Theology: God (GOD IS ACTIVE)

Active indicates an ability to do, as well as the act of doing. God is most certainly able to act, and He is very active. Indeed, the reverse is true also, the act of doing shows the ability to act.

1. God is active in redemption: John 3:17

He was not only active in providing salvation, but He is actively drawing souls unto Himself.

It always thrills my heart to hear of a person that sits down to read the Bible as one lost and on the way to hell, and stands up a new creature in Christ due to his acceptance of the gospel that he has just read. The Holy Spirit draws each one to Himself personally.

I recently read an article concerning how the big parachurch groups teach their people to witness. One of the groups clearly made this very point. They encourage their people to begin and end with prayer — asking for the Holy Spirit to work in the life, because it is God that saves and not the witnessing.

2. God is active in guiding nations: Romans 13:1

The recent breakup of the Soviet Union should move people to realize that God is in the business of raising up and putting down nations. Any study of history will reveal that many nations have risen and fallen just as quickly. A nation that honors God often thrives, while a nation that dishonors God seldom prospers or survives.

3. God is active in protecting us: 1 Kings 19:5, Psalm 91:11,12, Daniel

6:22, Matthew 4:11, Matthew 18:4-10, Hebrews 1:14

Many are the accounts of how God has protected His people in modern days as well. One Christmas when we were in Denver for college, we had made plans to go to Nebraska for Christmas. We had all the plans laid and when I piled into the car to go home to pick up the family, the car would start but not continue to run. I discovered the fact that if I pumped the foot feet that it would continue to run so off I went 20 miles across Denver pumping the foot feet to keep the thing moving.

When I arrived home I pulled the top off the carburetor to see if I could find anything that was blocking the fuel passage. I found a piece of a rag about an inch square that had settled over the jets. We had owned the car for a year or so and the thing had never given any problems. It had died unexpectedly now and then a few months earlier but no great problem.

We set off on the interstate for the trip. As we neared the junction of two major freeways, called the mouse trap, where we had to turn north I could see a blaze of flame in the sky. I had the distinct feeling at that moment that the rag in the carburetor had been planned by God to delay us. We turned the radio on as we neared the accident to hear that it had taken place just about the time we would have been going through if we hadn’t had car trouble. A tank truck had turned over and several cars were involved in the blaze. I don’t know for fact that the Lord protected us that evening, but I have to think that it was so.

4. God is active in guiding us: Psalm 32:8

He will guide you in planning your life’s work. He will guide you in planning your life’s mate. He will guide you in planning your studies. He will guide you in planning your week’s schedule. He will guide you in purchasing a car. He will guide you in anything that you want his guidance in.

He is, as we have seen many times, interested in all that we do. He is desirous of being a part of our life; even our everyday life.

I have to admit that as I was going through this study, I was looking back through the dusty memory banks to see some ways that He has been active in my life, and I had to stop to dry my eyes. He has been so active in my life and in so many ways, and in so many instances. I hope as you walk with Him you will allow Him to be very active in your life.

5. God is active in teaching us: 1 John 2:27

We saw in Bibliology that He is involved in illuminating our foggy minds to the truth of the scriptures. He wants us to know more about Himself, as well as to know Him more. He is not the great mystery of the universe, rather He is the great teacher.

6. God is active in providing our needs: Matthew 6:33

A missionary from Alaska I met in the 70’s shared that he and his wife were in need of a car and that it was going to cost about $2000. They sat down one day and told the Lord of the need and when they went to the mail that day there was an envelope with no return address on it. Inside was $2000. They never found out where it came from.

At other times God provides our needs through a good job, or maybe at times a mediocre job, but He always will provide our needs. When we left teaching in Wyoming He provided a janitors job for me. I could not find any other more productive work. The plus side of this job was that it only took about fifteen hours a week and it paid very well. It was during this time that I was able to put together this book.

7. God is active in His time table: Acts 1:7

I enjoyed hearing the testimony of a man when he read the words of Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;” He mentioned that he really knew what it was to wait on the Lord, but that the waiting was GOOD. (He had been waiting upon the Lord for a ministry for several years.)

