Being in Control Doesn’t Mean Always Controlling

We all know that God is in control of everything, but that doesn’t mean God is controlling everything.

There is a word I am thinking of that relates directly to this message, and if anyone has ever been in a position of authority over others, you might be thinking of the same word. And that word is… delegation.

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We read often throughout the Tanakh, especially in Kings and Chronicles, how God used the Semitic kings of the Middle East to be his means of punishing both the Israelites (Northern Kingdom) and the Judeans (Southern Kingdom) when they rejected God and sinned. He was not always controlling what those pagan kings did to his chosen people, but he allowed them the freedom to do as they wanted.

Yet, even though it may seem somewhat unfair since God gave them a free hand, he also held them accountable for what they did when they exceeded what he had intended. We know this by reading about it in the Tanakh. Two examples are Isaiah 10:5-34 and Nahum 1-3, both about Assyria and how even though God used them to punish the people, they went beyond what God had wanted them to do and boasted about their own strength, not giving glory to God who made their victory possible.

I have held many positions of authority in my life: I was in charge of a department in Marine Midland Bank that processed over $60 Billion dollars of securities daily; I was the Operations Manager of the Fidelity Discount Brokerage Services office on Wall Street; just 3 years out of college I was a First Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps and the Executive Officer of a company of United Stated Marines that numbered over 350 men.

I am not saying this to brag, so please don’t think that, but I am telling you this so you can understand that when I talk about being in charge and delegating, I know what I am talking about.

I was in charge, it was all me, I ran it all, but I did not control everything because in order to develop my people I had to let them make their own mistakes and learn by doing. I trained, I instructed, but I also had to let them go off on their own.

Delegating one’s authority is not being relieved of the responsibility, it is just giving some of what you have to others for them to do the work. No different than when God told Moses he would take some of the spirit on Moses and give it to the ones Moses chose to be judges under him (Numbers 11:16.) Even though there were judges under him, Moses was still the ultimate authority and in control.

If you are wondering what my point is, it is this: don’t automatically blame God for whatever happens in your life, whether good or bad. Even though he is in control, more often than not he might be allowing you to go out on your own. He is watching and allowing, which means he hasn’t ceded control to anyone, such as the Enemy, but he has just delegated authority for the moment to you so you can grow.

Think about this: if God wanted us all to be perfectly sinless, because he is in total control of everything that happens we would all be sinless. Easy! But where’s the fun in that, right?

No, God can control everything in the universe, but he doesn’t because he knows that for us to grow in spiritual maturity and in spiritual power, we must be making the decisions. We must be the ones in control of what we do so that we learn by both suffering the consequences and reaping the blessings for what we decide.

So be comforted in knowing that no matter how much you screw up, God can always make it right, or at least get you back on track, but that doesn’t mean every time something goes wrong, God is behind it. He may be, but to be safe and fair, you should always do a self-check when things are constantly going wrong. Don’t ever automatically assume that God is doing anything, or for that matter, that the Enemy is attacking you.

This may be what is happening, but in my experience, it is just that when you live in a cursed and fallen world, stuff happens. Too often I hear people blame God because they say since he is in charge of everything, he must be doing it. That is wrong; God may punish, and he may reward, and he may just do neither and let you run the show, yourself.

I think the best way to go through life is to be comforted that God is in charge and can do whatever needs to be done; yet, for the most part, he allows us the authority over our life to make our own decisions and just like a good parent, he allows us to screw up so that we learn.

It is as I often say: If I should happen to do something really good, it is only because God is working through me; when I screw up royally, that’s when I can take full credit.

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That’ll do it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

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