Sustaining Providence

I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (v. 4 NIV).

- Isaiah 46

A.H. Strong wrote, “Christ is the originator and upholder of the universe.… In Him it consists, or holds together, from hour to hour. The steady will of Christ constitutes the law of the universe and makes it a cosmos instead of a chaos, just as His will brought it into being in the beginning.” God is Creator and Sustainer of the universe. The biblical view of providence involves a right understanding of God as the primary cause of creation as well as the primary cause of the continued activity of the entire universe.

While historic Christianity has always held that God is the ultimate cause or the ultimate source of all effects, modern man has drifted from this truth, focusing on secondary causes to explain how things happen. For example, a hurricane ravages Florida. The modern man’s only explanation for the cause of this event is scientific—wind currents, low and high pressure systems, etc. The idea of a Divine hand acting upon this situation is totally out of the question. Our culture focuses solely on the secondary causes—the wind and the pressure systems. We refuse to look beyond the secondary to the primary cause of all things—God Himself.

Because God is the Creator, He sustains and preserves all things, bringing about His will through historical circumstances. He sustains His creation by giving it life and existence. God alone has the power of existence within Himself, and only by His power are we kept alive, only by His power do we continue to exist. It is in God that “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Because God is self-existent, He is not dependent on anything else for existence. We, however, are dependent on something else, and that something is God Himself.

God not only sustains His creation by giving it existence, but He governs it. God is the sovereign King over all His creation, and His government cannot be overthrown. This government is a monarchy in which God is the sole authority to whom we must submit. While many may see this as a harsh dictatorship, we must remember that God is a loving, perfect, and holy King. We are totally dependent on Him for everything, and it is our duty to honor Him, obey Him, and worship Him in the splendor of His holiness.

Coram Deo

Do you find it difficult submitting to God’s authority? Does it help you to obey Him when you remember that He created you and sustains you by His power? This weekend think about all the ways you are totally dependent on God and thank Him for preserving your life by His power.

Passages for Further Study

Psalm 102:25–28
Acts 14:8–17
Hebrews 11:1–3

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