On facebook, a friend wrote:
"fear believes the worst is going to happen... faith believes the best is already on its way"
When your perspective is telling you it's the worst, that's when you need your faith to rise. Faith is always needed if we're going to achieve what we're called to. Faith allows us to do good despite our less than ideal circumstances because we see what is available to us through Christ.
I still don't believe that God is in control. I'll believe otherwise if you can show me in scripture that he is. In the mean time I choose whether or not I get out of bed in the morning. I choose whether to use my words to encourage others or tear them down. I'm pretty sure God has given me a great deal of control over what happens in and around me.
If he were in control there would be no point in us doing anything because God would be taking care of it, there would be no point in relationship with God because we wouldn't be expected to do anything (there's the issue: saying God is in control releases us from any responsibility to bring his kingdom to earth).
If God were in control, would there be all the problems there are in the world? Saying God is in control is saying he is not good and that is a fallacy.
Yes, God is all powerful and could take control, but if he did then what would be the point in existing? You have a greater purpose. Start walking in it!
FYI: I can't take credit for a lot of this. Much of it is just reiterating what Bill Johnson says in Face to Face with God
Then there was this response:
Very good points - but here's a question. If God ISN'T in control, then does that mean His plan might fail - and what is fore-told in Revelations might not happen? Aren't we assured that in the end, God will defeat the enemy?
Romans 8:28 tells us, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose."
Other ways that is read include, "that all things work together for good to those who love God, who;" or
"that in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good—with those who."
Note: this assurance is predicated to those that Love God, and this last version of the verse makes it clearer that we are working with Him to bring about good. Our relationship with Him comes with the expectation of participating in His work. (and striving to not hurt others)
God, as you said, is capable of controlling everything, but allows man free will. Maybe this is all about the big picture - not the small,( re: daily free will choices - getting up from bed, or deciding to commit a crime, etc.) The big picture is our unbreakable relationship and life with God - if we choose it.
If Hell is separation from God - we are assured we will never be separated, and He is working with us through all things for good in that direction. Rom 8:39 "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Some of "those that Love Him" and have purposed to work for Him abbreviate that thought - rightly I think - into our assurance that "God is in control."
And you are right - Faith is needed if we're going to achieve what we are called to.
I need to address the thought that if God is in Control, there is no point for relationship -
Relationship with God, as pointed out in Romans 8:28, involves Him working with us, through us, etc. - to bring about His will and good -
that's what the Holy Spirit is all about.
We choose relationship with Jesus Christ. There is our free will. But God IS the Master when we do that - he is our LORD - and we are His servants. Therefore, He IS in control.
There is No relationship without accepting His Lordship!
Further, we can NOT do good on our own - we need the Holy Spirit. According to Romans 6, we die - our flesh dies with Jesus Christ - and then we are raised up again new with Jesus Christ - (just as He was raised up again) - to live a New Life, with Him.
Rom 6:22 "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."
This is the Relationship: we can do nothing without Christ (God/Holy Spirit) in Us:
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. [For when we abide in Him -- and He in us -- He shows us His will and that's all we long for!]
"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love." John 15:3-10
Abiding in Him, and He in us - involves letting go of ourselves, and allowing Him - in control - to work through us.
So I think Mr. Johnson, in his book 'Face to Face with God," was very wrong about there being no point to relationship if God is in Control. It's reversed - there would be no point to relationship if he WASN'T in control -