Tuesday, February 3, 2015
WHO IS IN CONTROL?
A much used statement is “God is control”, but is He really? We use it in various and multiple contexts. Sometime with deep conviction and fervency, but too often flippantly as a quick fix.
Yes, “God is in control” is an absolute, irrefutable statement, and God’s Word is peppered with this incredible assurance. While this fact offers everlasting assurance, it leaves no place for indifference nor irresponsibility. A study of this treasured fact sends us on a journey which is too profound for us without help from the throne. Let’s concentrate on control of our thought life, our mind. Does your mind ever send you on a tizzy? You don’t sleep at night. You tell yourself you are not going to think any more about that thing that has kept you awake for hours. You even ask God to help you release it and go back to sleep. And before you turn over, there it is again. What do you do? Some turn on the TV, others pace the floor, or run to the frig, or turn to unmentionable activities.
The Bible tells us again and again that we control what we think. We do have control over unwelcome thoughts that come to our mind. No, not by ourselves. God gives the solutions and by His Spirit the power to be an overcomer. Phil. 4:8 explicitly directs us to think on true, honest, just, pure thoughts — the virtues that are genuine, honorable and morally upright, righteous before God, admirable, and praiseworthy. Jesus will plead for us at the throne of grace.
The Word clearly reminds us that we, too, have a responsibility in this matter. God does not garrison the thought-life of those who do not desire or want it. “A person cannot entertain evil thoughts and thoughts about the Lord Jesus at the same time”. Who is in control?
Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit in verse 6 of the same chapter, gives another antidote for anxiety (sinful fretting). Rid yourself of anxiety. Is that possible? Yes it is for the Christian. How? It is before our eyes. The powerful resource of believing prayer. And there is one more activity. Thanksgiving—even before we have the answer. To be thankful before the answer comes is to tell the Father that we know He is in control. That we set our mind on Him and His promises and we stop worrying. “Anxious for nothing; prayerful in everything; thankful for anything”. Let’s not overlook the all inclusive word,“everything”. Everything means everything.
In verse 7 of Phil. chapter 4, Paul assures us that God will garrison the believer’s heart in Christ Jesus. There is power in the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The same power that raised our Savior from the dead is available to us in time of need.
There is a blessed reward for our attempted obedience. PEACE — THE ASSURANCE OF BLESSED PEACE. Verse 7. “…the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard our heart and mind through Christ Jesus”. Neither midnight TV nor Facebook can give it.
What is the peace of God? It is a “sense of holy compose and complacency which floods the soul of the believer when he is leaning hard on God” (William MacDonald, Believers Bible Commentary p. 1978). Peace is the result of total surrender.
“Stayed upon Jehovah, Hearts are fully blessed; Finding as He promised, Perfect peace and rest”. Francis Havergal