We are living in turbulent times and as we’re all aware chronic uncertainty can generate feelings of fear and confusion. What is going to happen to us?
Will we destroy ourselves in a nuclear conflict or will our repeated inability to deal with the challenge of climate change prove catastrophic? And of course, there’s the growing threat of AI. Can we be sure our creation will not destroy God’s? That’s if you believe in Him.
We can choose to live independently of Him of course. That is a God-given privilege. But it’s worth noting that the God we encounter in the Bible warns us that if we choose to go our own way we will end up in a mess. The Message translation of the Bible puts it well when it paraphrases the apostle Paul’s thoughts in these words:
‘People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialised themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out’
Put simply God wants us to know that if we choose to live without Him we will discover that life will be nowhere near as good as we expected it to be.
The French philosopher and writer Andre Maurois once said, “The universe is indifferent. Who created it? Why are we here on this puny mud heap, spinning in an infinite space? I have not the slightest idea, and I am quite convinced that no one has the least idea.” Given all this then, is it any wonder lots of people exist in a state of meaninglessness and as a result talk about ‘luck’ and ‘fate’? Others pursue a different route and consult crystals and/or horoscopes hoping to reclaim some kind of control over their lives. As someone wisely pointed out “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”
The Bible offers us a very different perspective. It tells us that God can be compared to the familiar first century figure of the ‘Oikonomia’, the household steward, who was given the task of ensuring that the family affairs ran smoothly. In other words, God has a plan, and He will make sure that ultimately everything will work out the way He intends it to.
God is not asleep at the wheel then. Far from it.
We may not understand all that is happening around us of course, but He is still in control and always will be. Police officer Chip Gillette realised that again the day he was wandering around Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth. A lone gunman had entered a youth rally and killed seven people and not surprisingly he was trying to make sense of it all. As he prepared to leave the building his attention was drawn to a hymnal which, to his amazement, contained a bullet (the crime scene had been ‘picked clean’). It had come to rest on words that read ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He shall reign forever’. Was that luck? A coincidence? Or was it a ‘God-incidence’? Christians will clearly choose the latter.