Monday, April 19, 2010

"Our Devising; His Directing"

From Lucifer in Heaven, to Adam in Eden, to unbelievers in this present hour, those who reject God do so in the deluded notion that life in the Lord's universe can be lived independently of Him.

"A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).

A person can deny God to the extent that he blusters of atheism. He can make his plans, and boast of "doing my own thing." God nevertheless directs his steps. This does not mean that the unbeliever does the Lord's will in the sense of faith and devotion, and it certainly does not mean that the Lord instigates or affirms sin in any manner. However, the God who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" nevertheless involves Himself in the pagan life for His own purposes. The supposed atheist "lives and moves and has his being" in God, and even his personally chosen steps of sin will be coordinated into the Lord's eternal purpose in Christ. "The LORD hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil" (Ephesians 1:11; Proverbs 16:4; Acts 17:28).

Along the way, the unbeliever can certainly thwart the will of God in the specific and personal sense, and his sin can impact others in a destructive way. Ultimately, however, evil will be so overcome by the Lord's good that it will have served His purposes. God is so wise, so powerful, and so loving that His allowance of evil in the universe does not and cannot thwart the fulfillment of His eternal purpose in Christ. For those who believe, such truth graces us with peace that passes understanding. For those who will not believe, such truth is hated in the present sense, and horrific concerning eternal destiny. We cannot escape the fact that we live in God's universe, and that He makes the rules, as it were. What we do is done with the breath He gives, and we have our being in Him. Our existence is Theocentric, either happily or unhappily, and for the trusting heart, all things will unquestionably and undeniably "work together for good" (Romans 8:28).

The cross of the Lord Jesus most illuminates this path of consideration. The worst thing that ever happened, the murder of the innocent Son of God "by wicked hands," was nevertheless the product of "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." Thus, for the believer, the worst thing is also the best thing because the death of the Lord Jesus as our sinbearer was our only hope for salvation. All other occurrences in space/time history pale in comparison to this, and therefore we must view all things through the dual lens of life lived freely, but also within the scope and direction of Divine purpose. There is no need to intellectually reconcile the two realities, and such an attempt may even do us spiritual harm. It is enough to know that "as for God, His way is perfect," "His understanding is infinite," and the heart of His Son bears the wound of a spear both Divinely and humanly inflicted to ensure us that holy wisdom and love pervade the unfathomable mystery of our devising and His directing. This is peace for the heart and mind of those who believe, and there is none other (Acts 2:23; II Samuel 22:31; Psalm 147:5; John 20:27).

"The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof."
(Psalm 97:1)

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