God is Not in Control By Robert Ricciardelli

Presuppositions are not absolute truth

The title “God is Not in Control” may at first glance shock you, but let me explain. There are many believers that have fallen into a deterministic world-view. This view presupposes that all things regarding the people of God have already been determined, and that He is in control of all things. This presupposition directly opposes the reality of what the Word of God actually teaches us about the Father and His choosing to give freedom of choice to His creation while beckoning them to love Him and partner with Him. If we say that God is in control of all people, then we are saying that God causes all the suffering and pain in the world. If we suggest, as John Calvin did, that “Nothing happens except what is knowingly and willingly decreed by Him,” then we are implying that God is the cause of all things, including war and disease.

The reality is that although God could have controlled creation, He chose not to by allowing freedom of choice to His creation. According to the bible, God has all authority, and in Matthew 28:18, He has given that same authority to Jesus, who has the power to “subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:21). For now, Jesus reigns, but does not control all things, but there will be a day, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. There is an “open” view that sees that both God and man have choices yet to be determined. If that were not the case, then prayer could not move a God who had already made up his mind in all matters. We can see in scripture how God changed His mind on a matter because of the intercession and/or behavior of His people.

Providential Personal Intervention

While we understand that God does not control everything, we must also understand that He still has all authority to do as He wills for His purposes. Father in His love and desire for mankind will intervene in anyone’s life and for any reason of His choosing. So although He does not control all things, He has the choice and authority to control or change anything He desires.

Although He does not control us, we can say that He always has the ability to control conditions in our lives regardless of what we go through, for “all things work together for good to those that love God.” God is certainly in control of specific situations, especially in the lives of His beloved who have received Him as Lord of their lives. However as an all- inclusive statement, it is wrong to say, “God is in control.” We can say however, “God is always in charge, and can use His authority and power whenever He chooses.” We have wonderful examples throughout the bible of God interrupting the lives of His chosen people, and some real notables in the lives of Joseph, Moses, Job, and the apostle Paul.

Providential World Intervention

God does not control the world, for if He did, He would not ever need to intervene. People continue to choose to live their own way without acknowledging God, and yet the sun continues to rise and fall for them every day. People’s choices and all the spiritual enemies of God cause all kinds of evil, sickness and death in the world. Nevertheless you cannot read much of the bible without taking notice that God does in fact interact and intervene with the world and in the affairs of humanity. He also is preparing the world for His Kingdom glory that Jesus will rule and reign over for all eternity. This is why He taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, and thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”

We pray for God’s will to be done on earth because presently His will is not being fully accomplished. So we pray and lead obedient lives as instruments of His mandate for all the earth, and for all creation. Until the fullness of His Kingdom in Christ, most of the world will continue to remain out of control, while God uses us in His providential will to bring many to the revelation of Himself. But when Christ arrives in all the fulness of His glory, He will command all things into submission to His will, and all of creation will bow to His Majesty.

Opposing Views Being Sorted

Deterministic and openness Christ followers do agree that God does have a predetermined plan that He will execute and accomplish. However, they disagree on how detailed that plan is, and how forceful He chooses to execute it. The deterministic Christian believes that God controls everything down to the smallest of details, while the openness believer sees God inspiring, guiding, directing and even forcefully intervening at times.

Our Life Choices Matter

We must realize our freedoms within the parameters that God sets, and truly have an open world-view. God continues to watch over us, respond to us, and desiring to work with us. He gives us boundaries for life and beyond those boundaries there is no life. you that God sets before us choices for life and death, blessings and curses. His desire for us is to choose life that cannot be chosen apart from Him.

Exodus 33:5 For the LORD had told Moses to tell them, “You are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I were to travel with you for even a moment, I would destroy you. Remove your jewelry and fine clothes while I decide what to do with you.”

God told the people to repent until he decided what to do with them. This scripture along with many throughout the bible proves that Father God has not predetermined all things, but wants our involvement. The above scripture alone is in direct opposition of the deterministic and classical view of God.

We are not simply pawns in the hands of God; we are sons and daughters of the Most High God. We are not left for chance or some predetermined outcome. We have a free will, Christ has set us free to be free, and we have an opportunity to partner with the Living God.

Our prayers matter, for our God listens, and the prayers of the righteous through Christ brings forth 4th dimension heaven to a 3rd dimension earth. You are essential to Father’s plan, the church is essential, and the gates of hell will not prevail against us. Let’s work with the Father together, transform the world, and forge the future now. Arise saints of God, for this life and for this day, and let’s live, move, and have our being in Him.

