The best leaders not only delegate responsibility but also empower others to flourish under their direction. If a leader of an organization tries to control everything, they are seen as a poor leader. Though the top leaders assume responsibility for everything that happens in their organization, they trust their co-workers and employees to own the implementation of the vision.
Now apply this idea to God. Unfortunately, a hyper-Calvinistic approach to the sovereignty of God has infected the Church’s understanding how God operates in the world. The idea that “God is in control” has drifted into a belief that “God is controlling.”
Some believe that God actively directs every gust of wind, every drop of rain and every car accident. Yet, using a basic definition of leadership, if everything that happens in the world is directly from the hand of God, then God is a poor leader and a dysfunctional Lord.
If by “God is in control” one means God has ultimate responsibility for being Lord of all, then that’s a healthy view of sovereignty. But if by “God is in control” one means God controls everything, then that creates problems.
God is better than the best human leader one could imagine. So if the best human leaders delegate, empower and multiply themselves, allowing others to flourish under their leadership, then God certainly does this even more. For him to control everything like a dominating dictator would be against his own character.
God has invited his creation to participate with him in the governing of his world. God has delegated some of his governance to the laws of nature. Examples of this are seen in Genesis 1:11 and 24. In verse 11 God said, “Let the land produce vegetation…” In other words, God created the vegetation indirectly, delegating the direct production of vegetation to “the land.”
He has also delegated some of his stewardship responsibilities to humanity. In Genesis 1:28 God told the first humans, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” God is sovereign, but God is not a controlling. He gave humanity some responsibility, power and control over his creation.
The church needs to begin the process of weeding out language from a pseudo-reformed theology gone astray. It needs to stop giving the impression to the rest of the world that God is a controlling boyfriend or paranoid dictator.
God does not force his hand on every infinitesimal detail of creation. God empowers his creation to act on its own while guiding all things to himself. This kind of empowerment and delegation is not evidence of him being distant. Instead, it is evidence that he is better than the best leader the human mind could comprehend. He is Lord of all.