Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday's Word: God is in absolute control of the details of our lives

In Paul Tripp's book, "What Did you Expect." he states:

"Acts 17:24-27 is one of the most helpful and encouraging discussions in the New Testament of God's rulership over our lives:

'The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.'

"Having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place." What does Paul mean by these words? Well, let me paraphrase. God determines the precise place where each of us will live ("boundaries and dwelling places") and the exact length of our lives ("having determined allotted periods"). It is God who determines the precise details of location, situations, and relationship in which each of us lives. This means not only that God is in control of where you end up and who you finally live with, but also that, in order to do this, he has been in control of everything that brought you where you are. This means that God has been in control of all the experiential, cultural, and familial influences that shape how you desire, think, act, and respond. So, God is in control not only of the locations in which you live, but also of the influences that have shaped you as a person. He has not only written the story of you and your spouse and determined that your stories would intersect, but he has controlled all the things that have made you different from one another.

"As you struggle, you must not view your marriage as bad luck or poor planning, or a mess that you have made for yourself. No God is right smack-dab in the middle of your struggle. He is not surprised by what you are facing today. He is up to something."

"He is working to rescue you from you, to deliver you from sin, and to form the character of Jesus in you."

"He has designed marriage to be one of the most efficient tools of personal holiness. he has designed your marriage to change you."

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