How Involved Is God?

Don - November 8, 2007

When God created this world He set things in motion. He seems to have known when certain spirits needed to be placed on this earth to accomplish specific missions. (does that only include only the important ones or does that include all of us…I don’t know) He obviously knew the details of His creation like Adam’s fall, Noah and the flood, the children of Israel, Christ’s birth / death / etc. He made provisions for these “big” events.

How involved is He with the little events? Or is there no such thing as a little event?

Let me give a common example: Righteous Brother Jones is looking for a new job. He and his family fast and pray about taking a job is a city 300 miles away. Non-member Mr. Smith lives in that city and has applied for the same job…and he actually has better qualifications, more experience etc. Does God influence the boss to hire Brother Jones because of his faith and prayers? If He does then that displaces Mr. Smith and causes a completely different direction in his life. Mr. Smith is then forced to take different job which displaces someone else etc. etc.

When does God allow the agency of man and the natural consequences of our own actions to take their course rather than intervene and change things up a bit.

It seems to me we are always looking for divine intervention, divine help instead of relying on our God given brain, intellegence and agency. How can God expect us to develop our agency learning to make right choices if we are always going to Him to have Him tell us what to do?

When we pray for that job and get it we say “Thank God”. When we pray for that job and we don’t get it we say, “It was God’s will”. Was it really, or was it just the natural consequences of men’s agency.

I’m not saying that God isn’t involved in our personal lives, even in the details. I’m just wondering if anyone can explain how we can tell when He is involved and when we are left to the consequences of our own agency.

I agree with the saying: “God gets a lot more credit and and a lot more blame than He deserves!”

6 Comments »

  1. “God can’t steer a parked car!” (I think John Bytheway said that. I can’t remember).

    Well, it could always have the opposite effect. When we don’t rely on God, we may also miss out on the opportunities that could have been ours, just as those that only rely on God will miss out because they aren’t moving their “car”.

    I think the answer to your question is a lot more involved and complicated then we could ever imagine. But I’m expecting many people will try to answer it anyway… :)

    Comment by Cheryl — November 8, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

  2. D&C 130:20-21 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

    If this is strictly true then just how involved can God be in granting blessings to laws which are not obeyed?

    Comment by Daylan — November 8, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

  3. DC 59:21 “… or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.”

    Apparently, God’s hand is in _all_ things.

    Comment by Bookslinger — November 8, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

  4. The Lord doesn’t care about jobs or job qualifications. He cares about saving his children’s souls. If Jones exercises faith as a principle of power, God must act. He is bound to intervene. Smith doesn’t exercise faith as a principle of power, therefore, although he is better qualified for the job, he is less qualified for salvation. Jones can influence the lives of his new boss and co-workers for more good, having a greater portion of the Spirit, than Smith can. So, it is in the interest of the boss and co-workers to have Jones work there, as he will preach to them the restored gospel, if only by example or by the Spirit emanating from him to them. It is also to Jones’ benefit that he get the job, as he has exercised sufficient faith in God as a principle of power and signs must follow faith, confirming Jones’ faith in God and thus, strengthening him further in the gospel. Smith loses out because he didn’t exercise faith as a principle of power, however, God is still mindful of him and this may teach him the lesson that he needs to repent and finally have and exercise power faith in Christ, at which point, he will also be equally blessed as Jones was.

    So, as I understand it, there is no degree or line or level above which God will intervene and below which God will not intervene. No matter how small the item or how large the case, God must intervene if his children exercise sufficient power faith. He is bound to confirm their faith with signs.

    Comment by LDS Anarchist — November 11, 2007 @ 5:13 am

  5. “How can God expect us to develop our agency learning to make right choices if we are always going to Him to have Him tell us what to do?”

    Going to Him is exercising our agency.

    John Taylor:

    “I always am very desirous to acknowledge His hand in all things, and I am very anxious that you should do the same. For to the Lord we are indebted for every blessing we enjoy, pertaining to this life, and the life which is to come.”

    November 1, 1886

    Comment by Howard — November 11, 2007 @ 9:27 am

  6. We think linearly. God doesn’t work that way. His work and glory and will are multi-dimensional. He works across space and time to accomplish good in our lives. Good isn’t just nice and good things. Good is growth toward our greatest personal eternal potential. I believe He allows for agency, but because of His “greatness,” He is able to “consecrate [our] afflictions for [our] gain.” (Jacob 2:2) And He will bless us as much as He possibly can based on our faithfulness and His mercy. But blessings aren’t all in nice mortal packages. They may be eternally based. Brother Jones may struggle to find a job for a decade, if God’s will is that he struggle to learn or to allow for whatever growth needs to happen in many lives. Brother Smith may get the job to be in a place to touch a life or to find the gospel or…. Or vice versa. And Brother Smith’s children’s children will likely be impacted because of things that happen, and maybe his ancestors will, too, if he joins the Church. And so it goes, in myriad scenarios, all known to God.

    When we start to think about the interconnectedness of all of our decisions, when we recognize that God knows past, present and future, when we contemplate the many experiences we have with tender mercies, and multiply that by the billions upon billions of children God has, I think we begin to scratch the surface of the vastness of the Atonement’s power. To try to sum up God’s involvement in a prayer-response kind of way misses that complexity completely. None of us exists in a vacuum or vending machine zone. There are no dead ends to God, and He can make beauty of ashes, regardless of how those ashes are formed (be it through natural causes or others’ agency or whatever the force).

    I take great comfort in knowing that somehow, He is aware of each of His children, and He is able to consecrate all of our lives for our best good, taking agency, the ‘natural’ flow of things, His purposes, and everything else into account. If He grants me every breath, I assume that He grants me healthy-enough neural connections and the agency to make decisions. It ALL comes back to Him.

    In short, if He counts hairs on my head and knows of a sparrow’s fall, I think of Him as pretty involved. :)

    Comment by m&m — November 12, 2007 @ 12:37 am

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