Who is in Charge and Does it Matter?

Scott Price

…I am God and there is none else; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure…. I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass, I have purposed it, I will also do it?” Isaiah 46:9-11

God is out of control…….our control, that is. We live in a time when the correct concept of who God is, for the most part is not thought about much. Churches have become humanistic, with sermons focusing on what we can do rather than what God has done. God has revealed Himself in His word, the Scriptures. The word of God is nothing short of what God says about who He is. How important is knowing what God says about Himself? John 17:3 answers; “..this is life eternal, that you may know Him, the only true God and Jesus Christ who He has sent.” The priority of knowing Him seems to be so unimportant these days, sadly even in the average church.

Many people imagine God to be an old man with a long white beard in a rocking chair, worrying, sitting, and waiting to fulfill our shopping lists. God is NOT like us. His character attributes are altogether different than ours. His essence is spirit. This means He is invisible. This is hard for us to grasp and some even dismiss it because they cannot see things invisible. The Bible clearly teaches that God is also eternal, independent, all powerful, all knowing, all wise, all present, unchangeable, faithful, sovereign, holy, just, righteous, and He is both love, truth, and exercises grace, but also has anger, hate, and is jealous.

A basic teaching of Scripture that today has been forgotten is the sovereignty of God. What sovereign means is that God has the Divine right to do as He pleases because He is God. He did not counsel with any human before He planned or purposed anything. He did not first consider what any human wanted and then decide, but rather purposed everything according to His sovereign will without exception before it happened. This truth does away with the myth of both good and bad luck. Sovereignty is probably His most disliked and disbelieved attribute because it strips mankind of their power, and authority, and requires them to submit to their will to God‘s will. Humans do not like to submit because they think they are in charge. Man cannot control God at all, ever!

The gospel points to God only through the God-man Mediator, Jesus Christ who is both God and Creator. Because God is holy He must demand perfect righteousness. Mankind cannot produce what is demanded. The remedy is found in Christ who produced and earned a perfect righteousness by the merit of His obedience and sacrificial death on the cross. The gospel commands faith in Him. Our works are not righteous enough to earn heaven. Without question He is in charge and it matters that you know Him. Ignorance is not bliss in this case. It is only the most important subject in the world you can take up. He is not just in the book, he is the Word.

The Will of God Speaks to Who He is

“Remember the former this of old: for I am God and there is none else; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure…I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass, I have purposed it, I will also do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11

Many times when people think of God’s will they are thinking in humanistic terms. People must face the fact that God is not like them. The humanist mindset, which has Man as its center, does not like to retain God in his thoughts and when he does think of God, has a very low or shallow view of who God is. The Lord said in the Scriptures that our thoughts are not His thoughts and our ways are not His ways. There must be a supernatural act of God done to man through His Spirit, which is the “new birth”, a “quickening”, or “regeneration”, which all refer to spiritual life being imparted. This must take place before we can understand and start to think about God with the mind of Christ.

When considering the will of God we must see it in the frame of His glorious character attributes. God is altogether different than us. He is eternal. Nothing caused Him, or created Him. He is the first uncaused cause. He has always been and always will be, and is such in a way that is only measurable in any direction by the absolute standard of eternity. He has never started being, and will never stop being. He is the Great and Wonderful “I AM”. Oh, if Man could stop from himself and his own selfishness and meditate of the wonderful attributes of God!! God is jealous about the glory of His character!

Man is a physical, created being that has to stand on solid ground to feel in balance. He is dependent on gravity to survive. God provides it. Man is temporary and is dependent on food, water, and air to survive. God provides it. When man gets cold he needs shelter and or heat from fire or the sun. God provides it. When man gets hot he needs shade of some cool water or even the modern air conditioning systems of today. God provides it. He provides all things to keep man’s body functioning as long as it does. The Scriptures say that a man’s life is like a vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes away. Man is said to be like the grass of the field, which withers and fades away quickly. Man at his best is altogether vanity. He is a dependent, temporary, weak, sinful, selfish, creature of the dust.

God is independent and solitary. He needs nothing, especially from man. He lacks nothing. He is not unfulfilled wherein He sees a need to change. He cannot be improved upon. Combine this with Him being eternal and it helps to see how much more He is unlike Man. Man in his boldness, often runs off at the mouth as if God’s will was not really important until God fell dependent on man to help God out in willing what humans wanted. God’s will is eternally independent and uninfluenced by Man’s will. You may begin to see here one sense of God’s holiness, in that God is sanctified or separate from mankind in His wants and thoughts. He transcends Man. God did not take the counsel of anyone else on anything He willed.

