Have you ever secretly felt you had the job of ruler of the universe? Perhaps, like most, you didn’t realize you had taken on this tough job. And perhaps, those around you didn’t realize you were the ruler. We had a pastor who had everyone raise their right hand and resign as ruler of the universe. We all did it and laughed. But you know what they say about comedy, its funny because it can be strikingly true. If we were to authentically analyze our worries, a lot of us think that we are responsible for the universe. For those of us carrying this burden, I have good news: Today is your day of freedom! Both you and I can quit worrying about everything, everywhere, all the time.
A lot of us spend a lot of time worrying about things that we have no control over and have no way of effecting. Even the best of self-help realizes this, anyone of the millions of people who have read Mormon Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, knows that we need to spend our time where our circles of influence (what we can do something about) and our circle of concern (what bothers us) intersect.
But hold on a second! Doesn’t the Bible spend a lot of time telling us to get involved? The Bible doesn’t call for a self centered disconnected life. In Matthew it says, go into all the world and make disciples. After all, we get to be part of the work God is doing in the final defeat of his enemy, in the salvation of others, and in the sanctification of those who believe on him. Our lives have effects in far greater spheres than we imagine, and we need to be concerned about what is going on in far off places, after all we need to be reaching them for Christ. We need to be interceding in prayer. And we need to be vigilant about false teaching, and we need to support the innocent, and so on and so on.
Are we just supposed to sit by the pool and chill out and just let anyone do anything they want? No. (At least not most of the time). But God told us we don’t have to be the ultimate judge, jury, and executioner of everything. He told us we are not responsible for everything. He is. We don’t need to stay up night worrying if evil is going to win. We know ultimately it loses. And we are given a clear standard to judge. We are to judge as we would want to be judged against the Bible and to judge the fruit of others as it corresponds with the fruits of the Spirit (see Galations 5: 22-23).
Jesus told us we don’t need to worry about being ultimate judge and executioner because we aren’t capable or gifted to do it. But by our pride we are determined that we are. We are under literal orders to absolutely not to stay up late into the night worrying that we have unsuccessfully directed the universe and separated good from bad. Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 13:24-27
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (nkjv)
In 20 A.D., a plant called darnel, which looks a lot like the wheat, would get caught up in the wheat. In fact, you could not tell it apart until the harvest and much damage to the wheat could be done trying. When the church has tried (i.e. the inquisition) it has gotten it very, very wrong. Let’s go forth and sow wheat, but leave the final harvest and ruling the universe to God.