The rest of the verse is of interest as well. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

My wife received a card once that mentioned that it was hard to soar as an eagle when you have to work with turkeys like you. God is the one that made the promise in Isaiah, and it is He that will fulfill it even if you have to work with turkeys.

8. God is active in the Church through the Holy Spirit and His gifts: Ephesians 4; Romans 12

Might I suggest that if you don’t see the Lord working in His church, that it is not God that is at fault. It is His people that are not exercising their gifts. More and more I think that most churches are dead because the people are not using what God has given them.

Our God is powerful. Our God is active. Our God is desirous of people being saved. Our God is able to do anything. If His church is the pits then the cause can be found in His people.

If you see a dead church it is because the people want it that way. I have seen churches with pastors that have no business being in their position, and the church continues to allow it to go on. That is a conscious decision on the part of the church to fail.

9. God is active in controlling the physical world: Acts 14:17, Colossians 1:16,17

In 1990 the out of focus Hubble Telescope took a look into the Orion Nebula and took a picture of a star that was just forming. Actually the occurrence that Hubble photographed occurred about A.D. 500, because Orion is about fifteen hundred light years away from earth.

If He can control the intricacies of the universe and keep all that together, surely He can assist us in keeping our lives together, if we ask Him.

10. God is active in answering prayer: Acts 12:5ff

While interim pastor of a small church in Wyoming, we had been told of a young man that someone had been talking to about the Bible. The man was in the church service and seemed to be very convicted by parts of the message. As the service closed, I ask the Lord to allow me to talk to him before he left. As I left the platform I saw the man leaving the sanctuary. I thought that the answer had been no. Before leaving the church, one of the couples asked us to lunch and mentioned that this young man was going home for a moment but that he was going to join us for lunch.

God is in the business of answering prayer. I kept track of the prayer requests in that same church for about six months and marked each item as the Lord answered. There were twenty-two specific requests answered, and I’m confident, many other general requests were answered just because people took time to pray.

APPLICATION

1. This doctrine refutes two major false teachings:

a. God is dead. Nope, Not On My Block He Isn’t. As the bumper sticker says, “My God isn’t dead — Sorry About Yours.”

b. Deism: The teaching that God created and went on vacation or went away and isn’t around anymore.

Theissen tells us, “For deism God is present in creation only by His power, not in His very being and nature. He has endowed creation with invariable laws over which He exercises a mere general oversight; He has imparted to His creatures certain properties, placed them under His invariable laws, and left them to work out their destiny by their own powers. Deism denies a special revelation, miracles, and providence. It claims that all truths about God are discoverable by reason, and that the Bible is merely a book on the principles of natural religion, which are ascertainable by the light of nature.” (Thiessen, Henry C.; “Lectures In Systematic Theology”; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1949, pp 74-75)

This was the religion of some of our forefathers. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson for two.

Another quotation that might help you to know more about Deism is from a book on Western Civilizations. (Burns, Edward McNall; “Western Civilizations”; 7th edition, New York City: W.W. Norton and Co. Inc., 1941, p 575) Any encyclopedia would also give you some information.

In light of what we have read, consider Benjamin Franklin (From Guideposts Nov. 1974. From an article entitled, “They Speak Today.”) He said that he believed in one God and that God created the universe. He believed in worshiping that God and that the best you could do was to serve God’s children. He also respected all religions that felt as he did about God.

He spoke of these beliefs in relation to a conversation concerning his trying to help Roman Catholics. Benjamin Franklin was said, to have played both ends against the middle.

2. If He is active then it is logical that He would expect his children to be active also. How is your activity doing for the Lord? Are you as active as you should be?

3. His activity on our behalf should be of a help to encourage us when we are in hard times and trials. He is actively moving in our lives for our betterment. This one is hard to really make practical especially when we are having problems.

4. One final point. I find that oft times God wants to be active through his people. I trust that you will be sensitive to those around you that God can use you to help. Yes, you are terribly busy, yet your five minutes listening to someone’s problems may well be the encouragement that will carry them through. Be open to minister to those around you, because they will appreciate it.[1]


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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