According to Paul, in his Epistle to the Colossians, Christ holds all things together: "and, in Him, all things consist (cohere; are held together)." But have you ever considered that within His holding together of the whole, the all, the universe, everyone, all things, He, at times, lets go of SOME things within the whole, in the sense of granting them a kind of qualified independence, so that His holding together of the whole, keeps under His control even that which He has let go within the whole? The proposition within my question, I hasten to admit, screams for explanation, especially for my readers who have been granted a better than average revelation of the sovereignty of God. Hopefully what follows will offer some clarity and plausibility.


Letting go of things, people, situations, and circumstances, allowing them to play out according to natural laws of cause and effect - laws adapted to the existence of the death-factor presently at work in all of nature - is one of at least two modes whereby God gets things done with a view toward making all things new, that is, the consummation when "the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall fill all the earth as the waters cover the sea." That mode works by the operation of negation. God's over-all operation includes, within it, the operation of negation. Negation works. Denial works. Along with the positive, affirmative working of that Word (Christ) by which God does all things there are, consistent with the freedom of God, areas where the Word goes silent. The creating and sustaining Word of God can and does strategically, freely and willingly shut down according to the divine strategy guiding all things.


God doesn't have to speak all the time, everywhere, to everyone. It's part of His freedom to go into His silent mode, the mode of negation whereby He withholds the normal blessing of His life-giving Word. Even a little grasp of this principle can be helpful for folks trying to understand how God, in His love, can be in any way involved in the miseries of the human condition. If, as we like to say, "God is in control," how does that control relate to life's negatives. How could, for instance, God issue commands for people to do things that are contrary to the love that He is - the love that is the all-motivating dynamic of His sovereignty? How can He, for instance, mark for, and command, the killing of every man, woman, and animal in a city standing in the way of Israel taking possession of the land of Canaan?


The commands of God are not something so easily understood. God can command by negation, by commanding men to do what they are already doing in their hearts. His command, in that mode, releases them to act without His restraining command. It is not merely, as conventional theology has it, a matter of His permissive will. It is more than that. God makes evil happen by negation, by letting go, by releasing men from the constraints of His love and grace. Yet, in it all, perfect love will have its way finally and fully.


Within His larger, never failing, embrace, He let go of His Son, and delivered Him up to death. But O what a death. A death that ended death, a death that added resurrection to life, adding a radiance to God's glory that was worth dying for. Eternal worth was made weightier by letting go of what it had, so that inextricably, the malevolence of time actually enriched the beneficence of eternity.


In the world of science, few things have been hailed as an amazing accomplishment, as was the work of the Manhattan Project that resulted in the splitting of the atom. Yet it really was not man's accomplishment. Essentially God let go of holding the nucleus of the atom together and simply used men as His instruments. All that is loosed; all that is bound; all that is restrained or released; all that is held back or sent forth - it all is the work of God.







WHEN GOD LETS GO [John R. Gavazzoni] 2015          1

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