“For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king.
God runs this place and he’ll keep us safe.” Isaiah 33:22 [MSG]

Who runs your life? Who wears the pants in your castle of one? Simple question, isn’t it? Atheists will say that they do. Christians will say that God does. But be honest, who really calls the shots in your life?

I have been blessed to have met many people; and from what I have observed, there are 4 distinct stages in life; childhood, young person, established adult and retiree. In each stage, there is always someone in-charge of your life, and that very rarely is you. See if you agree.

As a child, you are under the charge of your parents, most of the time, right up to the time when you have grown enough of a backbone, or a bank account, to get out from under their roof. While some parents may not be as domineering as others, while some children get more leeway in making their own decisions in life, there is no denying that as a child, your parents have a large influence on your life. So they call the shots.

As a young adult stepping out into the big bad world, your bosses call the shots. They dictate how much time you spend at the office and how much time you spend at work, those two things not necessarily always being mutually inclusive, if you know what I mean. Then outside of the office, the girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse decides where to go for meals and where to spend the holidays. Why? Because you love your partner so much more than you love yourself, you give in to their whims and fancies, just so that you can feel good about putting a smile on their face. So the boss and the spouse call the shots.

Now, when you are retired, when you are finally free of the daily grind, guess who calls the shots? That’s right, the doctor calls the shots. Because by then, your body would have been riddled with so many problems from the decades of abuse that your previous phase of life had dealt it, its functional capacities have become limited.

So atheists and Christians, who really calls the shots in your life?

When Isaiah was looking around him in Isaiah 33, he had a pretty good idea of who was calling the shots, and it sure did not look like God had the ball.

“Woe to you who plunder, though you have not been plundered;
And you who deal treacherously, though they have not dealt treacherously with you!
When you cease plundering,
You will be plundered;
When you make an end of dealing treacherously,
They will deal treacherously with you.” Isaiah 33:1

Yes, this is one verse. I checked it three times. But it is not really surprising, is it? The problems which Isaiah faced back then are so typical of what we are seeing around us right now that we ourselves could name the same woes in a single breath. All around us people are being plundered, taken advantage of and being treacherously dealt with. And it seems like all the good people, the ones trying to live out the righteous life, the ones being charitable, generous, loving and kind; these seem to be the very ones that are getting the brunt of this world’s brutality; and it pains us to see that, because of those mentioned, we are often counted to their number.

But beloved, take heart, our Father has not dropped the ball. Despite what you see around you, despite what you are going through, no matter what others may tell you, we can have a positive expectation that good things will come from our Father,

“For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king.
God runs this place and he’ll keep us safe.” Isaiah 33:22 [MSG]

He’s got control, He still runs the place, and He will keep us safe.

“God, treat us kindly. You’re our only hope.
First thing in the morning, be there for us!
When things go bad, help us out!
You spoke in thunder and everyone ran.
You showed up and nations scattered.
Your people, for a change, got in on the loot,
picking the field clean of the enemy spoils.” Isaiah 33:2-4 [MSG]

Isaiah’s cry to our Father lets us in on how we can have faith that things will get better for us. Notice how he starts with his eyes on the bad? Indeed, our Father is our only hope. Who else can be sovereign over the disease in our bodies? Who else can quell the pain? Who else can restore our brokenness and fill our emptiness? Who else can change the minds of our bosses? Who can make management look on us favorably? Who can soften the heart of the school yard bully? Who else, but God?

Then look back on your life. When was the last time our Father opened doors to you that you never expected? When was the last time you receive news you never thought possible? When was the last time you were delivered from a situation you thought was impossible? That’s right. It really wasn’t all that long ago that you said,

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

“But now your brave warriors weep in public.
Your ambassadors of peace cry in bitter disappointment.
Your roads are deserted;
no one travels them anymore.
The Assyrians have broken their peace treaty
and care nothing for the promises they made before witnesses.
They have no respect for anyone.
The land of Israel wilts in mourning.
Lebanon withers with shame.
The plain of Sharon is now a wilderness.
Bashan and Carmel have been plundered.” Isaiah 33:7-9 [NLT]

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Like it was with Isaiah, the world screams at us to ignore the message of this message. The world cries out for us to stop trusting in God and start fending for ourselves. ‘God is dead’, it taunts. ‘Where is your God?’ Yet, this is precisely when our Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth says,

““Now I’m stepping in,” God says.
“From now on, I’m taking over.
The gloves come off. Now see how mighty I am.
There’s nothing to you.
Pregnant with chaff, you produce straw babies;
full of hot air, you self-destruct.
You’re good for nothing but fertilizer and fuel.
Earth to earth—and the sooner the better.
“If you’re far away,
get the reports on what I’ve done,
And if you’re in the neighborhood,
pay attention to my record.” Isaiah 33:10-13 [MSG]

Can you say, ‘ding, ding’?

That’s right, gloves off, seconds out. The fight is on.

You see, when He was walking the earth, Jesus showed us the reality of just how far away God really is.

“Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”” John 11:41-42

Our Father always hears us. But just because He does not always answer in an audible voice, just because we who believe and have put our trust in Jesus are special and the rest of the world is not, just

“Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” Matthew 13:11

So when those who know not the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven start to murmur, and their murmurs creates such a din in our lives because they are so numerous and incessant, we begin to forget just how special we are to our Father and how loved we are by our Father, and just how well He hears us each and every time we call out to Him. Look, Jesus Himself said,

“…but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”” John 11:42

In fact, not a moment ago, this happened.

“Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb.” John 11:36-38

I do not presume to know the mind of our Savior, but here’s a question that I think we can all answer. Why do you think Jesus groaned when He came to the tomb? Was it because

a. He had to perform another miracle and He was tired of it?
b. He had to put up with the stench of death and He did not like it?
c. He had performed so many miracles to date and yet those doubters around still did not believe that another one was coming?

Answer is obvious, isn’t it?

So beloved, we who have seen Him work in our lives, we who have experienced firsthand His deliverance, we who have such a close relationship with our Father; how can we do anything else but believe that our Father’s got the ball, that our Father has been and will be in control, and that another miracle is coming?

Indeed beloved, when we realize just how in control our Father has been and always will be,

“Oh, you’ll see the king—a beautiful sight!
And you’ll take in the wide vistas of land.
In your mind you’ll go over the old terrors:
“What happened to that Assyrian inspector who condemned and confiscated?
And the one who gouged us of taxes?
And that cheating moneychanger?”
Gone! Out of sight forever! Their insolence
nothing now but a fading stain on the carpet!
No more putting up with a language you can’t understand,
no more sounds of gibberish in your ears.” Isaiah 33:17-19 [MSG]

There will come a time when those doubters will shut their mouths. There will come a time when all those who spoke against your work in the line of His leading will be put to shame. Those who plundered you will be themselves plundered. Those who mistreated you will be themselves mistreated. For indeed, to them,

“For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,” Exodus 20:5

Beloved, remember,

“He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Stop letting the world distract you from the truth of just how near our Father is. Don’t be in control of your life. Don’t let anyone else be in control of our life. Our Father takes care of those He loves. He is in control. So let Him work His miracles in the face of your adversaries. Let Him run your life.

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