The Sovereignty of God

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God's Control Over Everything


There was a book that came out a few years ago by J.B. Phillips called You're God is Too Small. The whole premise of the book was that we have an inadequate view of who the God of the Bible is. Our God is far greater than most of us imagine Him to be. One of the areas in which many people fall far short in their understanding is in the area of God's sovereignty.

When we speak of the sovereignty of God we are saying that He is in complete control of everything that happens. It also means that He, as the ruler of the universe, has the total right to do whatever He wants.


I. Our Faulty Views of God


Most of us, instead of the real God, have created a God in our own image. We see Him no more wise and powerful than we are, and a God incapable of handling the universe that He created. Some of us view Him as a great big policeman in the sky, trying with all His might to keep His creation from having fun, but not quite managing it. They picture Him wringing His hands, wondering what to do when certain unanticipated situations arise. Some see Him as little more than a big Santa Claus figure who dispenses blessings to good little Christians. Even worse, are the people who believe God created everything, and then sort of abandoned it to work or break down on its own. They see Him as having no control over the day to day affairs of life.


II. The Bible and God's Sovereignty


Well, the Bible gives us a picture of the God of the universe that is far greater than any of us can comprehend totally. He is a God so vast and great that we will spend eternity learning about Him. He is one that holds the very structure of the universe together (Colossians 1:17). And He is the one who spoke it all into existence in the first place (Genesis 1). This speaks of His power. Total control of everything goes hand in hand with the fact that He is omnipotent, or all powerful. He not only has the right, as the sovereign of the universe to do as He pleases, He has the ability to carry it out.

There are many verses in Scripture that proclaim the Lord's sovereignty. Let us just give a few:

1. " Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength" (I Chronicles 29:11-12).

2. "Our God is in the heavens; He does what He pleases" (Psalm 115:3).

3, "The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His Kingdom rules over all" (Psalm 103:19).

4. "In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11).

5. "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).

6. "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, "What have you done?" (Daniel 4:35).

This concept of God's total control over everything is so prevalent in Scripture, that you have to explain away a major portion of the Bible in order to deny it.


Conclusion

We can go in many directions in applying this truth to all of our lives. God's sovereignty means that those who oppose Him will ultimately be defeated. It means that there is no other being out there who deserves our worship and our loyalty besides the one true God of the universe. All other so called gods are false, and no gods at all.

It has been said of Jesus Christ, the Second person of the Triune Godhead, that "every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10). If that is true, then it would be in the interest of those who do not acknowledge the Lord to bow before Him now, before you are forced when Jesus returns. Sovereignty means just that. He is your ruler, whether you acknowledge that fact or not. I urge you to accept His rule over your life.

To the Christian, it means that nothing will happen to us unless the Lord has allowed it by His sovereign hand. And he has told us through the Apostle Paul that "All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). He uses the good and the bad things that happen to us to make us more like Jesus Christ. There is no tear, or heartache that happens to us that is wasted. God is molding us and shaping us for eternity.

Finally, it means that every promise that God has ever made to believers in Him will come to pass. He has promised us that we will dwell with Him for eternity in a New Heaven and a New Earth. It will be free from all of the effects of sin that we experience in this present life. And there will be no more mourning or crying or pain. By His sovereign power that created and sustains the universe, He will bring it to pass. I am forever thankful that the sovereign Lord has included me in His plan. I praise His holy name.




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Comments 18 comments

GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Your input is much appreciated. I thank God any time He uses my writing for His glory!


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

I praise His Holy Name too Godtalk! He will fulfill all His promises to us: I have already had so many examples of that, even whilst still here on earth! God is faithful, He is all in all, He is our Abba Father. And like you, I awake each morning with gratitude in my heart that I have been drawn and numbered into the fold of Good Shepherd.

This hub flows freely with the clearness of the Holy Spirit's presence. Thank you. God Bless.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

THWLE: The Bible teaches both the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. How that all works together is left a mystery. God, sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. This indeed was his love for the world. But nowhere in Scripture does it ever once say that those who reject Jesus Christ in this life will be redeemed in the next. Quite to the contrary, it says that they will be judged and face an eternity separated from God (John 3:36, Revelation 20:11-15). They chose to reject Christ. God honors that free choice. He did not create robots to be programmed to do His will, but allowed for freedom to accept and reject Him.

You say that God loves and will never reject His children. That is true. But if you read the Bible carefully, it doesn't say that everyone of the people that He created are His children. We become His children by adoption (Ephesians 1:4,5). As a matter of fact Jesus said to some people once that "You are of your father, the devil"(John 8:44).

The truth is, God did not choose for some to go to hell and some to be saved. Without Christ, we were already going to hell. All of us deserve hell because of our rebellion against the living Lord. The mystery is not, why he should choose some and not others, but why he should choose any of us at all. But the Book of Ephesians clearly states that those who are the children of God were chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:1-6).

