The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is God in Control?

Frequently I have heard people strongly affirm that God is in control. I have also read writings in which people state that God is in control. My first question is, "What do people mean by stating that God is in control? Secondly, how would things differ if God were not in control?

The world is filled with atrocities that go on and on, never ceasing—such as rapes and tortures, not only of adults, but of little children as well. There are continuing cruelties of women and children. There are deliberate deprivations of the necessities of life. There are many murders. There are countless people killed in wars. Would all these things occur if God were in control? I don’t think so. Does God want people to do these things? I don’t think so.

Consider an elementary classroom. Suppose that the teacher attempted to instruct the pupils, but they paid no attention, ran around the classroom hitting the weaker pupils and wreaking havoc. Would you say that the teacher was in control? I don’t think so.

Would a man be in control of his family if his wife and children just did whatever they wanted whether the man liked it or not? I don’t think so.

Then there are natural disasters that harm people: floods, earthquakes, COVID-19 and countless other diseases. Why do these occur if God is in control? Does He want them to happen in order to fulfill a deeper purpose? I don’t think so.

I wonder whether people say that God is in control because it provides for them a sense of security.

Well yes God owns everything but he gave man dominion of the earth and I believe Satan is active. So for this age man has a lease given to him and God being a fair landlord allows man to behave in whatever fashion he chooses. But God can intervene and has on occasion.

I don’t understand God at all as to the subject of Providence. I’m at a total loss. I live with it as part of the ‘grid’ I drew in the crisis of faith section. I do have other roots for my faith, thank goodness.

This entry from Diary of An Old Soul, for June 11, sticks with me:

Henceforth all things thy dealings are with me
For out of thee is nothing, or can be,
And all things are to draw us home to thee.

Which says to me that Gmac is saying that everything that ‘happens’ to him is from God; there is nothing out (outside of God’s control); that all things are designed to draw us home.
That is way above my ability.

The idea of God’s sovereignty and providence is an idea that is over my head and assurance.

But those who affirm it, including that our coming to faith and repentance should all be credited as God’s doing, see it as a good implication, that all things and anything good which we do or come into is “way above my ability,” because then nothing, including “coming home,” ultimately depends on my own adequacy, but its’ accomplishment is secure, since it totally depends on a sovereign God who loves us.

To me it seems Gods own right to rule for the best of his own creation has been challenged by Satan and by man. God could have stamped down his authority in the beginning, but would this answer the question/challenge ? It would seem that God has given this world over to satan and mans attempts of rulership. Although mans government strives for world peace, it continues to fail miserably, one only has to look at the mess man has made in trying to run/Govern this earth without Gods rulership.
I imagine the world being a circle within a circle, satan and man ruling the inner circle given over by God - God the ruler of the larger circle. Although Gods input/rulership into the smaller circle is some what limited to picking out/ choosing a people to serve/rule with his son in a future kingdom, when the smaller circle clashes with the inner perimeters of the bigger circle it’s pushed back by God, until God chooses to fully intervene at Christ’s second coming to rule with all power and authority on earth. As and when Christ puts all power/rule and authority under his feet to the point he hands back a fully accomplished kingdom to God, so that God may be all in all, perhaps it is only then that the mess we [ALL] contributed to, will always serve as a reminder to us [ALL] what messy affairs and effects rebellion against Gods rulership causes. Although all former things will have passed away, and there will be a new heaven and earth with no more tears/death/pain/ etc…looking back on all the terrible suffering that had been, will no longer cause anguish because [All] will have been rectified through Christ back to God. It could be said that looking back at a past life without Gods rulership will serve a good purpose when [ALL] has been made right. Mankind’s curiosity would have been answered and Gods right to rule alone will no more be brought into question.

Just my thoughts.

I use to believe this but now I see things a tad bit different. God doesn’t have control of our lives until we submit in surrendered trust to His rulership. We have to let God have control. He becomes Lord as well as Savior. Without this surrender we wrestle with God or go against the flow of life. God works all things together for good but this is only for those who love God and are surrendered in trust. We let go and let God. This I believe is what George MacDonald taught.