With a move in our future, our life has been busy organizing, cleaning out and throwing away. We have to keep the house in order "just in case" all the time. In the past few days we've hit a rough place, and although we are sure the Lord is directing our steps there have been moments of doubt. Just how much is God really in control of our lives? We throw around the word sovereign and say we know that is God's main attribute, but what does that really mean in our lives?
We receive a preacher's email messages and when we received this one, it spoke to our spirits. I hope Russ doesn't mind me copying and printing it here, but I couldn't say what it any better. I hope you get a message from his "New Year. Who is in Control?"
Here we are in the first day of a new year and I'm not quite through with the old one. I tend to hold on to some things, like memories of the past week. Like many of you my wife and I planned a trip to be with our family and friends who live about 2,100 miles away. We left on schedule and after 2 days, had traveled less than half of the way home. We were confronted with snow, Ice, freezing rain and eventually a blizzard, before we decided to turn around and drive back to California. We made the trip with clear sky and dry roads almost all of the way, in one day.
As I have thought about what happened to us, I have wondered if God might have had a hand in our travel difficulties. Now I know how impossible it sounds to think that God might put a blizzard in place just for our benefit, but could he?
Then I remembered Paul in Act's 16:6-7 where we read, "Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.
Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there." (NLT)
I also thought of Jonah in the Jonah 1:4 where Jonah was headed in a direction God didn't want him to go. We read: "Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up." (NIV)
So, could God put a storm in our path to prevent us from going somewhere? I believe that he could. You might ask, "Would God cause something like that to happen when it might affect someone other than just me?" Think about this, "Was Jonah in the boat alone?" No, he wasn't. So, could God affect our physical lives in some way to cause us to do what he wants us to do? Yes, I believe he can. If you don't think so, why do you bother to pray for the sick, or those out of a job or for safe passage on some trip? Do we believe he will only touch our world when we specifically ask him to?
OK, here is the point! Much of our world looks to the New Year and makes plans for their future. We make "New Year's Resolutions," planning what changes or direction our lives will take. The trouble is that it may not be the things God has in mind for us. We forget that he is still in control of our world, not us, not the scientist, not the politicians; it is God who is in charge.
We were disappointed that we didn't get to make our planned trip to Ohio, but one passage of scripture keeps floating to the front of my mind. Do you remember what James writes in James 4:13-16? James writes: "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog, it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil."
As you look to the New Year, don't forget to plan on God being involved with your life! If things don't go as you plan, maybe their going according to some plan that God has for your life.