Home > Eternal Things, Political > Is God In Control?

Is God In Control?

hand-of-godI’ve been in Christ for a while now… filled with the Holy Spirit in August of 1973, much more than half of my life.

Those years have included 10+ presidential terms of office with the following Presidents: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

I wish I had kept records of all the campaign promises and/or threats leading up to each of their elections. It would be an interesting study to compare what they said with what they actually did. If my memory serves me correctly, there has often been a pretty large gap between words and accomplishments.

The next U.S. President will be Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. He too has promised to do many things on a variety of issues. Some of those promises appear as threats to many U.S. citizens, who are not at all happy about his strong leftist leanings.

To be honest, I’ve been—and am—in the camp of the unhappy. That hasn’t stopped me from praying for President-elect Obama, nor has it stopped me from honoring the office and the man that will hold it. A past musing expressed these exact sentiments: http://www.billholdridge.com/Musings/0A45412E-D6C6-461F-B358-9BDF77AE2A35.html.

But recently I’ve developed a different perspective. This perspective comes from the vantage point of the skies, looking down at the forest. It’s the view from the Goodyear blimp, rather than from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

I’ve been reading and re-reading the O.T. book of Esther. It’s an amazing book that powerfully portrays the work of God amongst the nations… but surprisingly—doesn’t even specifically mention God or His Name. Yet, He is everywhere.

Remember, “God is nowhere” can also be read as God is now here. The book of Esther describes the God that is now here. He is working, but His actions are not necessarily seen or noticed at the moment.

Esther’s story is told from the backdrop of the 5th C. B.C, in the Persian capital of Shushan. Esther, a Jewess, was surprisingly and suddenly elevated to be queen of the most powerful nation in the world. During the early moments of her reign, all the Jews in all the provinces of Persia were scheduled to be annihilated by order of the king in response to the rabid anti-Semitism of Haman the Agagite.

But what seemed to be inevitable was dramatically reversed and the Jewish people were preserved. The king, powerless to change the edict of the wicked Haman (according to the nuances of Persian law), gave Esther the authority to write a brand new law, which she did. With the new law, the Jews were empowered to defend themselves. Properly armed and prepared, they were easily able to defeat their enemies, and thus survive as a people.

Behind the scenes, God Himself was quietly directing the flow of human affairs. In fact, I counted at least fifteen instances of the sovereign hand of God at work. (I challenge you to find those instances yourselves.) By direct and indirect actions, God was working “all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).

So what am I saying? I’m saying this: God is over everything. He is moving in our day, shaping all things toward His desired ends. The obvious evil that is all around us cannot eclipse the ultimate good that God wants to do. He can—and will—put people in positions of influence and power. He can—and will—shape public policy in ways different than initially intended. He can—and will—produce outcomes that are in keeping with our fervent prayer “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”

President-elect Obama may be operating under the illusion that he has power of his own, and that he can effect the changes he has announced to all. This is simply not true. The houses of Congress may suffer from the same fantasy. But the fact of the matter is that they would have no power at all unless it had been given to them from above (see John 19:11, Jesus’ words to Pilate).

God is in control, ultimately.

We just need to keep praying. In her day, Esther proclaimed a three-day fast. That was important then; it’s important for us now.

We just need to continue loving God with all our hearts, and remain zealous for His ways. In their day, Mordecai and Esther risked their own lives on behalf of God’s people. Esther was elevated for “such a time as this.” So are we, today.

We just need to serve the Lord, to put spiritual things above all other pursuits in our lives. We need to seek first God’s kingdom, and His righteousness. We need to find our portion, and fulfill it faithfully. The Lord will help us.

We just need to trust that God is the only wise God, and that He knows what He is doing. He will not and cannot be defeated. He is the sovereign, conquering King. He reigns, and He shall reign.

What God is over all the universe is also what He is to each of us as individuals. He knows our names; He knows our anxious thoughts. Sure, these are trying days, but certainly they do not put us beyond the reach of our Father’s care. More than ever before, believers need to trust God, to believe what we believe about Him, and live accordingly.

Thanks for reading.

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Categories: Eternal Things, Political
  1. Rick
    December 29, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I can’t agree with you more Pastor in “We just need to serve the Lord, putting spiritual things above all other pursuits in our lives”.

    And I say Amen and Amen. Thank you for your Blogs Pastor Bill and may the Lord continue to bless your ministry!

  2. David and Peggy Sterling
    December 30, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Grace and Peace in our Lord Jesus Christ,

    The Holy Spirit quickened me during my reading of “Is God In Control?” in particular when I read this statement:

    “We need to find our portion, and fulfill it faithfully.”

    I’ve cut and pasted below the world’s definition from the online Merriam Webster dictionary of portion; and that in and of itself gives me enough to pause and pray about.

