I want to share an astounding story about what happened to me the other night, but I want to take some time first to build up the frame work around a biblical concept. I’ll tell my story in the next post – Divine Appointment Part 2. There are a couple of common phrases that we Christians often say which can become meaningless when we over use them. These phrases, however, have roots in some seriously important theology. I understand that I may be a bit of a theology nerd and a doctrine junky, but I think these things really matter. I believe it is important to know what we believe and why we believe it. I believe that we need to be able to express our beliefs to others with clarity and confidence. Back to our sayings…
Have you ever heard a Christian friend say any of these (or said these yourself – we all say them)? “Oh, you should have been there…it was a God thing.” “I’m sure it had to be a God thing.” “I guess God put that one together.” “Now that was a divine appointment!” I hear it all the time. What do these sayings or phrases mean to you? To most, I suspect, these sayings would mean that God has just done something miraculous, something big and obvious in their life…blessed them in some way. Maybe money showed up in the mailbox unexpectedly or maybe there was a conversation revolving around God that really touch the person or had one of ‘those’ spiritual conversations. Maybe you randomly bumped into that long lost friend that has been in your prayers. So, what does this saying really mean beneath the words? What message is our heart actually delivering? I think it reveals a belief that some things come from God and other things are random events that occur every day within our chaotic world. When we say “it was a God thing” we are also saying that there are things that are NOT a God thing. I believe that this question really dives to the core of how we see the structure of the universe. Does God work to fit His will, purposes, and events into a chaotic and random universe? Or are even the universe’s random events set in motion by God? My barometer is the Word of God, so let’s take a snapshot of a few verses:
Hebrews 1:3: “…he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” – Everything, all the time, is held up by Christ’s word.
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.” – Earlier in Job we see that the Father actually commands Satan to test Job and after Satan takes everything away from Job and this was his response.
Genesis 50:15-21 “15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, 17 ‘Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 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. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” – This topic is too deep and powerful to discuss quickly here, however, look at verse 20. It is clear that God purposely caused and worked out everything we read of Joseph’s life in the Book of Genesis.
Ephesians 1:11 “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…” – God works out everything according to the purpose of his will. He does all things for his pleasure and his plan.
What is the point of these verses? Simply this: Everything is a God thing. The fact that you awoke this morning and your heart was beating was a God thing. The fact that you are reading this blog post right now is a God thing. These things have been ordained and predestined by God for his purposes – all things all the time. The fact that you were not run over by a bus on your way to work was a God thing; however, had you been hit by a bus on your way to work that would have been a God thing too! God orchestrates everything and there is no such thing as random events! As R.C Sproul wisely states, “There isn’t a maverick molecule in the universe.” Everything and every event are under God’s divine control and purpose down to the way the leaves turn colors and the way that the stars sit in the sky. Everything from how the spiders make their webs to who we bump into in the grocery store…and it is all meant for good. God executed a divine appointment in my life the other night. Long ago God the Father set in motion a plan for that night’s events, he worked it out exactly as he had planned, and it was a great blessing.
Continued in Part 2…