Refuge In The Control Of God
There are many who declare the control of God, and it is misunderstood. It is easy to be discomfited by the 26 dead including many children in a school shooting, or the dead in the hurricanes, tsunamis, warfare, or 9-11. It is easy for men to wonder in these types of instances, Where was the Almighty God, if He was in control? We must understand what is meant when men say God is in control.
God created you as a free moral agent, but the temptation of Eve left us such that a better description is a free immoral agent. All of your life, in literally everything that you do, you are choosing a Lord. With the right decision in each and every thing you do, you declare Jesus to be Lord. In each sin or iniquity you are making Satan your master. Who will you choose? And who will you believe? Your refuge, your deliverance, your protection, and your provision will be dependent on your answer. Your decisions determine whether you will walk in the spiritual realm of, and with, God, or in the physical or false spiritual realm of Satan. If your decisions are made in the fleshly lusts, or in lack of faith you have put yourself in the hands of man without God, you are separating yourself from God (Isaiah 59:1, 2), and placing yourself in Satan’s realm and attack.
God is calling unto us to come to Him, repent, completely obey Him, and let Him be our refuge; it is here we can find God’s control. This control is complete when we make Jesus the head, and give Him the preeminence in everything;
Colossians 1:18, 19 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence, For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
The importance of Him being the head is that the members of the body do not or should not have a mind of their own. In a natural body, without the head to command the arm, for instance, the arm cannot perform any function. Anything less than giving Him full preeminence will result in our mind and our fleshly nature leaving us with a level of unbelief. That is what is further spoken in these scriptures; in Him shall all fulness dwell; our fleshly nature will not give Him all, and obey Him. That is the importance that Jesus put on spiritual fasting and prayer in Matthew 17:21; it allows us to find a spiritual unity and yielding and obedience that we cannot find in the flesh. This can also be seen in the description of the kingdom;
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The kingdom of God is not a combination or mix of these things, carnal and spiritual, but it is righteousness, peace, and joy: we must also realize that it is only in, and under, the full authority and control of the Holy Ghost. Being full of the Holy Ghost is how Jesus could say He had meat to eat, spiritual food, that the disciples did not know;
John 4:31 – 34 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat? Jesus said unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
While in mind we believe we understand the above scriptures, begin to hear and receive in heart the depth spiritually of the preeminence and fulness of the Lord in all. Let us try to expound our understanding, to find the need for us to overcome our flesh, to find total obedience, and to give Him the complete and total preeminence in all matters. Jesus was feasting on manna, the spiritual food, the will of God, and doing His work. It is here you will find the control of God, the spiritual provision, protection, and deliverance of Almighty God.
Let us first consider several who had divine deliverance or protection under the control of God in scripture. Because he was the man of God, Elisha had a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire protecting him when the Syrians surrounded him (II Kings 6:15 – 17). For their stand for righteousness and truth, in declaring and worshipping only the true God, the three Hebrew children were delivered from the fiery furnace by the Lord (Daniel 3). Daniel, a man listed as one of the three righteous in Ezekiel 14, had the protection of Almighty God, who closed the mouth of the lions (Daniel 6:21, 22). But please note that each one of these men still had to face the attack of the enemy! It was only in their righteousness, stand, and faith and trust in God that His control was found and they were delivered.
Let us also consider the multitude of people who failed although they had seen many miraculous things in the deliverance and provision of God. Are you grumbling and complaining, or unbelieving, in the blessings that God has given you? Consider the children of Israel;
Hebrews 3:7 – 12 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Please note that … they have not known my ways. They had no hearing and doing, the obedience to His voice, but they erred through the lust of their hearts, which left them in unbelief. Just prior to these verses, we are exhorted to stand in our confidence and hope, and not to fail as the children of Israel did;
Hebrews 3:5, 6 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Will you be the House of Christ? You must stedfastly believe, and hold fast and firm the hope unto the end; there is an ease of this if we have the fulness of the Holy Ghost.