Once again, I don't pretend to completely understand the mind of God. We can only go as far as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word. I'd like to be able to agree with you and say that everyone will be saved one day. But, in order to do that, I'd have to deny the clear teaching of Scripture.


THWLE profile image

THWLE 4 years ago from Illinois

angelique, thank you for your response. I love these open and respectful discussions. I do however have to speak plainly as everyone here needs to do.

I do believe that we have control over whether or not we choose to believe or love Him. I also believe that everyone will choose to love Him on their own free will, if not while they are here, when they get to heaven and all things are revealed to them. It will be everyone's choice to bow and confess His greatness because they will all realize the love... the true unconditional love that was bestowed upon them... whether they asked for that love or not.

I give my unconditional love to my children and I always will. There is not one thing that my child could do to me to make me hate him. I will always love him. He could shoot me, punch me, spit in my face, even kill me and I would only feel love for him and wish him the best. Is this not what Jesus demonstrated to us? He was spit on and beaten and worse, yet He chose to forgive them because He loved them. Again, I would be heartbroken if my own son did these things to me, but I would never sentence him to an eternity in a place of burning and punishment. The good news is that God will not do this either. As a matter of fact, the concept of an eternal burning hell cannot be found in the Bible... but that is a different discussion.

I agree that those who have experienced or realized God's love for us cannot deny it. Once you realize it there is no turning back. One is forever changed because of this realization. This is salvation which comes by the renewing of the mind... it is for your mind and peace of mind. Salvation is not redemption. Redemption is a free gift that was given to all of mankind through Christ. Salvation is the realization of this love. This salvation saves us from having to live by the law, which Paul called the ministry of death. As Paul describes in Romans 10, he wishes that all of Israel would be saved... but from what? Read that chapter again and you will see that he is saying that he wishes they would realize the righteousness that comes from God only through Christ and be saved from the LAW. This is salvation.

As for Romans 2, Paul is saying that everyone, with or without the law, will be judged by the law, that is the written law for the Jews, and the law that resides in each human being (knowing right from wrong) for the non Jew. He is saying that everyone is under judgment of the law. Chapter 2 is a setup for chapter 3 and what I call the big BUT...

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

In other words, the law shuts everyone up because we are ALL guilty. Now the big BUT:

Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

A righteousness apart from the law... witnessed by the prophets (read the descriptions of this prophesied righteousness in the OT and see how great is really is)

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

No difference in whom? in ALL and ALL who believe, because there is no difference between these two groups for all have sinned... and (in keeping with correct grammar rules)the same "all" are freely justified by grace

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

God did not punish the sins of the past (after death), He was in forbearance because He knew He was going to forgive them all.

Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Those who believe in Jesus are justified in their redemption because they have reason to believe it and evidence of their redemption... those who do not believe do not benefit from this justification while on this earth... It is much better to realize and to know and feel the love of God, but is not required for redemption.

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

We did not and cannot earn His love just like any of our children do not have to earn our love... they just have it unconditionally right from the start :)

Sorry such a long post... it is hard to put my thoughts into a nutshell. I didn't touch on everything, perhaps we will continue this discussion...


angeliqueS0616 profile image

angeliqueS0616 4 years ago from Tennessee

I can absolutely see where you are coming from TWLE yet I must point out that God did not choose to burn or do away with people from the start. We were created as his companions. I believe he allowed us to have free will because he wanted to be chosen by us. He allowed us to have control. I believe he knew what would happen but I believe the truth or reason, if you will, for the allowing of free will has not been revealed to us. Some things we cannot comprehend within the constraints of our flesh.

Those who have access to and are confronted by the omnipotence and holiness of God cannot deny it. They would go against even the very nature of falsehood in their spirit even if it was implanted their by their parents. Maybe God is preparing them for the deception of the anti christ who will perform miracles and be raised from the dead. The Bible says he will deceive even the very elect. Matthew 24:24 If they can choose God over birthright or father favor maybe they will have a chance to make it through until the thousand year millennial reign of Christ. God loves all of his creation. Those who have not heard the truth and rejected it will be judged according to their nature. See this Romans 2:11-16 This is powerful and something a lot of people do not understand. God gave us a conscience. The ones who have never known Jesus will be judged according to the conviction of God on their spirit to do the right thing. Even if they did not know it was him.

Thank you for commenting. We should all be talking about and pondering God.

May God Bless You and Keep You


THWLE profile image

THWLE 4 years ago from Illinois

"This concept of God's total control over everything is so prevalent in Scripture, that you have to explain away a major portion of the Bible in order to deny it."...

Agreed.

