Is God in control, or am I?

Posted: February 20, 2014 by abestratton in Bible Reading Plan, Resources

One of the most challenging questions for followers of Jesus and for those who believe in and obey God’s Word – the Christian Bible – is this: “Is God in control, or does man have a choice?”

We tend to think that if God is in control of everything (as the Bible seems to indicate), then men are just puppets on a stage; God moves us around like pieces on a chessboard to accomplish His big plan. On the other hand, we tend to think that if man has the ability to make choices for himself, then God must not be in control; man is.

These two concepts of God’s sovereignty (His control over and through everything) and man’s free will seem to be pitted against each other in our human logic. However, numbers of Scripture passages challenge us to hold to both at the same time. Our reading for this week contains one of those passages.

Nehemiah is a man who is very concerned about his country, Israel. He’s in a foreign country, serving a foreign king, but he hears about his homeland and the horrible condition it’s in. Nehemiah asks his boss if he can go home and rebuild his nation’s capital. Once Nehemiah gets there he realizes the massive extent of the project, but he is convinced that God will be with him as he seeks to do what he believes God wants him to do. In chapter 2 and verse 20, Nehemiah says,”The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build.” Nehemiah fully believes that God is going to accomplish what He wants, but Nehemiah is also unshakably determined to act; he’s not passive.

If you know Jesus and follow the God of the Bible, then I hope this book of Nehemiah will be an encouragement to you as you see God working out His big plan through diligent, determined people. Here are questions for this week’s reading.

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