Thursday, February 03, 2005

"God Is In Control"

Growing up, I think my mind was pretty secure in the idea that God was in control. I have always been fairly optimistic, fairly bright-side-seeking in my approach to life, the universe and everything. If something went wrong, well God was in control and it would work out. If something went right, well God was in control and "opening doors" for my decisions. I always thought of Him as guiding my steps by placing and replacing things and individuals and circumstances and challenges and obstacles in my path each day.

Do I still think God does that? Do I still think "He's in control" means that He's coordinating something at the me-level of life? Back then, yes - now, not so much.

I think the idea I have now of God's sovereignty is more about His "control" over me as an adopted son, over me as a disciple, over me as a friend. As we're training our kids, we are also setting them lose in the big wide world and the way they respond and react and interact is as much a function of "our control" as it is of their own free will and personalities. When my son considers what to do, his choice of "the right thing" is hopefully coming from "our control" of how he's learning and growing. When my daughter talks to someone, that speech is hopefully peppered with grace and kindness and the things we've tried to teach over her life so far.

On the flipside, children who have no "controls" are left to their own whimsies and are usually not well-behaved - unless they're rebelling against rebellious parents and end up fairly self-disciplined. Either way, their parents aren't "in control". At the same time, parents who are too strict, too "contolling" can tend to send legalistic and fearful children into the world - they've hampered the free choices and forced their children to live under a heavy hand rather than a learning growing mistake-making path.

"Freedom" comes in laying out "control", and then giving the power and ability and decision-making capabilities to work within those boundaries. God knows what's going to happen before we get there on the timeline, and He acts and plans and purposes accordingly, I think. But His "control" is birthed out of our obedience and discipleship as much as it comes from His will and plan for our lives. We have a freedom that's guided, trained and empowered by grace through faith.

Or not. Just thinkin'...


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