The following is a slightly amended version of an email I recently sent to my American friend and brother, Steve.
* * *
I think one of my most important realisations came out of my reading into WWI: that nothing happens in isolation from God’s purposes.
All of history has been working towards the future that God has planned. It’s not always clearly seen – but God works through man’s actions, even man’s evils, to bring about His purposes.
Unlike Calvinists I don’t believe God plans, causes or intends man’s evils to take place, but I believe He “deflects” or manoeuvres the outcomes of man’s evil actions into a direction that furthers His agenda and takes us towards His ultimate purpose: A new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells and all unrighteousness is excluded.
Nothing, whether it is history, politics, art, or any other aspect of human life has an importance or relevance separated from spirituality and God’s ultimate intention for His creation.
We can easily get caught up in the politics, the facts of history or mankind’s creativity, but if we make those things the central focus we miss the point.
And if I may make a statement that some will find controversial – the same can be said of the bible, of prayer, and any other “spiritual” matter – if we make THEM the focus rather than God and our relationship with Him, we miss the point. Those things are just a necessary “means to an end” – and that “end” is God Himself.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.