This means that He is 100% in control over everything... right? As you said, you are glad that He included you into His plan. So what about those He does not include? Are you not saying that God has chosen you over others? After all, a God who is total control has designed it that some children are born into a Muslim family... or a Hindu family... or whatever... So this God in total control purposely put these children into homes where they were taught that their religion is the correct one by the most influential people in their lives, whom God also put into that position in their lives... So this God in total control has put them at every disadvantage to choose the "correct" path (how do they choose when God is in absolute control?).

I am not being hateful here, I just want to point out the issues I have with this idea.

A God in total control... the same God who never breaks promises and never leaves His word unfulfilled... must have planned on doing away with some people (or burning them or whatever you believe) from the very start.

Wait a second though... He did have a plan from the very beginning. That plan was to redeem mankind from the penalties from sin. Adam messed it all up, right? (not my choice) and then Jesus fixed it (also not my choice, though I am very appreciative of it).

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

The sacrifice of Jesus was an act of love from God towards us. This story of life was never about how much we could love Him... but how much He loves us in spite of our "flaws"... which this God in total control designed us to have.

Now God looks at us all as spotless and blameless. Is this not His character?

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

It is easy to love those who love you back, but our God is better because He loved us when we were His enemies and in spite of our condition, He chose to show us unconditional love and redeem us all. The gift of God through Christ was an action (which speaks louder than words)not a noun for us to accept or reject.

Thank God for that, because if He left the choice of eternal redemption to us..... we would be in bad shape.

Everyone goes to Heaven because of what happened in The Hour We Least Expected...


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

He surely is! Thanks for visiting.


voice of one profile image

voice of one 4 years ago from Illinois

Good Hub, enjoyed reading it and yes God is in control.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Thanks for your comments. God bless you.


angeliqueS0616 profile image

angeliqueS0616 4 years ago from Tennessee

I love the writing of Paul he was on another level of author than I certainly am. 'According to the power that worketh in us..." Hallelujah! The Holy Spirit is what worketh in us. We should all listen to this groaning earth and realize that we can use that power to call unbelievers. We can show them the power of God by letting the Holy Spirit use us. That will preach my friends, that will certainly preach!


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Yes, all we have to do is look at the local and national news to know that man doesn't have anything under control. Thanks for stopping by again.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us," (Ephesians 3:20) is another verse that came to mind as I read this. It is truly a good thing that God is ion control because man surely isn't.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Yes, our God always does what He says. We can count on Him for everything. Thanks for responding.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Hello God! So nice to talk with you again. Ha Ha Ha! just a little funning my brother.

Indeed Our Heavenly Father Almighty God is Sovereign. He could be nothing less.

In you closing you tell that "Every Promise ever made to "Believer" will come to pass. This is God's truth but He will also keep His word to the "Unbeliever" too.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Thanks for your insights from Old Testament prophecy. I believe that every one of these prophecies will be fulfilled when Christ comes to set up His earthly Kingdom. We are living in a time when Israel has been temporarily set aside because of unbelief (Romans 9-11). But God will again deal with them, after this present age, called the Dispensation of Grace, is fulfilled. God always keeps His promises, and He will, by His sovereign will, keep them with his chosen people, Israel...Thanks for writing.


Abihahyil Shawmar profile image

Abihahyil Shawmar 4 years ago

Yes, how Wonderful that will be when Yahuwshuwa comes back and rules!! We will all be keeping Torah, Sabbath and the Feasts.

And it shall be IN THE LATTER DAYS that the mountain of the House of YaHuWaH is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. And ALL NATIONS shall flow to it. And many peoples shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YaHuWaH to the House of the Elohim of Ya?aqob?, and LET HIM TEACH US HIS WAYS, and LET US WALK IN HIS PATHS, for out of Tsiyon COMES FORTH THE TORAH, and the WORD OF YaHuWaH from Yerushalayim.”

Isaiah/YashaYaHuW 2:2-3

“For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make stand before Me,” declares YaHuWaH, “so your seed and your name shall stand. And it shall be that from NEW MOON to NEW MOON, and from SABBATH to SABBATH, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” declares YaHuWaH. And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, and their fire not be quenched. And they shall be repulsive to all flesh!”

Isaiah/YashaYaHuW 66:22-24

Zec 14:9 And YaHuWaH shall be Sovereign over all the earth. In that day there shall be one YaHuWaH, and His Name one.

Zec 14:16 And it shall be that all who are left from all the gentiles which came up against Yerushalayim, shall go up from year to year to bow themselves to the Sovereign, YaHuWaH of hosts, and to observe the Festival of Booths(Feast of Tabernacles).


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan Author

Amen to that! Our God reigns!


angeliqueS0616 profile image

angeliqueS0616 4 years ago from Tennessee

I love it! People need to realize these things. Jesus is coming back to lay claim to earth. He will wage war. He is going to rule for a 1000 years in a holy city. The things written in the bible are not a fairy tale. We should open our eyes to the power of God and his Christ.

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