When I first begin to study the Bible, about 37 years ago, I didn't even know how to spell the word 'sovereign'. I focused on 'reign' and related it to what a king does; he reigns over his kingdom. This is a word that we use without thinking about it too much. When the day comes when we really desire to know the character of God by studying the Bible, we'll come to understand the depth and breadth of what 'sovereign' means. It is at the very heart (center) of who God is. I'd like to quote from notes on a study of Moses from Bible Study Fellowship.
"The sovereignty of God is probably the most pervasive doctrine in the Bible. God always does what God determines to do, and what happens is what God has determined."
I have this statement taped to my office wall. Just because someone said, or wrote this, doesn't make it true. But through my personal study of the Bible, I have found that it is so very true. From Genesis to Revelation, you will find the concept of a sovereign God over and over again. This 'issue' of sovereignty is important to study because it brings such peace to our life. God wants His children to be joyful, not fearful and anxious, not second guessing every decision that we've made. I'll list just a few relevant verses for your perusal.
Daniel 4:35 - 'He does what he pleases.....No one can hold back his hand...'
Job 42:2 - '.....no plan of yours (Gods') can be thwarted...'
Proverbs 16:4 - 'The Lord works out everything for his own ends - even the wicked for a day of disaster".
Proverbs 16:9 - 'In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps'....vs. 11, 'all the weights in the bag are of his making'.
Ephesians 1:11 - "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will."
Ponder this! It's life- changing!
We have a will, we have volition, and we experience making choices every day of our life. Our will however is not free; God is the One in control. I believe the choices we make are sometimes the hardest part of our life.....we want to do the right thing, so we agonize and deliberate. It certainly appears that we fail at times, just blow it! This is where our faith comes in. Because we as believers have been given the gift of faith, we can trust whatever the Lord is doing in our life without falling apart!
Royalty, the majesty of kings and queens, is not a part of America. Maybe this is why some of the more profound writings on God's sovereignty have come out of Europe where they know of kings and queens. They understand what it means to be a 'subject' - one who is under the dominion of a sovereign. In our country, we have a democratic government. We vote our leaders in, and when they don't please us, we vote them out! We actually get pretty feisty at times, throw tea parties and such. It's difficult for Americans to understand the whole concept of a leader (the King) who is completely and totally in charge. We, the people, have a voice. I realize that the monarchs of today are much more 'democratic' than in the past.
I was prompted to write about the subject of God's sovereignty today because of a bookmark we recently received in the mail from a very successful, and in many ways, wonderful Christian ministry. On one side there was a photo of a beautiful flower and stated....
"To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us". I looked for the verse, and in tiny letters saw this "Life Principle 24".
This sounds like solid doctrine, however it isn't Biblical. I enjoy sharing ideas with people, listening to their opinions, etc, but not when it comes to a Biblical principle....I want it to be true to Scripture. Let me change this to reflect what Scripture says....
"To live the Christian life is to have Jesus live His life in and through us".
And, instead of listing a man-made 'principle' to reference, I'll reference the very same verse they did on the other side of this bookmark...Galatians 2:20. A believer can say....
"I have been crucified (I died, the old me is dead, gone) with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh (the body) I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
This verse states that Jesus actually lives in me, He is a part of who I am. And, because He is a Sovereign King, He is totally the One in charge. Can you imagine a subject of a King in the 'days of old' telling the King he'd make his own decisions??? Not hardly! You don't 'allow' a King do
'this or that', he just does what he wants to do!
As I've been writing I've been sitting here at the computer in my office looking out the window watching a precious bird go from one birdbath to another in our backyard. One has a lot of water, the other, just a small amount. He just couldn't decide which one was better for his bath today. He worried about it, flew from one to the other several times, then finally settled on the one with a small amount of water. I can relate to this bird.....I sometimes flutter back and forth wondering what the right decision would be, get frustrated, don't feel capable, whine and fuss.....and then peace comes as I remember that the Lord will let me go through all this, but the truth is, He's already planned out the perfect solution to every dilemma I face!
Thank you Lord that every decision comes from your hand, that you know what is 'right' and what is not, that you have planned each day to perfection....even when we can't see it.
Circle this in your Bible and refer to it when you are struggling to make a decision. Peace will come.
"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord."
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.