca-Cola. If they don’t have Coca-Cola, she is going to be disappointed unless the meal goes good with Mountain Dew. I would never force my wife to drink Coca-Cola when we go out to eat, but because I love her I know she is going to order one anyway. In the same way, the Bible says that God knit us together in our mother’s womb. There is no one that knows you more intimately than the God who created you. His knowledge of how you respond to situations only proves his love for you. Secondly, we mistakenly think that God desires only to be in relationship with a select few. This is contrary to what his word teaches: God does not wish that any should spend eternity apart from him (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:3-4). Third, we can define God’s character by our situations as opposed to his word. The Bible also teaches that Jesus healed everyone he encountered from every affliction imaginable (Luke 4:40) and that this is God’s will for humanity: to live life unhindered by the effects of sin as we would live in heaven (John 5:19; Matthew 6:10). God’s desire is to be in a real relationship with everyone he created and for them to experience the freedom that exists within that relationship (healing of the flesh, soul [mind, will, emotions], and spirit). God reveals himself to us, but it’s our response to choose what we do with this revelation. Love is a choice to be in a relationship with someone regardless the outcome and love by nature must contain the ability for the other party to accept or reject the love shown.
Proverbs 16:9 says that our role in seeing God’s will accomplished on this earth is to plan our way and trust God to establish our steps. Essentially what this is saying is that when we move God will answer our faith based on his word. Jesus said (in Matthew 28:18-19a), “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. You go.” Jesus said the authority is mine. Nothing nor no one can rob God from being God. No matter how big and bad the devil believes himself to be he cannot take God’s authority. Jesus says I have the authority to complete all that I have promised you. God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19). God has given you control in how we release his love to this earth, what will you do with it?
Pastor Zac Breckenridge