Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Chapter 4: In The Hands Of God
Being in the hands of God is a subject that is going to be a little different than the others that I have talked on so far. There are two reasons that this subject is difficult for me to really talk about: 1) this subject has many different connotations when it comes to theology and 2) I have to be careful what I am going to say so I do not become a heretic. I want to say that I will not push any one theology in this blog, that is something that I think is better left for personal discussion, and I will not attack any one theology either. I do have personal thoughts on free will and predestination, that I can back up biblically, but I will do my best to leave those aside and talk about more practical things in the idea of being in the hands of God.
So what does it mean to be in the hands of God? Well, the best way to find out is to look in the Bible. There are many verses that may come to mind when it comes to being in the hands of God but remember we are talking about how we make God look bad so I am going to just talk about the ones that pertain to living a daily life right for God. I will always affirm that we are taken care of by God (Matt 6:25-32 and Matt 10:29-31) and that if we place our life in His hands he has a planned provision for our lives but that is not what I want to go into.
I want to talk about how the Bible tells us that if we are living for God that it is not really us who are living this life; it is through Jesus that we live (Gal ). We are fallen people and we fail on all regards to live right (Rom ) but through the power of the Holy Spirit we have the power to over come all of these things. Being lead by the spirit is something constantly on the pin tips of the writers of New Testament so it must be important. The bottom line is that we can not live a life that makes God look good without putting our life in the hands of God.
Putting your life in the hands of God must start somewhere so the first thing is to put God first. God himself makes it very clear that this is a must do (Exd 20:3 and Luke) and if we forget to do this it is beyond impossible to put our life in the hands of God. The next step is realizing that if we want to live for Him we must lay our life down for Him (Matt 16:24-25). The main way we make God look bad is failing to put Him first in everything and putting ourselves aside for His glory. Putting your life in the hands of God or being lead by the spirit, as some may say it, helps us come in line with the way our lives are meant to be. We are told that we can not overcome sin without His spirit (Rom 8:12-16).
Too many times we make this life man centered and too few times we make it God centered. We fail to realize that if we try to make things right we will always fail it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ that we can live an upright life. I have heard, I myself at one time have taught, that if you just do not think about doing a specific sin you can overcome it and with that teaching the scripture 2 Cor 10:5b "take every thought captive and make obedient to Christ". Is that what is really taught there? NO. If you read it in context or just the whole thing it is not a man centered power that overcomes it says in the verse before that, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world", so how do we even try with our strength to take anything captive? It is only by the Holy Spirit, the weapon that is not of this world, that we overcome anything.
The way to be in the hands of God is to do what Paul says in Rom 12, "... But let GOD transform you into a new creation by changing the way you think". We can not change without the power of the Holy Spirit! We must stop making this life transforming thing a man centered power and put it back in the hands of God. If we know that it is only through faith that saves us we must also realize that it is only by the spirit that sustains and changes us. A man powered change is something that has always failed us and is one of the many ways we make God look bad. We try to change, without the power or guiding of the Holy spirit, and when we fail to the world around us it makes God look powerless to change anyone. The kingdom of God is of power (1 Cor ) and what is that power? It is the Holy Spirit and if we want to live in that power we must stop striving and put our lives back in the hands of God.
The easiest way I like to put this is: to many times we try to fix things by looking at the shadows/sin in our lives and say, "I will not do those things", but instead of looking at those shadows/sin we should look at the light/God. When we take our focus off of the things around us that may cause us to fall and put it on the One that has saves us the shadows/sin becomes nothing. We can not change without the power of God and laying our life in His hands.
I know that some people may think, "well we have freewill and I am putting everything on God", but our freewill will come in to play in the next chapter: Don't blame God... or the devil either. As always I leave you with some challenges. What things are YOU trying to get right and not trusting in God? What would your life look like if you put your whole life in the hands of God? In what ways have you made God look bad by not putting your life in the hands of God and how can you change that?