Continuing to read in Hebrews 3 and 4 of the rest of God, and the omniscience of God, through Hebrews 4:13, you will find in verse 10 that we must give up our ways;
Hebrews 4:10, 11 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
The rest of Hebrews 4 is a spiritual rest; our physical example of the Sabbath day, and resting from our labor, has a spiritual parallel in stopping our ways and thoughts, and yielding our walk for His. It is in the hearing and doing that we find His rest. His rest is not something that we just have, but we must enter into it in belief and faith in Him, and in complete obedience to Him. Do not be deceived that you are always under the protection of God if you are walking in your sin or unbelief.
Many stand on, and rely in, the scriptures that Satan could not afflict Job without the permission of God. How many of you can be described as Job: … a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil? It was in this relationship with God that Job had his reliance, and he walked in righteousness; the realm of God. Let us look at where Satan was allowed to attack Job;
Job 1:12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
The physical things that Job had, including his health later, were what Satan was allowed, and had the power, to attack Job with. Those things are in his realm, and that is where he tries to drive you that he might defeat you. The Sabeans, the Chaldeans, the fire, the wind, and the boils were all in his realm and power to afflict Job. Where did Job’s knowledge and choice and personal stand leave him?
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Job acknowledges the trial and fire he was going through, but makes his decision and chooses to continue to stand for, and with, God and maintains his integrity. None of us have faced anything like Job, but in the afflictions and attacks that we do face, many contemplate running or quitting; it is only in remaining in righteous relationship with God that you are assured His control, and Job came forth as gold.
That is where Paul and Silas were at in the prison at Philippi; they were in the kingdom, and refusing to fall to the realm of Satan. The beatings, stocks, and earthquake were all in the realm of Satan, but they remained in spiritual warfare in the kingdom, and captured many for Jesus.
Look at the temptation of Jesus; all the things that Satan used (food, power, wealth, and authority) tried to bring Jesus into the devil’s realm. His authority in the physical things is mentioned;
Luke 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
As with most things, there is only a glimmer of truth to the things the father of lies says when his mouth opens; he is only in authority when in his realm. But scripture tells us the … the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just (Proverbs 13:22), so we know again that the spiritual will overcome even in the physical things of the devil’s realm.
In the prophecy delivered by Stanley Frodsham in 1965, Jesus acknowledged that He first suffered the temptation, and then the persecution. This is the difference in the oppression of the devil, and the spiritual warfare. Oppression occurs when the devil has some measure of authority over you through your sin or flesh. If the devil cannot defeat you with the temptation, he will then resort to the persecution; recognize through God each one when the attack comes. Those mentioned in deliverance above, Elisha, the three Hebrew children, and Daniel, had all stood fast through temptation and reached the point of persecution. It might appear that the Hebrew children could have been in temptation, but that had been settled long before. Nebuchadnezzar used the oppression of his rule to force all others in his kingdom to worship the image he had set up, but the three Hebrew children had a greater ruler, and stood fast faced with persecution. We must stand fast in the persecution as well!
In relation to the attack of the enemy, I love how Corrie Ten Boom acknowledged that she held onto the physical things lightly, otherwise it hurt when God pries your fingers off. Our victory is only in the realm of God, and overcoming the attack of the enemy, who is trying to return you to his realm. God desires you to have the kingdom before the things. If we continually walk in the flesh we risk a devil’s hell.
Jesus must be the head of the body, or we will be spiritually paralyzed. We must be led of the Spirit to be a son of God; Romans 8:14. We must come out of the devil’s realm and flesh, and be separate, to be received and be His sons and daughters;
II Corinthians 6:17, 18 Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Understand that it is only in the righteous, overcoming, life that He receives you, and you receive His promises. Hear the calling of God in this scripture … come out … be ye separate … touch not the unclean thing … God is a God of judgment, and judgment is beginning in His house that we might again be the light to counter the darkness. I can hear Brother Shoots in his wilderness sermon shouting of God, I want to make a people, I want to make a people, I want to make a people! In the days before Jesus came, God was desiring to prepare His people;
Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.