God is all-powerful or Almighty (one of His names). This means his power is unlimited. This is hard for humans to relate to also because we are the opposite: weak. Think of this in Man’s inability or lack of power to actually accomplish what he wills to do. Man even invents stupid sayings like, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” When Pilate as he was bragging about the power he thought he had to have Christ put to death mentioned it to Christ, the Lord Jesus said, “You could have no power at all against Me, except was given to you from above..” John 19:11. Also when Christ said in another text, “Without me you could do nothing”, can be universally applied in all things since God gives and controls, by His power, the means for EVERYTHING without exception to be done by His will. Without God not one person would even be here. Without God nobody could live to do anything. God has all the power to accomplish His will and does just that. If God does not have the power to get His will accomplished and does not exercise that power, then He is not God at all! It is evident from the above text, “My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure…I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass, I have purposed it, I will also do it.” Think of these attributes of eternality, independence, and all powerfulness combined and you can see them working in harmony together in reference of His will.

God is unchangeable. Scripture says of Christ, the eternal Son of God, that He is, “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” That means He is eternally unchangeable or consistent in His character. His will does not change, especially in reference to man. It has always been tied to the eternal, independent, unchangeable, all-powerful, purpose of God in Himself. Even when Christ created the world, the Scripture says, “…all things were created by Him and for Him” Colossians 1:16. It is ALL for God. He is not like Man who changes like a leaf that flip-flops in the wind. Humans change by the minute since they are greatly affected by many causes. Their career, their clothes, their housing, their vehicles, their health, religious and political ideas all are constantly changing and being adjusted because of the change in his life. Think of humans in their interest of self-improvement, which by itself tells us of change and Man’s want of change. God does not need self-improvement of any sort. He does not change and does not see a need of it. Combine these attributes of God being eternal, independent, all-powerful, and unchangeable to begin to see the awesome perfection of His will.

God is also all knowing and all wise. God is the source and fountain of EVERYTHING that is to be known. God knows the secret mysteries that are not yet revealed and that may never be revealed. This is one sense in which knowledge is power. Just like with power, man only has knowledge that God will allow him to have. God has the right and does withhold knowledge of many things from mankind. God is all-wise in His will to withhold certain things from mankind. The above text says, “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done”. How can He declare the end from the beginning if He did not have the knowledge of it? His knowledge of all things is not merely to be attributed to Him knowing ahead of time but involves His wisdom and power in decreeing, foreordaining, purposing, and predestinating all things before they even happen. Again, combine these character attributes of God when considering His will and we are humbled.

God has many more attributes that we could consider but for lack of time, which we are confined to as humans, we will lastly consider God’s sovereignty connected to His will. This attribute is one, which Man would want to quickly destroy if he had the power to do so. God’s sovereignty refers to His right to do as He pleases by virtue of His existence as Divine. God did not have to ask permission before willing what He saw fit within Himself to will. The above text is very clear on the issue of sovereignty. When God says He WILL do this or WILL do that just does not refer only to something He wills but that He has the Divine right to want, purpose, plan, or will anything. He is not affected by the questioning of His right, in that He does not change His will after Man feels his own “rights” have been violated. Man has no rights except God grant them to Man. In this sense mankind must submit to God to in all things. This takes humility and that is not a natural trait in humans. When God’s sovereignty is added to these other attributes our human heads begin to spin with the otherness and separateness of the only true God.

In conclusion, let me convey an idea that I tried to communicate within in this brief article that we need to think of the will of God in terms of His character attributes. We cannot be superimposing humanistic thinking into God who is not like us. This is an impossible task apart from the Holy Spirit and even as God’s people it is hard because of bad teaching, our weakness, inconsistency, laziness, sinfulness, selfishness, and dullness of mind. If we, by the grace of God could see the will of God in a gospel context, and be caused to meditate on it to get a glimpse of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, oh what joy would follow! We pray that God would continually wash our minds of preconceived bias and wrong ideas of God, left over from false religion or any other bad source, by a good diet of healthy gospel doctrine fed to us from His word. We long to see the will of God from God’s standpoint. The gospel of the free grace in Christ is the given tool, which we need. Let us make use of it.

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