I was listening to a preacher yesterday who used the phrase, “God is in control.” He has the right to use it because he has surrendered his life to the Lord’s leadership on a daily basis. For him, using that phrase is accurate and justified. But for too many people it is an excuse for apathy. “Well, I can’t do that much anyway. I just let God be in control.” But it doesn’t work that way. If God were in control of everything, Adam and Eve would have never sinned; David wouldn’t have killed Uriah to steal his wife; Peter wouldn’t have denied Jesus three times.
There are certain things that God is in control of, but we need to be sure we are not shirking our responsibilities and apathetically turning over the tasks at hand to God because we are too lazy or afraid to take responsibility for what He’s given us to do.
God gave humanity freedom to choose. God inspired Joshua to make the people decide: “If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
When the Israelites came to the edge of the Promised Land in eleven days, Moses sent out twelve spies to check out the situation. God brought them to the land He’d promised them. But there were obstacles.
When God brings us to a new place in our walk with Him, there are going to be obstacles, but that’s no reason to give up and lamely excuse ourselves by saying, “Well God’s in control, so I’ll just sit here and see what He does.” There’s a time for waiting, but if the Lord is leading us and we’re yielding to Him, we may discover that there are more times He calls us to action than the times He asks us to sit on the sidelines.
The Israelites were supposed to go into the Promised Land after the eleven days, but since ten of the twelve spies saw obstacles, the people got afraid and wouldn’t go in. And God couldn’t make them go in. God doesn’t force us. He gave us freedom of will. The Lord wanted them to be bold and act, but they wouldn’t do it. (See Numbers 13 and 14.)
Fear and apathy go hand in hand. “The slothful man saith, ‘There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.’ As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed” (Prov. 26:13-14).
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth,” says the Lord in Revelation 3:16.
If we are going to use the phrase, “God is in control,” let’s mean it in our personal lives and use it in the right way, because we have chosen to surrender all to Him, daily yielding to His every call to action. Let’s sign with Him in contract, be with Him in action.
Be bold. No more sitting on the sidelines thinking God is going to do all the work. We’re a team.
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