Is God Active in Today’s World?

Just this week I heard someone say, “In today’s world God only operates through the Word.”  This wasn’t the first time I had heard this statement made.  In fact I grew up being taught that God only operated in today’s world through Scripture.  The basic question is this, “Is this an accurate portrayal of God’s role in the lives of civilization today?”  Follow me as we spend a few minutes dealing with this misunderstood doctrine.

First, this doctrine has developed through time primarily as a result of our inability or unwillingness to accurately study the teachings surrounding the Holy Spirit.  Instead of studying through to truth we have sought to explain away the Holy Spirit .  Often we have replaced the role of the Holy Spirit with the role of Scripture.  With that said, let us never underestimate the purpose or power contained though Scripture.  Scripture occupies a most important place in God’s dealing with man.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us “Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be perfect throughly furnished unto all good works.”  In this text is contained a sizable portion of the purpose of Scripture and It’s relation with man.  The role of Scripture is to allow us knowledge giving us the possibility of  reconciliation with God.  It then affords us necessary knowledge to support the relationship with God made possible by reconciliation.  This is an extremely important role  Scripture occupies in the lives of men.  However, the role of the written Word does not supplant the role of God in the lives of men today.

The basic question is this, “Is God active in creation today separate and apart from Scripture?”  The answer to this question must be a strong and unwavering YES!   God is active in creation today separate and apart from His written Word.  The following list is by no means an exhaustive listing of God’s activities in creation today.  It is only a beginning.  Let’s examine together the following examples of God’s power and role in His creation today:

  • According to Colossians 1:17,  The Lord holds all things together.  Science so-called has taught for years that man was destroying the planet by global warming.  In the last year we have seen this concept begin to unravel.  In reality man cannot  destroy what God holds together.  All creation is held together by the Lord.  This is accomplished without the written Word.
  • God’s power to hear and answer prayer is outside the confines of the written word.  At times God answers our prayer in a super-natural way.  At other times He works through His Spirit as it dwells in us.  God uses us through His Spirit to do His will.
  • Today God is still in the healing business.  When an individual is healed from a sickness, they recuperate because God makes it happen.  At times God uses people gifted with the ability to bring about healing.  These “doctors”  He uses to carry out His work.  At other times God may allow an individual to heal without any other person’s help.  God still accomplishes this feat.  Healing occurs outside the borders of Scripture.  Still, God is involved in any healing action.
  • God has chosen to proclaim His message through the preaching of men.  While it is true that Scripture contains the message of salvation, God has chosen to work through men to accomplish the proclamation of His message.  As the Spirit dwells in us, He gives us the strength and ability to powerfully proclaim the message of salvation.  The power of God works through humanity by His Spirit to proclaim the way of salvation.
  • God helps us make decisions in our lives.  When facing a decision in our life the natural reaction from a Christian is to pray.  Sometimes we find the answer we seek in Scripture.  At other times God will answer our prayer in some way outside the confines of Scripture. As often as not God will work through some natural event on earth to give us the answer we seek. 

If we teach that God is only active in the world today through Scripture we are limiting God.  We are  saying that God left us when He gave us the Word in its completed form.  To make this assertion is to put God in a box.  Rather than limiting God by our doctrine wouldn’t it be far better to find Truth?  Instead of limiting God in ways that fit our doctrine let’s make sure that what we teach as truth accurately portrays God.  If God isn’t there it can’t be truth. 

God is active in the world today.  The Holy Spirit dwells in Christians.  Instead of seeking  to explain away these truths let us be sure that what we teach accurately portrays the role of God in the world today.

 

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10 Responses to Is God Active in Today’s World?

  1. Don Middleton says:

    Concerning God’s immanence…this doctrine concerning “God in Word only” makes it much easier for people to keep God “in the Bible box” that they have created…and therefore, it is one that they can more easily control. If God is out there somewhere (and not close by), having set things in motion and then is kicking back to see how it all unfolds (which is the root of Deism), then “Christian religion” is thought to be much more easily discerned. Yet, this leads to the worst kind of self-righteousness — primary dependence upon my understanding of the Word — as it also leads to a self-deceived lifestyle that pleads spirituality, but really is not so much…what Jesus and Paul were dealing with on a regular basis with many of the Jewish believers that they encountered. God calls us not only to keep Him out of the box, but to allow Him to tip over ours…this is the true nature of faith. Legalism is an easy religion…that is why so many subscribe to it, but truly trusting God and His Spirit not only to work through the Word but to allow Him to guide us, personally (the heart of Romans 8)…is a more complicated matter.