    Main Entry: 1por·tion
    Pronunciation: \ˈpȯr-shən\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English porcioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin portion-, portio; akin to Latin part-, pars part
    Date: 14th century
    1: an individual’s part or share of something: as a: a share received by gift or inheritance b: dowry c: enough food especially of one kind to serve one person at one meal
    2: an individual’s lot, fate, or fortune : one’s share of good and evil
    3: an often limited part of a whole

    Especially definition number three:
    a part of a whole, reminds me of the truth that we are the Body of Christ, each of us a part of His Whole. It is my earnest prayer this day to have that portion revealed to me with clarity and affirmation and to be willing to fulfill it faithfully.

    I then went to my Bible and read perhaps one of my all time favorite passages of Scripture from II Kings 2:9:

    “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.”

    And, the subsequent following passages of Elijah being taken up in the chariot of fire into heaven, something I pray I may speak to Elijah about in heaven; I want to know all about that ride! And, I do not have to wonder what the Elijah spirit was, nor why Elisha wanted a double portion…God spells it out through our brother Paul in Romans 8, big time, especially verse 9:

    “But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

    Well, praise be to God, I AM His…I have His Spirit, in an unlimited way, for God is without limits…and because of Jesus, that “double portion” has been given to us freely…I receive it anew and again this day, my place in the Kingdom Body of Christ, and trust God to continually show me the nuts and bolts application of my place in His kingdom.

    I am edified this day, exhorted, even, because of the faithfulness of a servant and a brother in Christ who takes the time and follows the leading of his portion to serve Christ, thus edifying others, especially this reader, this day.

    Thanks, brother Bill.

    Immanuel for all eternity.

    Peggy

  3. Peggy Sterling
    December 30, 2008 at 6:50 am

    By the way, GREAT graphic with the blog entry of the hand sweeping away the chess board…I like that very much…how many times as a child, and even an adult (Scrabble vs. Candyland) have I lamented when the game board was toppled over or otherwise disrupted in some way…NO body is in control of the outcome but GOD…to Him be the glory forever…

  4. Christy
    December 30, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Amen Pastor Bill 🙂

    Our focus needs to continue to be our relationship with Jesus Christ and serving Him only.

    I think we forget quite often that He “lets” us be a part of His ministry to the world, and in our efforts to furthur His Kingdom, we lose sight of the fact that He alone is the One in control. Even though God is Sovereign, man is to respond, but sometimes when we respond, we think that we are actually doing the work. Then when something does not turn out how man thinks it should, we are discouraged, instead of realizing that God is the one with the plan.

    Hope I make sense:-)

    This is a quote that I shared with many during this last year :

    “Destiny waits in the hand of God, not in the hands of statesmen.” T.S. Eliot

  5. Rob
    December 30, 2008 at 9:10 am

    A great perspective, boiled down to a simple truth, on a difficult issue.
    Thank you for your perspective to help us put all this in the proper perspective for our lives!
    A Joyful and prosperous New Year in our Lord to all.

  6. Antoniette
    December 30, 2008 at 9:23 am

    You know what? This could just simply be a case of God leaving the 99 to rescue the one. I mean, who can put it past God to allow all of this, even allow a man to become President of the United States in order to bring him to his knees? Sounds crazy, but so did a burning bush, and virgin birth. We can never underestimate what great depths and heights the Lord will go to to preserve a relationship with someone He loves deeply, and of that I can be sure. He loves Obabma deeply, even though I (and many of us) don’t. I wouldn’t put it past God to give Obama the presidency so he could humble himself and acknowledge His extreme need for our Saviour. We need to count it an honor to be part of God’s plan, no matter how ridiculous it seems, how far-fetched it seems (spit and mud … a King being born in a manger …) we never know His ways, and I think it would be best for us to avoid trying to figure it all out, and simply trust Him, like you said in your closing thought, and believe , not just what we believe about Him, but believe BEYOND what we believe sometimes, and like you said, “Live Accordingly” !! Okay Bill, I’m done now.

  7. December 30, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Good words Pastor Bill.

    May these truths bring great peace and hope to all of God’s children.

  8. Trip Kimball
    December 30, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Bill,

    The answer to your (rhetorical) Q is…. YES! (of course).

    Amen to your message, but also a thought…

    Looking at Esther & several historical issues with Israel, along with many Christian believers throughout the centuries it seems to me that US believers who might question “is God in control?”, have a very different perspective & situation.

    “They”, were facing persecution which was often severe, if not to the point of being annihilated. “We” are more concerned about our economy & its impact on our quality of life, & what we (may) view as persecution from the media & our culture. I realize it’s biased, but not sure if it truly qualifies for what I consider persecution.

    My concern is that, in the US, we may be more concerned about ourselves (way of life, etc.) than we are about denying ourselves, taking up the cross & following Jesus. More quickly moved to whining to the Lord, than worshiping & trusting in Him. What bothers me is how quickly I can be caught up in it all myself.

    Grace & blessings for the New Year & beyond,

    Trip (Pastor Trip Kimball)

  9. January 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    just stopped by to say that I read your comment on the abortion thing and i couldn’t agree more.

  10. January 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks, Jordan… it’s great to see so many pro-lifers responding to the ridiculousness of the pro-abortion arguments.

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