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Why We Can’t Control God (But Still Try)

Let’s be honest, it would be nice if we could make God do what we want Him to do for us.  We think that we would be a lot happier if we could give God our wish list and just wait for Him to make it happen.  Actually, we’d rather not wait.

We’d love to control God, and we try to do it in a multitude of ways.  Maybe the most common way we try to control God is to make the bargain.  We decide we want something and that the way to get it is to offer something to God.  Let’s say we need God to help our finances, so we offer something in exchange for His services.  We offer God church attendance, Bible reading, prayers five times a day, or daily devotionals in exchange for a better bank account.  There is great danger in the temptation to offer God a holier life in exchange for His help.

I’m not sure why we think that the Creator of the universe is just waiting for us to make the right offer.  I actually think that our understanding of God is at times is muddled by our understanding of the Greek and Roman gods.  When convenient, we try to think of God as Zeus whose will can be converted if we perform the right ritual or sacrifice something worthy.

I wonder if there are times we think that God is not getting things right.  We embrace the false idea that God’s job is to make our lives great.  We take promises of a plan and a purpose to mean THE plan and purpose that WE have written for us that we THINK will make us happy.  We want to hand God the plan and have him put it in place.  That’s a pretty high view of our limited wisdom and understanding.

When we are told to acknowledge Him and lean not on our own understanding, we are being called to embrace a life with ups and downs, believing that ultimately God is in control in a meaningful way. Instead of playing let’s make a deal with God, let’s embrace His sovereignty and trust Him to care for what He has created.


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