Very often when I speak to people I realize that most people including Christians don’t know God at all. They have no idea what God’s will is and how it impacts them. They believe lies about God, mostly because that is what they heard in church and from other Christians.
So often I hear people say: “God is tempting me,” or “teaching me a lesson,” or “maybe it’s not God’s will for us not to be healed/not to have a baby,” or “God allowed it,” or stuff like that and I get so sad, because then I know that that person does not know God’s character.
I have said this many times, and I guess I’ll have to say it many more times, but God does not punish us with sickness or infertility. God does not give it to us to teach us a lesson, read this post if you’re not convinced by this post. Yes, most often we do learn lessons from it, but that is us, not God doing it. Most Christians still live under the old Covenant, and have no idea that they have a new Covenant with God or what that new Covenant entails – if you haven’t read it you can read more about it here.
To prove who God is I’m going to quote a bit from And.rew Wom.mack’s teaching: Don’t limit God.
1. God’s sovereignty:
“The normal doctrine in the church today is that God is almighty that He is sovereign and that nobody can limit God. I’ll agree that God is sovereign if you would use the word sovereign the way that the dictionary defines it. The dictionary says sovereign is first in rank, order or authority. It would be like saying he is at the top of the food chain. If you want to say that about God I agree 100%. God is almighty, He is first in command, but to say that God chooses everything, controls everything and if your life is a mess God willed it – that is wrong.
It always amazes me when I go to funerals. People get up and say, “Well, we don’t know why God took this person.” They just automatically make an assumption that when you die it’s because your number is up, and you can’t die unless it’s God’s will. That is not so! That is absolutely untrue!
Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV): “16 And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
God does not want us to die! He told us not to do it! We ate from the tree and we were the ones who ushered in death!
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV): “14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death— that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
Jesus came to destroy him who had power over death and that is the devil. It’s Satan who kills people! Satan comes only to steal and kill and destroy! (John 10:10 (NIV)) But Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” God doesn’t control every person when they die! God doesn’t control if babies are born deformed and things like that! God isn’t the author of evil! God is a good God!
In the Old Testament there are examples of the wrath of God, but praise God the Bible makes it very clear that under the new Covenant we have been redeemed from the curse and Jesus is not the one who is putting problems on you! It says in James 1:13-14 (NIV): “13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” God is not the author of evil, God is not doing these things and yet the church is saying this.
God does not sovereignly rule your life like a chess piece and just determine what’s happening – you cannot blame God for the failures in your life. God has a perfect plan for every single person’s life and if you are not seeing that plan fulfilled, if your life isn’t very exciting it’s not God’s fault. If your life is not supernatural, your life is superficial. If your life is not going good it’s not because God doesn’t have a plan for you, it’s because you are not co-operating. You haven’t found out that plan, but I’m telling you that God doesn’t just sovereignly control your life and make it work out. You have to pursue the things of God in order to receive it.
One of the reason people teach the doctrine of sovereignty is so that they can dodge all responsibility. For ministers it’s really a convenient theology – You can pray for a person and if they die, well then, “Que sera, sera, what will be, will be. “Well you don’t know why God took them; it must have been God’s will…” You know what? It saves you from having to deal with problems and reality and failure, so that is the reason it’s convenient.
We can miss God’s will. Now God can take anything and work it for good (Romans 8:28 (NIV): “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”), but God didn’t cause it, God doesn’t do it and yet God can work something awesome out of anything negative that the devil throws at you.
2. God respects your free will:
God gave you a free will and he respects your free will. God is not going to force you to do anything. You have to stir yourself up or you will sink to the bottom. You’ll find that when Jesus came to the earth he said, “I’m meek and lovely.” He had to be invited even when His disciples were drowning in Matt 14.
Matthew 14:25-32 (NIV): “25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. It’s a ghost, they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. 28 Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water. 29 Come, he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me! 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith, he said, why did you doubt? 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”
Jesus came walking on the water, you know the reason He was walking on the water was to save His disciples, but He made as though He would have walked past them. He went and showed Himself to His disciples in the midst of the Sea of Galilee while they were drowning, and He didn’t come running up and say, “Hold on! I’m coming,” and then saved them. He came, showed Himself and they had to cry out and ask Him for help.
Luke 24:28-29 (NIV): “28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going further. 29 But they urged him strongly, Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over. So he went in to stay with them.”
It’s the same when Jesus met the two on the road to Emmaus. They had to invite Jesus to come in. God wants you to invite Him in, that’s just the way He is – He doesn’t force Himself. You’ve got the right to go to hell and He will defend your right – nobody can force you to choose God. You have to invite Him in – you have to open up the door.
3. God works through people:
Ephesians 3:20 (NIV): “20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”
If you don’t have any power, any faith stirred up in the inside of you, if you aren’t believing God for anything then God cannot do exceedingly, abundantly above all you ask or think. God has to flow through somebody. God always uses a person; see again this goes against the whole teaching of the sovereignty of God. That God just sovereignly moves. There is no such thing as God moving independently of people. God moves through people. God always has to have a man or a woman, there has to be some person that God speaks through. That’s why God raised up Moses – He had to speak through him.
God gave authority over this earth to physical human beings and when God did that, it limited what God could do, because God Himself is a Spirit (John 4:24 (NIV): “24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”) God gave control of this physical earth to people with physical bodies (Genesis 1:26 (NIV): “26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”)
That is the reason Jesus had to become a man, to come down here and deal with the devil. He had to become a physical human being and Jesus allowed God to flow through Him in a way that put Satan in his place. Now Satan is a de-fanged foe, he cannot do anything except gum you to death. All he does is lie to us and intimidate us and Satan can’t do anything to you without your consent and co-operation. The problem is we have been consenting and co-operating more than we should…
Some of you might be frustrated and think, “Well I sought the Lord and things didn’t work out.” Well we have an enemy that comes against us. We live in a fallen world. This is going to be swimming upstream. This is going to take more effort than floating downstream. But I can promise you God is for you and if you co-operate God will reach you!”
We have to stop being passive and hope God will reach out to us and fix everything for us. We have to take responsibility for our actions, we need to stop putting the blame on others and start acting upon God’s word and live according to His will. The only way we can do that is to read the Bible and learn who God is, what He wants for us and what our responsibility is. That is going to take work. It is going to be more effort than just going to church once a week and being spoon-fed. It takes time, but I have found so many rewards in doing this. God has given me hope, He has given me a reason to live and He has healed me of many problems. It is worth it, believe me!
I can also recommend that you read one more post I’ve written about who God is.
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