Posts Tagged ‘God is in control’

Verse 14: “So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.””

I was contacted once by an old friend about applying for a position that his group had open; the friend had told me that God had put my name into his prayers about applying. So, I prayed as well…at first, I heard “yes”, so I applied for the position with the group. The interview went pleasantly enough; however, a couple of weeks later, I was informed I didn’t get the position. During that interim, I began hearing “wait” in my prayers, instead of “yes”. When I contacted my old friend, I asked him quietly how did I do? He replied that everyone liked me and my experience, etc. He also added that, to a member, the interview team had voted “no” that I wasn’t the man for the position. I reassured my friend, “then, that’s God at work”. I was at peace, and wanted my friend to be as well. God is in control.

That last statement is what Paul’s friends had to finally understand; that God is in control. Sometimes it can be hard to see something fearful coming, especially for a friend or family member, but God can use that situation for good. It’s something that bears remembering in the world we live in today.

Something to think about.

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Verses 27-30: “And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”

In Genesis 41, we are in the middle of Joseph’s incredible journey into Egypt, as God used him in a way no one could ever see coming. Pharaoh had a dream (a vision, you could say), sent by God, and no one could interpret it. God opened the door for Joseph to be the deliverer of the vision’s meaning; a period of great harvest in the land, followed by a period of great famine. After Joseph proposed a plan of action to Pharaoh, Pharaoh made Joseph the second-most powerful leader in Egypt to head up the program to save the populace from famine.

Flash forward to today’s verse: another vision, this one given to the prophet Agabus. Again, it’s a vision of a coming famine. The disciples (after prayer and discussion, I’m sure) determined to send relief; what we would call a “love offering” today. This gift would help the home church back in Jerusalem.

The story of Joseph came to mind when I read the above verses; here are some parallels from both stories that God revealed to me, that are true today:
1. God does give advance warning of future events, if we are listening. In both cases, God gave visions of the upcoming famines. To coin an old idiom, “forewarned is forearmed”. Like the recent tornado outbreaks we’ve had, the first thing we did was turn on the television, and get the information from the local weatherman as to where the storm may go…this allowed us to be ready. However, we had to listen and to pay attention to the signs (the forecast predictions). The messenger may be different, but God is in control.
2. God provides a way out of trouble. If anyone could echo this statement’s truth, it was Joseph! Seems our problem today is, we sometimes don’t want to use God’s “escape plan”, due to selfish reasons or stubborn pride. However, that doesn’t deny that the way out is there.
3. God uses His people to be part of the rescue. In Genesis, it was Joseph. In Acts here, it was a gift from Antioch to Jerusalem. Today, God uses those who are willing to be used by Him, to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Just as in the past, so it is in the present, and true even in the future. God is in control.

Something to think about.

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verse 9: “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

In the movie adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which is sort of a Justice League of literary heroes), Allan Quatermain and Tom Sawyer are pursuing Mr. Hyde through the back alleys of Paris. Quatermain the hunter shoots and misses Mr. Hyde, who dodges the shot (by the way, Allan Quatermain never misses what he shoots at). Sawyer remarks, “you missed him.” Quatermain replies, “I wasn’t trying to hit him…..turn left, Mr. Hyde.” as he shoots again, making Hyde turn left. It is only several scenes later that the viewer sees that Quatermain has been deftly corralling Hyde into a trap to capture him, all the while Hyde thinking he was escaping his pursuers.

Man thinks he can plan every step of his future, that he is the sole captain at the wheel of the ship. However, he fails at times to remember a simple fact I have stated on several of these devotions….God is in control. Similar to modern GPS devices that tell you when you stray and direct you back to the mapped path, God has a way of directing our steps in life. If you don’t have Jesus charting the course for your life….isn’t it about time you gave Him the wheel?

Something to think about.

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verse 4: “The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.”

I have 3 cross references to the above verse in my Bible; they are as follows:

Genesis 1:31 – “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”

Romans 9:22 – “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?”

The Holman concordance on Proverbs, page 97, has an interesting statement on this verse too: “Finally, verse 4 shows that God controls even the wicked person, using his evil actions to bring about divine purposes (Rom. 8:28).” By the way, Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

There is an old tale I remember hearing in a sermon, that relates how a poor, elderly Christian woman would wake up every morning, and go out to her front porch, praising God for all He had done for her. She would praise Him for even the meager things she had. Next door to her lived an atheist, who bitterly detested this daily activity of her praising God. One day, he set out to “teach her a lesson”; knowing she was poor, he went out very early and bought a couple of bags of groceries and set them on her front doorstep. He hid nearby her front porch. When she came out for her morning prayers, she was astonished at the unexpected groceries and thanked God for them. The atheist stood up from his hiding place and said “Ha! There is no God, old woman; I bought those groceries myself and set them on your porch!” A moment of silence passed…and the woman praised God in a loud voice saying, “Thank you Lord for these groceries! And you even got the devil to deliver them to me!!”

God is in control; never underestimate His power or His ways.

Have a blessed day!

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