You Asked For It – Part 2
Question: Why does God allow tragedies such as the mass shooting in Las Vegas last week?
Sometimes in times like this, we hear things like:
- Everything happens for a reason
- God is in control
- All things work together for good
- This is all part of God’s plan
- God needed another angel in Heaven
So what is the truth? We have to go to the source of truth and that is God’s Word.
What is the truth?
- When God created man, He gave man control over creation.
Genesis 1:26 AMP God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. [Ps. 104:30; Heb. 1:2; 11:3.]
God IS sovereign, but in His sovereignty, He chose to give Adam complete authority and control of all of the workings of the planet.
- God gave man the right to make choices (free-will).
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NLT (19) “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! (20) You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
God respects your right of free choice so much that He will allow you to choose an eternity separate from Him in Hell. It is not His will and it would break His heart but He still does it.
That is not to say that God does not work in people’s lives to try and influence their choices. He surely does.
Billy Graham once said, “God will not force Himself on anyone against their will. It is your part to believe. It is your part to receive. Nobody else can do it for you.”
- Man chose to surrender his control to God’s enemy when he sinned in the Garden.
Luke 4:5-7 NLT Then the devil took Him up and revealed to Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (6) “I will give You the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. (7) I will give it all to You if You will worship me.”
2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
- The enemy is bent on the destruction of mankind.
John 10:10 BBE The thief comes only to take the sheep and to put them to death: he comes for their destruction: I have come so that they may have life and have it in greater measure.
- Jesus won that control back in His death, burial and resurrection.
Colossians 2:15 NIV And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Matthew 28:18 NKJV And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Revelation 5:5 NLT But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
- In Jesus’ Name, we have that same authority over the enemy.
Ephesians 1:19-23 NLT I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power (20) that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (21) Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else–not only in this world but also in the world to come. (22) God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church. (23) And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself.
Jesus has done all He is going to do about the enemy until He casts him in the pit forever. (Rev. 20:1-3)
What Can We Do?
A Navy Seal once said, “Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion. You sink to the level of your training.”
This is why it is so important that while there is no pressure in life, we spend time preparing in the Word of God.
One of the marks of high intensity training that the SEALS use, is constant repetition. Doing the same thing over and over until it does not require conscious mental activity to accomplish it. (Brushing your teeth, etc.)
1 Timothy 4:8 AMP For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church said, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”
Because of all the things we have already talked about, God is for the moment somewhat of an “outsider” in the earth and needs a legal right to step in and act. Our prayers are what do that.
John 14:13-14 NKJV And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
James 5:16 NLT …The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Rest in the power of God’s Word and refuse to be fearful.
Isaiah 41:10 MSG Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
Psalms 91:11-12 AMP For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. (12) They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. [Luke 4:10, 11; Heb. 1:14.]
Psalms 103:20 NIV Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.