Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God's Will, Our Will, Or Our Cop-Out

I admit it. I am extremely depressed about Obama taking over the presidency. More depressed than I can explain. Frustrated. Discouraged. I have avoided all talk shows and news sites today. If I heard the name "Obama" 50 years from now, it would be too soon.

I was chatting with one of my friends last night, and was expressing all this. He basically said something to the effect that God raises leaders up, and I also think he said it must be God's will - if he didn't say that, someone else did. But is it really God's will? Has He really raised up this man to be president of the USA? I don't believe that it is.

I think Christians are in a habit of just saying things are God's will when they don't turn out the way we want or expect. It has almost become a cop-out. Obama did not become president because it was God's will. He became president because too many people who profess the name of Christ decided it wasn't important where he stood on the moral issues, and swallowed everything the media said.

Obama will most likely further the gay cause, and the cause of abortion. Disagree with me if you will, but if we say it was "God's will" for him to be president, then we must assume it is God's will for more babies to be murdered if Obama signs the Freedom of Choice Act as he plans. That is is His will for same-sex marriage to be legalized, and all that would do to our country.

Was it God's will for abortion to be legalized in the first place? His will for prayer in schools to be outlawed? His will for countless children to be abused and molested?

All too many things have happened in this country because those who call themselves Christians have sat on their butts and let it happen. Too many Christians won't even take the time to vote, and too many who do, vote on their pocketbook, not on the Bible. And all the while, they quote Scriptures of how God says it will get this way, so it is all in His plan, all in His will. Baloney.

God, or God's will, gets blamed for a lot of things. People get issues with their church or school, so they claim it is "God's will" to go somewhere else, to remove their kids from that school. The young guy - or girl - doesn't want to invest in a relationship that much, and want to play the field a bit more, so it is "God's will" for them to break up. Maybe we should spend more time seeking God's will BEFORE we start to date that person, BEFORE we start to attend that church.

Claiming God's will has almost become a way of doing what we really want to do, but to look better, we claim it is God's will. I wonder how much time is really spent coming to the decision that something is God's will.

There is a term called "The butterfly effect". In simple terms, it is the belief that a small change can have enormous variations, kind of like the ripple effect. We have no idea what effect will be the result of changes we make so lightly. By taking your kid out of the holiness Christian School and putting your kids elsewhere, your kid could lose some influence he needed. By dating that person, you could wreck your life. By attending the secular university instead of Christian, you might lose your way. And there is a place for some of those things, depends on the people and situations, but it does make me wonder just how much, and how strongly God's will is sought anymore. Do we already have our minds made up before we even pray for God's will?

Praying God's will can be taken too far. It really isn't going to make a difference to God if I wear green or blue today, or if I have spaghetti for supper, or have chicken casserole, but I believe we are leaving too much out of the equation, assuming we know what is best, that we know God's will without asking Him for it.

In the Old Testament, Israel wanted a king, and badly. Finally, God let them have one, but let them know that it wasn't His will. Could it be that when we pray for God's will in a situation, that God sees how badly we want to do it, so He steps aside and lets us claim it as His will?

This may sound totally far out, but I have to even wonder if every disease, every handicapped child, every barren couple, is God's will. Could it not just be the way things turn out, the results of Adam and Eve's sin? Just because a baby is born with Downs Syndrome, does it mean it was God's will? Was it God's will for Joni Eareckson Tada to become paralyzed, or did God use her accident for good after it happened?

I find it hard to believe that everything that happens, good or bad, is God's will. Is it God's will for a young mother to be taken, leaving behind a crushed young husband with young children to raise? When these things happen, we chalk it up to God's will, and that He had a reason, and it's all in His plan. But are we sure of that? Was it really? Or was it just a result of living in this sinful, wicked world, where bad things happen to bad and good people alike? It rains on the just and unjust, and if I read the Bible right, being a Christian doesn't guarantee no grief or suffering here below.

