The Providence of God: Understanding and Being Empowered by God’s Active Involvement in Our Lives

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

A popular song years ago entitled “From a Distance” had this recurring line in the chorus that said, “God is watching us from a distance”. Though we may appreciate the musical part of the song (it actually won a Grammy Award), we cannot but disagree with the idea that God is aloof and distant from his creation. We respectfully say that the words of the chorus are erroneous because the Bible teaches loud and clear, from beginning to the end, that the Lord is closely involved in our lives. He is intimately and actively at work in our lives. He is near, not far.

Today, let’s be inspired, assured, and empowered by the knowledge of God’s presence in our lives. He is caring for us, protecting us, providing for us, and directing our lives toward his desired end for us. We call this the providence of God. The Lord tells us in his Word (the Bible) that he is at work in his whole creation and is in ultimate control of it. He is the power that sustains and directs all creation and each individual life. Of course, humans have free will and their decisions and actions do impact their lives in very real ways. But we also affirm from the Scriptures that God, being God or Sovereign, has ultimate control and final say in the events of our lives and creation. There is an element of mystery in this (so we do not and cannot understand everything or answer every question), but we know the fundamentals which include that God is in control and he is at work in our lives. Individuals and groups of individuals (families, cities, nations, etc) are subject to the providential workings of God. Man must act freely and responsibly to make good and godly choices to make his life a good one for God’s glory, but he has working behind and around him the providential activity of God.

God is behind your successes and may have caused or allowed some of your failures so as to accomplish a higher purpose. God is at work in the good and even in the bad (he is good and will never do evil things, but he can cause or allow bad things to accomplish a greater good). The story of Joseph, the dreamer, is classic example of this (Genesis 50:19-20). God is watching over you. His angels are serving you if you are a child of God. His favor and grace are working for your good which is your conformity in character to Christ (Romans 8:28-30). There is never a place you can be in or point that you may reach that is outside of God’s merciful and holy rule. He is Lord of all.

Do you sense God’s nearness in your life? Are you aware of God’s care in your life? Or are you filled with despair feeling that you are alone and nobody cares? Do you feel overwhelmed because you feel that God has abandoned you and you are just reaping now the sad consequences of some choices you made?

Today, let the truth of God’s providence encourage you, empower you, heal you, and set you free. God is not watching you from a distance. He is walking with you and is deeply concerned about you. He will help you and bless you as you come to him. His name is Emmanuel which means, “God is with us!”


Lathur Badoy