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The Sovereignty of God
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.
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.