Under His Control

God’s purpose is not always explainable in terms of human rationale, but He knows what He’s doing.

Scripture: Ephesians 4:15, Matthew 21:22, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Mark 11, Philippians 4, Jeremiah 29:11


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Aren’t you glad you can be in the world but not of it? You don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush just because you live in the world’s community, you can be kept, as Peter says, kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Kept for the will of God, kept holy, kept clean, because of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, and because of the influence and the effect of the Word of God upon your life, “wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Paul talks about the washing of water by the word, so it’s the Word of God and the Spirit of God, dwelling within you that keep you clean and you can be in the world, but not of it, that’s great, isn’t it? Well, praise the Lord. It’s your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. We’re still looking at Ephesians Chapter 4 and we’re in Verse 15, speaking the truth in love, we talked about that for a while.

That’s a participle built on the noun, for truth. Althea is truth, have you ever known a girl named Althea? That’s a spin-off from the Greek meaning truth. And so, they’ve made a verb form, and a participle out of it, and it says speaking the truth in love, means… Actually, Dr. Ironside used to say it means truthing, truthing in love. Truthing in love. Truth, in other words, God’s truth as a way of life, that’s what that is getting at. May grow up into Him in all things. Now, how do you grow up into Christ? Remember I mentioned to you that there is such a thing as the exchanged life, 1 Corinthians 1:30, “Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” Wisdom is knowing what to do with what you know, righteousness is spontaneously making the right choices, sanctification is being set aside for God to use without… I might say being super pious. God makes normal people for Himself to use, sanctification. And then redemption is the idea of wrapping up the whole package of life, and making it a continuing miracle.

And you take this by faith, you grow up into Him that is to say by faith, by faith, you appropriate from the Lord Jesus Christ, those qualities that are peculiarly His which you need for yourself. And so, Paul says, “We all with open face be holding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image.” Whose image? Christ’s image. Get to be like Jesus, changed into the same image, from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord, grew up into Him. Then we were just about to pause on this phrase in all things, and I thought maybe it might be helpful just to walk around a little bit. Some of the Scriptures that talk about all things.

Well, I think immediately, and I suppose you do too, of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” Every aspect of your life, every facet of your life every department of your life, change the figure of speech a little each time, All of you is affected by your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, your family, your friends, your individual personal life where nobody knows but you and God, your job. Your relationship with community. Your relationship with the government. Our relationship with the military, if you’re of military age and serving in the armed forces. Your relationship with business contacts. Your relationship with education and the professors and the curriculum, and all the rest. Your relationship with people in the opposite sex, dating and marriage and so on.

Everything in your life is affected by the Lord Jesus Christ. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. There is a new relationship with everything in all of your life, because Jesus is in control. A lot depends on who’s driving, doesn’t it? I am interested in cars and all sorts of mechanical things as you know. And so I follow the stories of what happened in this or that or the other automobile race when the race season is on. And I saw the other day a story about a particular car that had been really not winning anything in past races. What the owner did, was to dismiss the man who was driving it, and got another driver. Now they said this car performed as though it were an entirely different car. Same motor, same adjustment of caster and camber and toe and all of that, same machine, but now it’s performing differently.

Well, it was an interesting story, and immediately, you know what I thought, I thought everything depends on who’s at the steering wheel of my life. Well, beloved, that’s where we started in the all things. Can you say, really now, can you say that the Lord Jesus Christ has taken control of all of your life? “All things are become new.” There’s another all things that’s greatly encouraging. And that’s in Matthew 21. He said, “and all things, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, I will do.” I’m gonna turn the pages of my big Bible over there so I can look at that verse, because I don’t think I quoted it exactly right. I like to get things accurate don’t you? Instead of just hoping that they’re okay. Matthew 21:22. “And all things,” ah yes, see. “All things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive.” “All things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive.” There is a point at which your petition, it turns from request into reception and praise.

And if you haven’t experienced that you need to learn that approach to God in prayer. Once you’ve told Him, He knows. And someone has written a little book that I have in my library somewhere, that says, “You can tell God the problem in 17 words or less.” [chuckle] Well, generally, that’s true. Then pray toward the answer, “all things that ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive.” Believe God for His answer. I prayed the other night, with someone very close to me, about a matter that it was important, and the prayer that was offered as I listened was; now we want Lord, what you want for us, we want what you want for us, pray toward the will of God in the matter, and you’ll get his answer. We know says John, “that whatsoever we ask according to His will, He heareth us. We know that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us. And if we know that He hear us, we know then that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”

Our Lord Jesus is quoted in Mark 11 and as saying, “What things of which you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.” So it’s desire, pray, believe, receive have. That’s God’s order all things in prayer. And of course, the obvious question that you know Cook is going to ask you is; have you learned to pray about all things yet? Most of my mistakes have been made through prayerless-ness, and thoughtlessness and hurried decisions that weren’t based on prayer. The things that I regret after more than seven decades are not the attacks of other people and not the circumstances that came to me, the things I regret are the decisions and the actions that were taken without waiting on God. And after a while you learn that there just isn’t any percentage in that and you learn to pray your way through the day. Could you say in terms of your own life, beloved, that you’re giving all things over to Him in prayer? All things.

Paul says, in Philippians 4, doesn’t he? “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything,” that’s the converse of all things, “in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” There’s another, all things that involves Matthew as well, and is found in what we call the Great Commission. Our Lord Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth, go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I’m with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

That makes great preaching, pastors and evangelists. You have three alls. All power, all nations and all things. You can work that one out and make a pretty good sermon out of it, can’t you? Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Sometimes for your own sake, make a list of the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ as found in the four gospels. Make a list of the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ as you find them in the four gospels, it will take a little while but it will be immensely valuable to you. And will give you a background of understanding of this verse that we just quoted. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” That’s part of the all things. There isn’t any exception to the will of God. You can’t say I’ll do this part, but I’ll leave that part ’cause they don’t like it, it’s all or none, all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Well, of course, as you go through life, you have experiences, that are pleasant and unpleasant. We have experiences that you enjoy, and others that break your heart.

And so you come then inevitably to a consideration of a verse like Romans 8:28, and we know says Paul, “That all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” God’s purpose is that you should be called, justified, saved, united with the Lord Jesus Christ and glorified yonder in the glory for all eternity. And he said, “We know that all things work together for good.” You see, God’s purpose is not always explainable in terms of human rationale, but he knows what He’s doing. I know the thoughts. Jeremiah 29, what is it? 16. Something like that says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” God knows what He’s doing. And everything that he allows into the believer’s life is calculated to produce the effect that He wants.

And sometimes, it involves the application of heat and pressure and all of that, in order for you and for me to come out, like pure gold glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ. Amy Carmichael tells the story of the native refiner, Indian refiner, who sat before His charcoal brazier, there in the market place of an Indian town, he was refining gold, he had the gold all in a brazier and he had a hot charcoal fire underneath which he was blowing upon with the bellows and he was refining gold. Finally, after applying heat, and many times having the molten metal bubble up. He looked up and he said, “I know it’s finished, I can tell it’s pure when I can see my face reflected in the metal.” When God can see His face reflected in you then He knows that you have achieved the end that He wants.

Father God today, oh, may we be people who have everything under Thy control, all things under God’s control, in Jesus’s name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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