Surrendering the reins to The One who reigns.

Posted: July 9, 2010 in Theology, Thinking
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Most people don’t know this about me. While I was growing up living with my mom, we would always have animals around us because my mom bread Shih Tzus. They looked something like this.

For me though, I didn’t like all the dogs around because honestly Shih Tzus aren’t my thing. They are cute and they are some of the coolest puppies, but they have their drawbacks. The big one for me is all the hair around their face. Once they eat or drink they are just one big mess. Even in the picture above it looks nasty. Anyways, because of always having these dogs around me, I didn’t want my own animals for a long time. Well, wouldn’t you know, When Jamie and I got married she really wanted a dog. She wanted some form of a Chihuahua or something. I wasn’t having that. Then I remembered that I love my best friend Alan‘s dog named Angel. She is a Beagle. Randomly, I found this cute Beagle mix puppy on Craigslist (amazing site), I picked up the puppy and my heart just melted. We named her Daisy. Here are some pictures of Daisy.

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All of a sudden, I just fell in love with this dog. Since my full-time job is teaching, I have a lot of free time in the summer, so while Jamie is at work during the day, I am spending a lot of time with Daisy. Earlier this week, Jamie, Daisy, and I all went to Jamie’s mom’s place and then the next day we went to my mom’s house. Both days I started to realize that I am super overprotective of Daisy. In my defense, she eats everything! I just keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t eat something bad for her and she either gets sick or dies. Jamie is excited to see how I will be with our actual children whenever we decide to have them. Yesterday morning, Jamie was worrying about something and I remember telling her to think about how overprotective I am of Daisy. If I am this overprotective of an animal that is not made in the image of God, then just imagine how overprotective God is of us, His children made in the image of God. Jesus says this in Matthew 6:25-34,

[25] “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27] And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [28] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [32] For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [34] “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

See God takes care of all His creation. Everything on this earth is His. He is the creator. Because His creates all, He owns all. Listen to these verses;

To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it (Deuteronomy 10:14).

For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).

The world is mine, and all that is in it (Psalm 50:12).

Just as I am super overprotective of my dog Daisy, God is way more overprotective of us, His children, the Bride of Christ, the Church. Everything seemed like it was going great. I encouraged my wife to hold on to her faith in the Sovereign Lord that we serve, who takes care of us way better than I could ever take care of our little dog. Then it kind of fell apart. I took Daisy to the vet after I talked to Jamie. Turns out Daisy has something called Demodex, which is some sort of infection dealing with mites under the hair follicles. If left untreated, it could kill her. I felt hopeless. As much as I can walk around with Daisy and make sure she doesn’t swallow something, make sure no other dogs or people attack her, and make sure she doesn’t get hit by a car, I can only control so much. If you don’t have dogs you might not understand why someone could care so much for a puppy, but I felt the same before I got mine. (Animal owners know exactly what I am talking about.) See here is the thing though. Daisy is not really MY dog. Ultimately, God owns everything. Just because Adam and Eve were given the orders to steward the earth, doesn’t mean they ultimately own it. We are stewards of the things God puts in our lives, in order to make Him look amazing to other people (to glorify Him). God even cares for Daisy, and He is ultimately going to do what He wants, and it is going to be the best thing, even though sometimes we don’t understand it. I got medicine for Daisy and she is probably going to be fine, but it might not work, or maybe she will get sick from something else. Ultimately, I have to take care of her as best as I can and God will honor that. This is a small example of a big truth. I am not sovereign over my life, God is. That doesn’t mean I get lazy and don’t steward the things He puts in my life to the best of my ability, but it means that I acknowledge Him over all that I have and understand that they are only on loan from God. I have to steward my relationship with Jamie, and everything else in my life. God is ultimately in control of my marriage, job, friendships, and family. Everything! I have to really let go of the reins of my life and hand them over to The Almighty God who reigns. We try so hard to be the one that ultimately controls the events of our lives. Reading the bible shows us how little exclusive power we actually do have. Proverbs 16:9 says,

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

What he just said was that we can all make plans and try our best to carry out those plans, but ultimately God determines what happens. Do you still think you have the power of ultimate self-determination? Yes, we make decisions and they have consequences, but ultimately God is active in everything that happens. You might say, “well God isn’t in control of EVERYTHING. What about chance?” Proverbs 16:33 says,

We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.

Now you might say, “Okay, well what about all the sin in the world? You can’t possible say that God is involved in that too.” To that I’d say that we don’t understand how it totally works, and even though the bible is explicit that God is not the author of evil, He is still involved in it somehow. We can see it in the life of Joseph in Genesis 50:20,

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

And when natural things occur like death and sickness we have to understand that God is behind it too. We see this in the life of Job in Job 1:21,

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

If we are called by God and love Him, no matter what happens, He is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28). However, according to Romans 8:28, God is only working all things for the good of His people, the “called-out” ones who love Him. He makes no promises for the people who reject Him day in and day out. There actually is a promise from God but it seems to be a terrifying promise. Exodus 34:6-7 says,

6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands,forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.”

For the people who think their way of doing life is the right way, there are no promises from God to right any wrongs or turn all evil into good on their behalf. Even for us Christians, God does not base any of His promises or mercies on us or any good that we have done. He bases them off of His Son Jesus and the good things He has done! Those that are in Jesus, who are clothed by His righteousness, who were bought by His blood that was shed on the cross are promised to be taken care of. The cross is the basis for all of God’s graciousness directed towards sinners. This is my plea for any readers who are not currently numbered among the saints. Turn from your sins, follow Jesus, and walk with Him all of your days. If you’re reading this, that means you are alive, and that means that there is still a chance to be forgiven by God. Grace may still be found.

To the saints my question is this: What are you worrying about? In doing this, we are being disobedient to Jesus. I need grace and mercy still. We all do. I am thankful for the promises of the God in whom I have found mercy and grace. He promises that not even one sparrow falls to the ground without Him having to do with it (Matthew 10:29), so I know that He is even more concerned with His children and their well-being. He will do what’s right with regards to my dog, my wife, my health, finances, and everything.

I’m not going to lie, it’s easier to be the one that tells someone else that God is working all things together for their good and that He is in control of everything in our lives. It’s harder to be the one who is going through the trial and who has to exercise their faith in the truth of the Word of God. 1 Peter 1:6-7 tells us that all the trials that we go through are there so that the genuineness of our faith is tested, resulting in worship and praise directed towards Jesus when we see Him. Making it through the trials without committing apostasy gives us assurance of genuine faith and that we are truly children of God. I’ll take trials if they are going to confirm that I am saved.

I find it best to end this post with this bible verse. Philippians 4:4-7

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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