Would anyone disagree that God still works in our lifetime? I’m sure most would agree, however, there is no clear way of telling just how much God has done. When things unexpectedly work out the way we wanted them to, many of us would make the statement, “It’s a God thing.” This statement in and of itself is rather innocent, but it is made following an action taking place where an explanation cannot be given or a rare coincidence that worked out well for us (ﬁnding a parking space, getting a job, having just enough to pay the bills for the month, etc.). Despite our best intentions, should we make this statement? First, let’s see if this statement is even biblically accurate.
First Chronicles 16:31 states, “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’” Psalm 115:3 also says, “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” Finally, Isaiah 46:10 reads, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.’” These three verses tell us of the fact that God is sovereign. God has the right, authority, and power to govern all that happens in accordance with His divine will. There is nothing set upon this earth that God’s will cannot inﬂuence. So, is the statement “It’s a God thing” accurate? Based upon these verses, yes it is. However, the statement “It’s a God thing” can carry the notion that all things are decided and put in place by God, and no decision is made by man.
Therefore, there is a need to search the Bible for scriptures showing that while God’s will cannot be escaped, God does not control every single aspect of our lives, thoughts, or actions. The preacher in Ecclesiastes 9:11, although discussing other issues, makes the statement that “Time and chance happen to them all.” This justiﬁes and demonstrates that coincidence can occur rather than irresistible destiny. Paul also talks about how God in 1 Timothy 2:4, “Desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” Acts 2:40 better deﬁnes this argument in that Peter, being guided by the Holy Spirit, tells the multitude to “Be saved from this perverse generation.” If God controlled every part of our life, then why would there be a need for this scripture? There wouldn’t be a need for this scripture. On the other hand, we should not rule out God working today. God works with us through His providence.
Providence is deﬁned as God or nature providing protective or spiritual care. God is always there to take care of His children and will give aid. Matthew 6:30-33 reads, “Now if God so clothes the grass of the ﬁeld, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek ﬁrst the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” An important lesson we need to learn about providence, however, is that there is no deﬁnite way of knowing when providence takes place in our lives. My family moved to Texas from Alabama, and while this transition was more beneﬁcial for my future and education, there is no way I can deﬁnitively say that it was by the providence of God. When we do not consider providence, we can so often take the smallest things, such as ﬁnding the perfect parking spot and blow it up to be the work of God or that God meant for these things to happen to you.
However, the truth is that those small things are not what is important to God. Providence is not cared from above to give you what you want. Providence is cared from God Himself to give us what we need. More than that, providence is not a “God thing” which gives you the opportunity to do what you want to do. It is not built that way. While giving us what we need, providence is there to help us in seeking how we may do what God wants. There is also a condition to providence and the things that we need. This condition is that we need to bring our petition to God. Matthew 6:8 says that God knows what you need before you ask Him, but we also learn from Matthew 7:7-8 that we must ask for what we need so that it may be given to us.