letting god work in our lives (4) the providence of god
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Letting God work in our Lives (4)The Providence of God
4 Views of God workingHe has never interacted with the world (Deism)He works today miraculouslyHe does nothing today (though the events of the Bible are true)He works providentially
God does not work miraculouslyA miracle is an event impossible through natural meansBiblical miracles served as confirmation of the message of God (needed to distinguish from frauds) Matt.9:6, Hebrews 2:2-41 Corinthians 13:8-12 miracles no longer needed (cf. Jas. 1:25)Such does NOT limit the working of God today
ProvidenceWhat is providence?The foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth. God accomplishing His will WITHIN natural meansThis too is misunderstood by some today who say that God has His hand in every little act we do. Such removes our free will.
Providence in the BibleGods plan of redemptionThe seed promise Genesis 3:15, 12:1-3, 2 Samuel 7:12Galatians 4:4, the fullness of timeOur redemption was in His plans even before the foundation of the world Daniel 2:21-22, Eph. 3:10-11, Romans 8:28
Providence in the BibleJosephThrough a series of events, Joseph rises from slavery to second in power in Egypt Later after Israel dies, his brothers fear retribution.Joseph assures them all will be well. Joseph said to them, Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:19-20
Providence in the BibleEstherThrough a series of events, Esther becomes queen in Persia and delivers Israel from destruction. Faced with a dilemma to do what was right, her cousin Mordecai encourages her, For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your fathers house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
Providence in the BiblePhilemonEscaped slave Onesimus finds Paul in Rome where he is converted to Christ. Paul writes this letter to Philemon encouraging him to receive Onesimus back.Paul says, For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slavea beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. Philemon 15-16
Has Providence Ceased?God can still work providentially todayNumerous passage would have little meaning to us without His providential care1 Corinthians 10:13, he will not all us to be tempted beyond what we can bearJames 1:5, if you lack wisdom, ask of God
Has Providence Ceased?God can still work providentially todayMatthew 6:25-33, He knows our needs and can provide2 Corinthians 9:8-11, He is able to make all grace abound toward you2 Peter 2:9, He knows how to deliver the godly out of temptationHebrews 12:5-8, the chastening of God
Has Providence Ceased?God can still work providentially todayI am convinced that if one is genuinely searching for the gospel, someone will find that person and teach them.Exactly how He works today, I cannot say. Nor can I declare the degree of His involvement in events. But He is God and can do what He needs to do!
Has Providence Ceased?Consider prayersPhilippians 4:6, 7 be anxious for nothinglet your requests be made knownPrayers for our leaders and circumstances 1 Tim. 2:2Prayers for our brethren- James 5:161 Peter 3:12, the eyes of the Lord are one the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers1 John 5:14-15, He hears us
Further thoughts on Providence However He works, we do NOT surrender our freewill! He does not micromanage our lives or the lives of others. He does not force anyone to obey Him (But He can accomplish His will)The nature of providence is such that we cannot definitively say some detail was the hand of God (but often when we look back we can see that His will prevailedWhatever He does, it does not relieve us of our responsibilities Matt. 6:33, Phil. 2:12-13
Further thoughts on Providence Answered prayer, even affirmatively, sometimes takes time.Everything that happens is NOT the work of God. Consider the example of winning the lottery!Give God the glory! 1 Thess. 5:18
Do you trust Him?