Oct 30, 2011

Why Does God Allow....?

Most of us have heard the questions:

"If God is good, then why does He allow....

It seems that God could not be good if he permits these things to go on. How then do we expect the world to accept our claim that God is good in light of these atrocities all around us?

Some point to the fact that the bible says God is good. They need no more testimony than this. The bible says it. They believe it. Explanations aren't required.

I read a book titled "Intercessory Prayer" by Dutch Sheets a while back. The first chapter of the book radically changed the way I saw the operation of God in the world. I'll summarize the main point: After the creation of man, God gave Adam authority (dominion) over His creation. That dominion extended to all the affairs that happen on earth from that time forward, up to the present time and extending to the end of the world. In delegating responsibility to us to run the show down here He gave us a very important thing; free will.

God did not create a race of robots, programmed to follow His will perfectly. He created us with the capacity of choice and He always honors the choices we make. Free will is like the operating system of a computer. All the things we do and say result from the fact that God gave us unlimited capacity to choose between good and evil. God never interferes with the exercise of free will. The minute He stepped in and forced us to do anything, or stopped us from doing anything, we would become programmed beings devoid of free will. We would become like robots.

The mistake we can make is to assume that God approves of our choices in allowing them to be carried out. The fact that He permits our acts to be carried out is not because He approves of them, but because He values free will so highly. He refuses to interfere with our free will, in spite of the fact that it causes so much pain and suffering. Our free will was established in eternity and it will never be violated. The fact that we have free will has serious consequences.

Satan has agents who carry out his plan of evil. Demons, fallen angels and evil men all exercise free will in cooperating with Satan's plans. God also has agents to carry out His will in the earth and like Satan's cohorts, they are delegates, exercising their free will as ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven. God sends angels on assignment to find humans willing to cooperate with the heavenly mandate of establishing the kingdom. Neither Satan nor God interfere with the exercise of free will, They merely recruit those who are willing to be used.

How valuable is our part in bring God's will to pass?

The psychotic man with the plan to bomb an elementary school is free to carry out his plan. God will never take the bomb out of his hand. But God may send an angel to give another man a dream about the bomber and inspire him to pay the bomber a visit. On the day they meet, the bomber receives deliverance and healing through the second man's obedience to the gospel. The plan to bomb the school never becomes a reality. Did God interfere? No. He merely used an angel to inspire one man to exercise his free will to oppose the free will of the other.

Not long ago I had a dream in which I saw a family stranded on a country road in a blizzard. In the dream I knew God would not send help until someone prayed for them to be rescued. I began praying and petitioning God to send help. Suddenly, my wife woke me up and asked who needed help. She heard me praying out loud and knew something was up. I didn't know I was praying out loud. We knew God wanted them to be helped, so we both began praying. Some would find this an odd situation and ask, "Why didn't God just help them?" We know that God wanted them to be rescued. It was His will for them to be found, but because He has delegated authority to us to run the affairs down here, He needed someone to ask for His assistance, because he doesn't interfere unless we invite him. Our authority over the affairs of earth is that great and the necessity of prayer is that important.

Earlier this year, there was concern about a major earthquake hitting the west coast. A number of friends joined the called to speak peace to the earth and settle the fault, declaring gentle release of pressure with no devastation to buildings or life. The prophesied day of arrival for the quake came and went peacefully. I believe the prophecy was valid, but I also believe it's intent was to call us to intercede and change the outcome.

I've been trying to run my Facebook page more like the way God "runs" things down here on earth. He lets people do as they please and He doesn't generally interfere, unless asked. I'm trying to let people post what they want on my page, in spite of the fact that I don't agree or appreciate some of it. I try to let people comment as they see fit, with little editorializing, deleting or attempts to control content. Like God, I greatly value free will and I want to allow people the freedom to either obey or reject God's will, without forcing them to comply to my perception of it. Free will has a cost. But I think it's worth the price.

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