  2. Thanks Don, you are right on. I appreciate your thoughts.

  3. Jerry Weldon says:

    Dell,
    Beautiful grandchild by the way!!! Concerning the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. In John 14,15,16 Jesus say’s repeatedly that the main work of God the Spirit would be to bring us truth and Jesus said that truth is the Word. James says the perfect thing Paul talked about was the completed word of God for man. I agree with you tht the word only folks limit the Spirit of God living within us (I Cor.6; Acts 2:38)…….but I’ve found in my study that you cannot separate the two. (Spirit and word) for where there is one there is the other. I think downplaying the word is equally wrong at downplaying the work of the Spirit in our lives…….Certainly when one obeys the word (good news of the kingdom) and becomes a Christian he/she receieve the godhead. Jesus said that He and His Father would come and make their abode in us when we obeyed His will. And Peter (inspired) said the Holy Spirit could come into us as we being obedient believers (in the word) were baptized. (As word says)………….So we have the Spirit of God in us.What is He going to do? Is He going to take away our freedom of choice and make us do something we didn’t really want to do? Or …..is He going to urge us to do right and if He is going to do this is He going to do it apart from what He wrote in His Word. In other words are we going to just know (from the Spirit being in us) that we are to worship on the first day of the week?…or Give as we’ve been prospered? …or Win souls…..??? Without ever studying it? What did Paul mean when he the Thessalonians to
    “quench not the Spirit?” I Thess 5:19.
    My point: I agree the Spirit of God will help us in time of grief, sorry, ignorance, desicion making etc…but NOT until we put the knowledge of the Spirit in us. Once in us we have what I call an educated conscious and we know what the will of the Spirt or Godhead is…but even then I still have my freedom of Choice.
    I seen this subject misused on both sides. I hope this makes sence. Correct me where I am wrong…I want to be right.
    Jerry

  4. Jerry, thanks for your thoughts. I hope I haven’t left the impression that I am downplaying Scripture. That is not my intention. There is a role Scripture plays that cannot be filled by anything but Scripture. At the same time, Scripture in it’s completed form does not supplant the work of God in the world today. We must be careful that we not replace God’s role with that of Scripture.

    Got any snow?

    Thanks brother, God bless.

  5. Wayne McDaniel says:

    Dell,

    I have just now found your latest post and rejoice that you have declared the Lord’s ongoing control of His Creation. It is a tragic irony that some who claim to base their words on the Living Word, don’t read it enough.

    Jesus said, “But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you.”
    – Mt. 10:19-20. Cf. also, Lk. 12:11-12, & 21:14-15. These three statements by Jesus show the Father speaking thru his sons and daughters as He pleases.

    Also, in John 14:12 Jesus tells the apostles, “He that believes on me, the works that I do, he shall do also; and greater than these shall he do;because I go to the Father.”
    By using the third person pronoun, Jesus refered to others beyond the apostles. Casting out demons was already taking place (Mk.9:38-40, Lk.9:49-50) – though John tried to stop a man from continuing, just because he chose not to go the same road as John did. Jesus’ answer to John ought to inform us the mistake of trying to control others.

    It is always our PRIDE that seeks to exercise such control.

    I will close for now. I appreciate what you have written. Wayne

  6. Wayne,
    Thanks for your kind words.

  7. Christina says:

    I know first hand that God works in our lives today. He has helped me and my family through some dark times. Our church, along with most churches in Tennessee is closed today due to the snow. I’m glad I can still hear (or read) a lesson from the Word on the Lord’s Day. Yes, scripture is important. Scripture is what teaches us that God is the Alpha and the Omega. He was there in the beginning, He’ll be there in the end, and He’s not gonna abandon us inbetween when we need Him the most. Thanks for reminding us He’s still here.
    Christina

  8. christina says:

    As you scroll down, you’re asking is God here today? You keep scrolling, and the picture you see is of birth, creation. YES! He’s here today! Without God’s breathe Jax wouldn’t be here to be in the picture.

  9. day1of1 says:

    Well said. I too am a blogger who focuses upon devotionals. I’m looking forward to reading more…

  10. Char says:

    It is difficult to comprehend the working of the Holy Spirit and the turmoil and horror going on in the Middle East. We have to come to terms with God’s sovereign will and man’s free will to accept God’s will. Humanity clearly has not chosen God’s will! The pain, death and suffering of millions of innocent lives over the past decades (the Middle East, the Balkens, African Rowanda, Bosnian ethnic cleansing, Syria’s current horrors) particularly women and children is incomprehensible. How does one pray? I’ve been told that God has a ‘plan’ for each life. What can be the plan for these innocent, suffering souls? They have lived through earthly hell. Where are they now? The suffering of the innocent has always been a stumbling block to the concept of a Loving God. Yes, I know ,no one is truly innocent, before God, but what is the point? We can’t police the world. What can an individual actually do beyond despair and a pleading prayer for a solution?

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