I read an honest question on Facebook recently and it deserves to be answered. In fact, many people (Christians included) have the same question. Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything He wants to do?
The Bible – Foundation of Reality
When I look at that question I have to be willing to dig a little deeper. That’s the way it is, because very few things regarding God have a one-size-fits-all answer! As I dig deeper I need to understand the truth of reality according to the Bible. The Bible is the foundation of wisdom and understanding, so my search for that truth is important. Knowing what the Bible claims helps to form my understanding of reality.
People have a lot of different thoughts about what is real, logical, or rational, Those thoughts, however, don’t necessarily conform to Biblical reality.
God is many things, but to get to the truth we have to define our main question. What do I mean when I ask, “Is God all-powerful?” Can God do anything he wants to do, whenever He wants to do it? The clear answer is no, He cannot.
Is God all-powerful?
When people think about God being all-powerful (omnipotent), they conjure up a lot of different images. God is on His throne, randomly making decisions. He can do whatever He wants to do, whenever He wants to do it. God created the Devil and demons. He blithely decides who does what, and when, and where. God makes people as sinners while He makes other people saints.
That may seem to be a rational way of thinking, but it isn’t based in reality.
The Bible is quite specific about the nature of God. While He is omnipotent, I also read that there are some things that God can’t do. That, by the way, is not a contradiction!
It has to do with the very nature of God; the attributes that make Him Who He is. Those attributes are found in the Bible and not human reasoning.
Things God Cannot Do
So then, what are some of the things the Bible claims God can’t do?
- God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2).
- God cannot change (Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17).
- God cannot violate His Word (Psalm 119:89; John 17:17; Hebrews 6:13-18).
God’s Plan and Purposes
God created humankind with free will, but He does not randomly interact with His creation. Neither does He violate that free will – otherwise it is no longer free will.
There is a plan for why He designed the universe to operate the way it does.
There is a purpose for why things happen in life.
There is a goal to be reached by all that I experience.
It is up to me to find out His plan and purpose as I seek Him. I can take consolation in the fact that nothing happens outside His knowledge. He is involved in my life, regardless what may come around.
Is God all-powerful? Yes He is, but His power is best displayed in my life as I seek Him in everything I do.