Friday, June 28, 2019

Orange Moon Cafe "Control? Coordination!"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Control?  Coordination!"

     "God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:3;11).
    I've used the term many times, as perhaps you have: "God is in control."  By this we mean that the Lord's purposes will be fulfilled, and He presently moves history toward its ultimate Christ-centered destiny of glory to God and the fulfillment of His will.  However, is the word "control" really what the Bible means by the affirmation of our Heavenly Father's working "all things after the counsel of His own will?" (a hint at the answer: Scripture never speaks in such terms regarding  God's working in history).

    A better term for such Divine operation may be "coordination."  Scripture clearly teaches that in the normal sense in which we use the  term, God does not "control" everything that happens.  However, He certainly coordinates and fits together all things into His purposes.  

    "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man… Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good" (James 1:13; Genesis 50:20).

    Clearly our Lord is not so in control that our sins result from His determination.  He allows them, however, and as with Joseph and his brothers, coordinates human unbelief and disobedience into the fulfillment of His purposes.  Even more to the point, regarding our redemption we see our Heavenly Father working in a "determinate" manner, but also through human sins He does not and cannot determine according to His nature and character.  "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness" (Acts 2:23; Psalm 5:4).  Thus, the notion of "control" does not precisely reflect the way in which our Lord presently works in His creation.  "Coordination" better describes the Divine operation whereby God somehow weaves every moment of history into His Story, as it were.

   Such truth speaks to a far wiser and more able God than the notion that He must control all things in order to fulfill His purposes.  A fatalistic view of the Lord is indeed fatal to our understanding of Biblical doctrine, and to our proper understanding of His character and ability.  How weak He would be in relative terms if it were required that He merely control the movement of pieces on a chessboard, particularly regarding human hearts?   Conversely, how wondrously glorious if God has the ability to coordinate trillion upon trillions of choices and actions, whether good or bad, into the fulfillment of His eternal purpose in Christ?  I find this latter perspective to be a breathtaking contemplation of One so gloriously wise and able that it stills my heart every time I ponder its truth.  As in this moment

    If the term "God is in control" suits your perspective, go ahead and continue to use it.  I won't fuss at you!  However, let us be sure that we do not err by failing to understand that our normal usage of such terminology does not completely reflect the teaching of Scripture.  "Coordination" on a scale of nearly infinite proportion  far better chronicles the wonder of God's working in all things.  This especially relates to His loving involvement in the lives of His trusting children in Christ…

"For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

Song - "All Things"  

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