Life isn't always going to go the way we want. Sometimes it seems like it never does, but all too often it is either because of choices we made, choices someone else made, or just life here in this sinful world. Not everything that happens is God's will, even Barrack Obama becoming president. That was our fault.

5 comments:

Kim M. said...

I *do* think God allowed Obama into the presidency whether to judge our sinful, complacent, Christian-by-name-only nation or to bring us back to Him (perhaps through persecution).

I don't think we can get around the verses below. God allowed Jesus to die through Pilate. If George W. Bush had been there instead, Jesus would not have died.... he would have set him free...

God allows even evil rulers to bring about His will. For some reason, God doesn't look at suffering and death the way we do. We are sad about the death of our infants (brought about through sin), and I am sure the families of the martyrs were saddened by their deaths. Yet... without the blood of the martyrs there would be no church today.

He *does* allow suffering to bring about His purposes.

Daniel 2:21 He (God) changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Romans 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities , for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities ; all things were created by him and for him.

John 19:11 (speaking to Pilate) Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above . Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Daniel 4:17 "`The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.'

Daniel 5:21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.

God's ways are confusing sometimes...
1 Corinthians 3:19 (King James Version)

19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness

I am thankful He knows what He is doing and I can trust in Him.

Christa said...

I agree that we are wrong when we say everything is God's will. God gave us free-will choice. My daughter felt God didnt answer her prayers when God let Obama get the presidency. I disagree that He "let him". We have choices, and alot of people made the wrong choices. Alot of people are not spiritual or have discernment, and made the wrong choice. Alot of people did not bother to know the facts, or just stuck with their party. He (God) might try to influence people, but he will not force us to do anything--he lets us decide things for our self.

Kim M. said...

Christa,

I really don't want to be argumentative. My answer is coming from a heart who wants to understand these things too...

However...
I truly believe we need to separate our emotions from this and look at it ****Scripturally***.

I cried my eyes out when I found out Obama had been elected. I was so disappointed!

But.... I felt in my searching for answers, I was given peace. Especially in the verses I mentioned in my first comment. I think they are pretty clear.

Is God not *really* Sovereign or are "we" in control? Do we blame Him when we don't understand, or do we just leave it in His hands?

What about Pilate? What "if" George Bush had been there? I mean ...that's who we holiness people would have chosen... right?
If we had been there, we would have really been upset and confused. I am sure the disciples wondered what in the world was going on.

Romans 13:1 for there is *no* authority except that which God has established

I do agree with Mark that God allows things to happen when His people whine (like King Saul), but like I said He *allows* being the key word. His hands were still there the whole time Saul was King.

I believe that EVERYTHING has a purpose.

<< Ecclesiastes 3 >>
King James Bible

Look especially at verse 9. I personally believe that we "may" have to endure persecution before we will see revival in this nation. Complacency is rampant.

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. 14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.



I am not trying to be argumentative but there is a trend in today's society (in the Christian movement) that is moving away from God's sovereignty. We don't always understand what He allows.... but sometimes (like the example of Pilate) it orchestrates His purposes.

Just my thoughts (and I really mean them lovingly).

Steve-n-Deb said...

I think there are two parts to respond to "Is this God's will?" First, it was God's will to give man a choice -- free will. It was also God's will to allow man to live with the consequences of his choices. Thus we Americans chose our leader and it is God's will to let us have who we chose. I agree Mark that Christians bear a real responsibility in this case. If the church were alive and active, more people would have voted on the moral issues and chosen the better candidate (the best wasn't running).

Secondly, God is ultimately in control or the whole world is in trouble. Thus whatever happens is under the umbrella of His will. But that doesn't mean that the way the world turned out is the way He would have preferred. I'm sure He preferred a better outcome in Eden.

And, sorry to disagree here, but we still have to respect our leaders. The verses in Scripture (New Testament especially) were not written in a Christian democratic nation, so they are even stronger than we realize.

Mark said...

Just because someone is in the highest office in the land doesn't mean they can't be an idiot and the devil incarnate