(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 5 - The Great Coordinator
God executes "great things past finding out… and wonders without number" by the direct application and activity of His working (Job 9:10). Many other things, however, happen without His proactive working, but within the scope of His complete awareness and His determination to "work all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).
This reveals our Lord as the great coordinator of all things. He does not have to determine everything that happens in His creation in order to fit all things into the fulfillment of His "eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11). As mentioned in Part 4, we know He does not directly determine sin. He cannot because of His perfect nature, character, and way. Does He nevertheless work His purposes out through the rebellion and wickedness of fallen angels and human beings? He does. "All things after the counsel of His own will" necessarily includes evil as well as good. We see this most clearly in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins.
"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23).
The cross of Christ. Was it the result of God or man? Yes. God sent His Son into the world knowing what would happen if He did, and purposing in marvelous grace to make salvation possible by His Son's atoning work in death, resurrection, and ascension. However, does that mean He forced or coerced "wicked hands" to perpetrate the sin and crime of the ages? It does not. Those who consigned the Lord Jesus to the cross (which indirectly means all of us) were totally responsible for this most immoral of all acts. Our Heavenly Father, according to His universal involvement and working in all things, coordinated even this ultimate evil into the fulfillment of His purposes without originating its sin and wrong. Our salvation resulted from such Divine involvement and coordination of everything that happens in the universe.
This constitutes our Lord as wondrous beyond imagining. He possesses such wisdom, knowledge, and power that other beings can perpetrate things completely contrary to the Divine character and will. His foreknowledge and wisdom nevertheless allows Him to fit all things into the perfection of His working. Indeed, unbelievers may think they are ignoring the Lord and living their own lives according to their own dictates. They boast, "With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own. Who will prevail over us?" (Psalm 12:4). Little do they know, however, that God works through them nonetheless, coordinating even their ignorance and rebellion into His ultimate purpose. Again, "all things after the counsel of His own will."
Returning to the original topic of this series, what about my bottle cap? Since it was not a moral act of either good or evil, was my dropping it a direct act of God, or simply an expression of my human imperfection that led to clumsiness? This is a fascinating question that addresses literally trillions of benign events that constantly occur in the universe. How are we to view God's involvement in such matters? We will address this question tomorrow.
"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever, Amen."
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).