(Friends: While walking the other day, I dropped the cap of my water bottle after taking a sip. My immediate reaction involved the thought, "Wow, I sure don't feel like bending over to pick that up!" However, as I stooped to retrieve the cap, a thought occurred to me: "Is God involved in something like this?" He is, and this series of messages addresses the Bible's teaching regarding our Lord's loving involvement in our lives.)
"The Bottle Cap"
Part 4 - The Mistake We Cannot Make
How God may work in our lives, or how finely tuned we conclude His involvement to be in the light of His Word, we must take every precaution to never directly or implicitly assign sin or evil to the righteous, holy, and perfect Creator and Sustainer of all things.
"He is the Rock, His work is perfect. His ways are judgment. Without iniquity is He, just and right is He" (Deuteronomy 32:4).
It is not only the case that God will not sin. He cannot sin. Governed in holiness by the pristinely pure nature of who and what He is, our Lord dwells in a righteousness of character, nature, and way that precludes anything but consummate consecration to Himself. Nor can He tempt or coerce others to even the slightest deviation from the spiritual and moral perfection of His Person and His will.
"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: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren" (James 1:13-16).
"Do not err, my beloved brethren" warns James. Or, do not assign evil and sin as originating with God in any way, shape, or form. This is the mistake we cannot make in our doctrine, understanding, and response to our perfect Lord. To do so would render the Bible as untrue, and thus, its God as either nonexistent or false in His revelation of Himself. Our confidence in Biblical truth would vanish if the Lord of Scripture were not who He declares Himself to be, and if it were not true that "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). Moreover, our confidence in God's Word suffers if our understanding and communication suggests that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are capable of even a hint of unrighteousness, imperfection, injustice, or wrong. "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" (Psalm 145:17).
Are our lives so finely tuned by God that "all things work together for good to them that love God?" Unequivocally, yes! (Romans 8:28). But not in the sense that the sins of others or ourselves originate with Him. They do not because they cannot. Thus, as we seek to understand how our Heavenly Father works in all things, and how we can joyfully trust that nothing approaches us apart from His promised involvement, we seek to assimilate the truth with great care. We must not besmirch His character, His perfect character. This is the mistake we cannot make. By this, I do not suggest that God will not forgive, cleanse, and restore us if fall victim to Satan's temptation to inadvertently blame God for sin and evil. He will. However, anyone who loves Him and knows Him to even the slightest degree desires to represent Him as He is, in accordance with the perfection proclaimed by His Word. Just as importantly, we seek to never misrepresent the beauty of His heart, the glory of His intentions, and the sublime wonder of His way, His perfect way.
"My tongue shall speak of Thy righteousness and of Thy praise all the day long."
Next: the Great Coordinator
Weekly Memory Verse
"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead" (Romans 1:20).