If you are a pretty serious Android user, you’ve probably heard of the Xposed Framework. It is wonderful magic that lets you basically do anything to your phone/tablet without installing a new version of Android or modifying system apps.
Recently, when deliberating on God’s sovereignty, it struck me that the way Xposed works could actually make a decent analogy. Since, as I mentioned in my last EC post, I don’t still accept the Calvinist/Westminster view of God’s sovereignty as His determining every single future event and choice, this came in handy. I finally found an alternative way to conceive of God’s providential rule over the happenings of the world.
If you don’t know how Xposed works, it creates “hooks” into every Android app. This allows you to access any code used by any app and mess with it. You can replace, modify, contradict, or simply observe the normal programming for your own purposes.
To give an example, imagine I have a Facebook app with a block of code called loadProfilePicture. What it does should be obvious: it loads someone’s profile picture. Now, with Xposed, you can hook right into this function and do whatever you want with it whenever the app tries to use it. You could simply copy the loaded picture for your own use, replace it with another one, edit it, or stop it from loading at all. You can work in, with, through, or against the normal operations of the Facebook app to do what you want to do. In real life examples, the GravityBox app pretty well allows you to customize any behavior of your phone, from wallpaper management to button redirection to navigation bar appearance and more.
How this can relate to God should be pretty straightforward. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. The natural order is upheld and exists entirely by His creative power and will. So everything is laid bare at His disposal, giving Him “backdoor” access into all the operations of the world. He has by virtue of His role as the ground of all being the ability to break into anything that happens and every choice people make, and do whatever He wishes. He doesn’t even need to override anyone’s will or defy the laws of physics, though He could. He has just as much ability to work in, through, and with what is already coming to pass. In this way He can direct everything toward the end He intends.
Of course, the end to which God is working in all things is revealed to us in Scripture. He works all things together for our good, He sums up all things in Christ, and He reconciles all things to Himself through Jesus’ atoning death. Ultimately, God is love, and He wishes to bring all people to Himself, to usher them all into the Trinitarian fellowship of His own eternal life. So we can rest assured that He can and does work in all things for that end. How else would He be God?