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God controls how we feel. He determines our dispositions.
God schedules each day of our lives before we even begin to breathe. Every day is pre-recorded in His book. (Psalm 139:16). Each man is created for a specific purpose in the counsel of God, to play a specific role in life.
The righteous are:
“A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, (God’s) own special people, that (they) may proclaim the praises of Him who called (them) out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9).
But the wicked are made for the day of doom. (Proverbs 16:4).
“The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” (Psalm 58:3).
God is sovereign
God does not give man the latitude to do what he wants. It is God who determines all human actions:
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).
When Israel went astray, God was behind it. Isaiah asks God why He made that happen, when He could have prevented it:
“O LORD, why have You made us stray from Your ways, and hardened our heart from Your fear?” (Isaiah 63:17).
When the Israelites sin, it is because God’s judgment affects their will:
“You make us turn back from the enemy
, and those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.” (Psalm 44:10).
God withheld Abimelech from committing adultery with Sarah, Abraham’s wife.” (Genesis 20:6). But He did not prevent David from committing adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. In fact, it was God who moved David to sin by numbering Israel. (2 Samuel 24:1).
We only do what God permits or allows. The Bible shows conclusively that:
“God frustrates the devices of the crafty so that their hands cannot carry out their plans.” (Job 5:12).
God fully controls the hearts of men. Solomon says:
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; he turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1).
When the Israelites were in Egypt, God turned the Egyptians against them:
“He turned their heart to hate His people, to deal craftily with His servants.” (Psalm 105:25).
But when He sent them into captivity, He made their captors treat them with compassion:
“He also made them to be pitied by all those who carried them away captive.” (Psalm 106:46).
While in captivity, He made a promise to Israel that now also applies to all humanity:
“I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7).
God controls how we feel. He determines our dispositions. He caused the Egyptians to give their articles of silver and gold to the Israelites on their departure from Egypt:
“The LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians.” (Exodus 11:3).
If we are sad, God is the cause. If we are happy, God is behind it:
“A distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him.” (1 Samuel 16:14).
David acknowledges this to God. He says:
“You have put gladness in my heart.” (Psalm 4:7).
When it serves His purposes, God makes us like some people, and He makes us dislike others:
“God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech.” (Judges 9:23).
God even controls our speech. He assures Moses, a stammerer:
“I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” (Exodus 4:12).
We only pray to God because God enables it. Accordingly, the psalmist asks for God’s enablement:
“Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.” (Psalm 80:18).
Knowledge and understanding
It is God who gives knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6). Elihu says:
“There is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” (Job 32:8).
If God wants us to know something, He will make us know it. Thus, Luke says of Lydia:
“The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.” (Acts 16:14).
But if God does not want us to know something, He will ensure that we will not know it. This was the predicament of biblical Israel:
God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day.” (Romans 11:7).
Once God determines to destroy a people, He hardens their hearts against His counsel. This was also the case with the evil sons of Samuel:
“They did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.” (1 Samuel 2:25).
If a man’s ways please the Lord:
“He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7).
But if we offend God, He ensures that our enemies prevail against us. The psalmist says to God:
“You make us turn back from the enemy, and those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.” (Psalm 44:10).
Gift of salvation
Salvation is entirely at God’s discretion. God causes people to come to Him. (Psalm 65:4). Jesus says:
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44).
“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. To a nation that did not call on My name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’” (Isaiah 65:1).
Even repentance is
. (Acts 11:18).
If God does not want us to repent, we cannot and will not.
Paul also echoes this:
“It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” (Romans 9:16).
As a result, the elect are God’s workmanship:
“Created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).
Because it is well understood that the counsel of God is immutable, many in scripture do not bother to contest His judgments. When Samuel gave Eli the dire verdict of God that his house would be judged severely for the sins of his sons, Samuel simply resigned to his fate. He said:
“It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him.” (1 Samuel 3:18).
Job also accepted implicitly the providence of God. With the loss of his children, his wealth, and his health, He said:
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21).
Since God is the Judge behind everything, Jeremiah asks:
“Why should a living man complain?” (Lamentation 3:39).
David also reaches the same conclusion. He says to God:
“I was mute, I did not open my mouth, because it was You who did it.” (Psalm 39:9).
Therefore, Peter counsels us:
“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.” (1 Peter 5:6).
Only the Lord God Almighty can make this kind of promise:
“Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14).
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