God's relationship with man does not work in a way in which man stumbles and then God has to drop what he is doing in order to lift him up; rather, man stumbles so that God can lift him up. Hence it is utterly impossible to truly diminish his glory.
Guidance, like all God's acts of blessing under the covenant of grace, is a sovereign act. Not merely does God will to guide us in the sense of showing us his way, that we may tread it; he wills also to guide us in the more fundamental sense of ensuring that, whatever happens, whatever mistakes we may make, we shall come safely home. Slippings and strayings there will be, no doubt, but the everlasting arms are beneath us; we shall be caught, rescued, restored. This is God's promise; this is how good he is.
Our duty is found in the revealed will of God in the Scriptures. Our trust must be in the sovereign will of God as He works in the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives for our good and His glory.
That eye which sees anything good in the creature is a blind eye; that eye which fancies it can discern anything in man, or anything in anything he can do to win the Divine favor, is as yet stone blind to the Truth of God, and needs to be lanced and cut, and the cataract of pride removed from it!
As God can protect his people under the greatest despotism, so the utmost civil liberty is no safety to them without the immediate protection of his Almighty arm. I fear that Christians in this country have too great a confidence in political institutions . . . [rather] than of the government of God.
God is not some lesser employee, as many try to make Him out to be: rather He is the ultimate Treasure. He works in a man; He works on a man; He works through a man; He works around a man. Know that He does far more than simply work for a man. And yet, even as He Himself needs no one else, everyone else is ever in need of Him.
The skeptic says that the believer has lost his own mind under God. On the contrary, it is the people who follow God who are most like his children, who willingly and consciously walk in his will; but those who oppose him oppose him vainly and at their own expense, and, figuratively, seem to be more like his tools. They don't diminish his glory, but instead he still manages to use them in ways of unconsciously carrying out his will.
One of the great wonders of Christianity is that you were born into your times, to set your times aright.
What is most decisive is God's Joy Project is not that we fully grasp it, but that our sovereign God fully grasps us.
Those who understand God's sovereignty have joy even in the midst of suffering, a joy reflected on their very faces, for they see that their suffering is not without purpose.
The consequence model, the logical one, the amoral one, the one which refuses any divine intervention, is a problem really for just the (hypothetical) logician. You see, towards God I would rather be grateful for Heaven (which I do not deserve) than angry about Hell (which I do deserve). By this the logician within must choose either atheism or theism, but he cannot possibly through good reason choose anti-theism. For his friend in this case is not at all mathematical law: the law in that 'this equation, this path will consequently direct me to a specific point'; over the alternative and the one he denies, 'God will send me wherever and do it strictly for his own sovereign amusement.' The consequence model, the former, seeks the absence of God, which orders he cannot save one from one's inevitable consequences; hence the angry anti-theist within, 'the logical one', the one who wants to be master of his own fate, can only contradict himself - I do not think it wise to be angry at math.
God chose to introduce Himself to us in the first verse of Genesis as a Creator. And yet so few Christians really understand the power of creativity to influence the culture.
If my words don't flow out of a heart that rests in God's control, sovereignty, then they come out of the heart that seeks control so I can get what I want.
Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it.
You have the chief spark of your health's fire, for you have true knowledge of the hand that guides the universe.
I understood that I was being shown the future: shards of what would come to be. Often, I cried out for the pain of it. But other times, I was comforted, because I saw, for an instant, the pattern of the whole.
We are not trying to manipulate God and tell Him what to do. Rather, we are asking Him to tell us what to do.
We do not pray to inform God of our needs, because He knows what we need before we ask.What is prayer like for you?Is it a religious ritual that you perform out of habit?Is it a spiritual discipline that you practice because you want to be the best Christian you possibly can be?Is it a mechanism by which you can bring your “shopping list” to God in order to have your needs met?Or are you running to meet your Lover, to commune with Him, hungering to find your joy in Him, and to be fulfilled in His presence?
Eventually you will find yourself preferring to say, 'Prayer happened, and I was there more than I prayed today. All you know is that you are being led, being guided, being loved, being used, being prayed through -- and you are no longer in the drivers seat.
(God's) nature, identity, and overarching purposes are no doubt unchanging. But his intentions with regard to many particular matters that concern individual human beings are not. This does not diminish him. Far from it. He would be a lesser God if he could not change his intentions when he thinks it is appropriate.
When we lose sight of God we become hard and dogmatic. We hurl our own petitions at God’s throne and dictate to Him as to what we wish Him to do. We do not worship God, nor do we seek to form the mind of Christ. If we are hard towards God, we will become hard towards other people.
Man in his usual perversity turns the footstool into a throne from whence he would feign direct the Almighty as to what He ought to do, giving the onlooker the impression that if God had half the compassion that those who pray (?) have, all would quickly be right
In our instinctive rebellion against pain, we are children again, and demand an active will to wreak our vengeance on.
That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.
Paul looked down at the hand that had known pain, and then up to the Reverend Mother. The sound of her voice contained a difference than from any other voicing his experience. The words were outlined in brilliance. There was an edge to them.
It's hard to know, isn't it, whether the things we face are just because the world is full of sin and sinful people, or if God is working out a plan,' Grandma continued. 'I happen to think it's both. There's sin, but through it all, He takes the mess we make and paints a masterpiece. In fact, I'm quite certain that before God can ever bless a woman—and use her to impact many—He uses the hammer, the file, and the furnace to do a holy work.
The culture around us knows what it means when they see a church in perpetual bluster and outrage. They know that we are scared.
Supporting God's Scriptural ability to give or restrain man's desires, Jerry Bridges points to an amazing verse tucked away in Exodus 34:24. As Israel's people abandon their defense entirely to have a feast before Him three times per year, God says the surrounding peoples will be entirely devoid of even the logical desire to possess their land.