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  • Clare

    Oh, that is such a good message and thank you! I am in agreement with this wonderful word you have posted. God HAS given us the gift and freedom of choice. These choices face us every day in big and in minute ways. I believe that if we have intimate relationship with Him and His Word we will just about every moment of the day seek what His will is, the path that He wants us to take on every issue, and for US to CHOOSE!….sometimes we take the wrong path and have to "back-track", but we would be just mindless robots were our freedom of choice removed from us. He wants us to CHOOSE to love and obey Him, and in response to that He opens the floodgates of heaven – His provision, His protection, His blessings in every spiritual way. His will should be our will and our choice. His will is to love and obey Him. Those who do not are outside of His will and all that He desires for them. Amen to Robert's wonderful message…..may we ALL choose HIM and LIFE! – regardless of the price.

  • Rick Wallenda

    Amen, Hallelujah! I love it. It is so nice to hear others talking about the openness of God finally. I have been rejected for so long by "brothers and sisters" calling me heretical. It is so good to hear it. Keep doing it.

  • Stan Jeffery

    Fantastic! This is reality of the kingdom of God, that we have to enable the body of believers in His son to achieve via the dreams and vision that God has released into our hearts. The challenge is to actually hear from God and then act upon what He says. We have a group called boardroomprohets.com that is enabling directors and chairman and business leaders to recognise when they are hearing. There are many other groups that also do this and God is working through those who are wholly (Holy) submitted to seeking Him to bring in the new wine skins and wine.

    The mention of additional dimension is very relevant to the current Physical debate in CERN Switzerland where there are scientist looking to understand what has been revealed in the scriptures that there is much more to creation than meets the eye (or the physical) I have an item "The nature of creation" on the web site under the general research link.It is a bit technical but may help.

  • Anonymous

    "God is in control" is often an excuse for the church's backsliding. Truth be told…He has put us in charge of many things. He told Adam to name the animals. Today's Christian is praying for God to name the animals.
    It is a sober realization when one finally understands that destiny is in our hands. God responds to OUR faith, obedience or OUR unbelief & disobedience. "All power is given to me…GO YE…"
    Sadly the Lord may have to say to today's church, "Sleep on…"
    Lanny

  • Anonymous

    1 john 5:19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
    We must CHOOSE life with God every day, we FIGHT the fine fight of faith
    Anyone who believes that they can sit back and let God take over their lives like an observer expecting just because they believe are fooling themselves.
    We must be alert and awake as the church has been compromised and is contaminated, Baal worship is being promoted
    2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Robert for writting about this.
    I just had a conversation with a pastor in my city on this subject. This theory also brings in the element of personal irresponsiblity and surely we see this and find this played out in why there are so few in prayer meetings and why leaders have resorted to church growth methods as opposed to seeking first the kingdom and listening to God and obeying!!!
    I will be sending this on..i am sure this will open some dialogue again!!

  • Beth CrabtreeHolley

    Excellent, truthful, insightful, and much-needed word today!! Thanks and blessings!

  • Anonymous

    Good teaching.There is a fine tension between God's will and man's will. Mankind given that free will in the garden can or cannot cooperate with God. I do feel in the course of nations God has a predetermined plan and that is to bring forth His Son to glory. So where he may not be in control of you and me at all times he is definitely in "control" as it were of his Son being glorified in the earth.

    Pastor Joe

  • Paul B

    That was a very insightful and balanced teaching. A lot of wisdom there, that will help the church awaken to its need to move on with its calling.

  • Robert Ricciardelli

    Thanks, come join us on our new network http://www.convergingzone.com/one

  • Derek Brown

    I fully agree with you my whole theology changed when I was reading the account of Elijah praying for rain (1 Kings 18:41-46) and God asked me the question 'who made the cloud?' My deterministic theology was ready to answer;'God' – imagine my surprise when I answered 'Elijah' and immediately saw that the cloud was 'the size of a man's hand. That is the power within us that God then uses to do 'exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.'

  • John McDonald

    I also express a hearty Amen.
    It is important that we use correct terminology, so with that in mind, I am telling my audiences to use the term, or expression, "God has supreme or ultimate authority", not control.

  • Robert Ricciardelli

    That is good.. and the truth….. God bless you John.

  • Elizabeth Terese

    Excellent!!

  • Al Pandola

    Awesome truth!!

  • steve

    Some of the most balanced truth I have heard and can be transformational if applied. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

    Amen, thanks Steve

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

    Thank you Elizabeth and Al

  • http://dominion-life.org Michael Scantlebury

    Great article! Enjoyed reading!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

      Thanks Michael, only a Kingdom mind would see this… You are a Kingdom friend, who is about our Father’s Kingdom

      • liam obrien

        So if you don’t “see this” you don’t have a kingdom mind? I don’t see this, does that mean I’m not kingdom-minded?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertricciardelli Editor

          Liam, first of all, you do not have to see what I see to be Kingdom minded. But if we have our eyes on fear and not faith, and do not seek understanding and discernment of where we are personally as well as where the world is currently, there is a good chance we may not be getting a God view of life. Each person must determine that for themselves and through their relationship with God.


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