Providence (Not just a town in Rhode Island)

I don't know how short or long this post will be, because unlike others that I have posted, I haven't thought almost every little word that is going into this ahead of time. I'm being spontaneous and just letting as many or as little words come out as I sit here in front of this screen.

I mentioned in my last post that in all my time spent with God lately, I've been drawn back to the word providence. Now before I get to far into this post, I will admit up front that I am no Biblical scholar nor theologian of any kind. When it first was quickened to my spirit, I wasn't exactly sure I knew what it meant; and after studying it a little further, I know for sure I don't totally know what it means. I started off with a very limited knowledge of the definition of the word, and I've begun to be led to a little bit of understanding of it.

Divine providence

In theology, Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is God's activity in the world. By implication, it is also a title of God. A distinction is usually made between “general providence” which refers to God's continuous upholding the existence and natural order of the universe, and “special providence” which refers to God's extraordinary intervention in the life of people

There has been much debate for centuries, by people far smarter than I, as to just how much God will intervene in our lives. I am sure not going to sit here and pretend to be able to debate with any confidence just which one of these smart people is smartest. What I do know is that no matter how any time with God has begun lately, He has always interjected His providence into each of those times. Anytime I've been praying for things in my life or things in another's life, the prayer includes a call for His providence.

Since this became such a recurring thing, I started to read and study, trying to come up with an answer to fully understand what I'd been hearing. I was amazed and a little frustrated when I realized that although the Bible obviously points to God's providence throughout, there aren't many verses that actually contain the actual word. In fact outside of the amplified version of the Bible, most versions only have one mention of the word. It is found in Acts 24:2; and it is not even referring to God. So I kept digging and I kept asking. I looked at the Amplified Bible and found Job 10:12

12 You have granted me life and favor, and Your providence has preserved my spirit.

I've studied Job many times, and have written a couple of things about him. His story isn't one you want to immediately think of when searching for Divine providence. Yes his story ends well, but the first and middle parts are as hard as it gets. This confession, like many that Job made, is fascinating to me; if anyone could have questioned God's providence, it most certainly would be Job. If he didn't believe in it, or believed that it couldn't be a positive thing, no one could really blame him. In fact those closest to him, told him to curse God and die. But Job saw things differently; he saw God's providence as that which gave him life and favor and preserved his spirit within him. Just because things didn't look as though he thought they should, he looked beyond what was staring him in the face right into the face of truth. The truth that the God of the universe; He that is beyond our comprehension was there guiding His steps and was sustaining him even in the most difficult experiences of his life. He just had to find himself acknowledging it.

So as I continue my journey and seek to find more of the truth about God's providence, one thing that I have come to understand; God wants to come and interrupt our lives and change our course, and He wants us to be willing to relinquish control and let it happen. It all comes back to our making a decision. God will always be watching over us with His Divine Providence, it's our choice to let Him interfere with our plans and schemes. I find myself praying everyday, “Lord interrupt my life with Your Divine Providence;” and I see my course changing just a little more everyday.

God gives them security, and they rest on it; and His eyes are upon their ways. Job 24:23

8 Responses to “Providence (Not just a town in Rhode Island)”

  1. Naomi says:

    Great post bro. God always knows what’s best for us. I believe that those moments where He’s allowed to interrupt our plans & schemes, we’re giving Him an opportunity to change us into His image! It changes us, not necessarily our circumstance, but our focus & perspective. Love when He invades my little self centered world!

  2. philip says:

    Thanks Naomi, we too often focus on those circumstances and not on the big God who wants us to change us to be able to move through them. He certainly has been changing me, and I am seeking that Divine change more and more!

  3. Great post, Philip. What a huge deal to see as Job did that providence isn’t related to things or people, but it’s His steadying hand in our lives, preserving us when all else fails. That’s a powerful reminder. Thank you.

    • philip says:

      It’s all about changing our perspective, ours not His. All the bad might be happening around us and to us, but it won’t change the fact that His hand is steadily leading us through and past it. Thanks Jason!

  4. Ha. I haven’t made it to Rhode Island… yet. Maybe His providence will lead m e there one day! 😉

    God’s providence as you mentioned has always been a highly debated thing… that said, I am forever grateful for His providence in my life. Without it, we all know where I would be.

    • philip says:

      Great thoughts Dusty, I’ve never been to Rohde Island either so I can’t confirm the rumors that if you blink you’ll miss it. Thanks again! 🙂

  5. floyd says:

    “Things too wonderful for me to know.” – “I repent in ashes…” I love Job.
    I always struggle when I hear people curse or argue with God. I think, “Who are we that we should question the hand of God who works all things together for His good?” Maybe I’m a sissy, but I can’t imagine my mind can argue or question the mind that could create and sustain the world at this very moment that allows me to use those gifts… I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I know His word is true, there is trouble in this life, but it lasts for the twinkling of an eye…

    This subject makes my brain hurt…

    • philip says:

      Out of all the men in the bible, I think I refer back to Job a good portion of the time. Such life lessons on how to deal with the hard. Thanks Floyd!