God is Sovereign – What That Means & Why We Care
God is Sovereign
If God isn’t sovereign over all, He isn’t sovereign at all.
I’m clearly not God because no matter how I try, I’m not sovereign over anything. At all.
I might determine to simply walk across the room, but any number of scenarios could stop me.
I could trip and knock myself out.
I could get distracted on my side of the room by a slice of blueberry lemon cake and a cup of coffee. The cup of coffee by itself would do it.
A tornado could rip through my house and send me into my neighbor’s kitchen.
I should be able to walk across the room unimpeded, but I can’t guarantee it because I’m not sovereign, but God is.
What Does Sovereign Mean?
God’s sovereignty means that He can do whatever He wants with whoever or whatever He wants for whatever purpose He wants.
It means God is absolutely free and completely able to do all that He determines to do.
That might be a terrifying thought if God’s sovereignty weren’t equaled by His perfect love.
The truth of God’s sovereignty allows us to rest in Him and His will without worrying.
Sovereignty vs Supremacy
God’s sovereignty sounds like His supremacy, but they’re not the same. They’re more like siblings than twins.
God’s supremacy says there’s no one above Him.
His sovereignty says no one can act apart from His permission. (Lamentations 3:37)
Knowing God is Sovereign Makes a Difference in Us
If those things hurt, we want to know God has a plan for it.
If they devastate us, we need to know He has a perfect plan for it.
When a child is murdered, we need to know Satan didn’t steal that child away from God. We need to know it 100%, or we’ll struggle for the rest of our days.
If absolutely nothing can happen apart from God stepping aside to allow it, then we can rest in the knowledge — even while grieving and mourning the heart-wrenching loss — that God chose to allow it for a good purpose we may never understand on this side of heaven, but we can trust Him.
Knowing and trusting God’s sovereignty gives us peace even in the midst of devastating pain.
It also comforts and empowers us when we have difficult decisions to make. We can seek His will in every matter before us and be confident that He is able to accomplish whatever He chooses.
God’s Sovereignty Versus Our Free Will
I once lost a volunteer position I loved and felt I’d handled faithfully for over two years. But the board decided to let someone else handle the position.
My heart — and let’s be honest, my pride — hurt. But then God’s sovereignty reminded me if God wanted me in that position, they couldn’t remove me from it. And if He didn’t want me in the position, not even they could keep me there.
I knew God had a plan for them and for me that called for me to let go of something I’d loved and trust Him for something new.
And I found Him faithful. Imagine that.
Please understand, however, that God will often allow us to make decisions against His perfect will. He has a plan even for those bad decisions. But if our free-will choices would interfere with His ultimate plan or purposes, He’ll interfere with our choice.
As horrible as the death and destruction of 911 was, it would’ve been much worse if God hadn’t interfered. Satan didn’t want survivors. Neither did the terrorists.
How do we handle all the loss of all the other lives? By remembering God’s perfect love and wisdom. By trusting His character.
We Want to Be Sovereign Too
Knowing and being grateful that God is sovereign, doesn’t stop us from wanting to be sovereign, too.
Both Christians and non-Christians want to be sovereign. Even when we don’t believe that’s our desire, deep down it is. It’s just the nature of our sin nature.
The roots of our faith will be too shallow to hold us in the storm.
If we accept the truth of our sovereign-envy, we’ll keep our radar up.
We’ll pay attention to the inner battle and determine to ignore the pull to fight God for sovereignty and choose to trust Him instead.
Like oak trees with deep roots, we’ll feel the storm but it won’t uproot us.
We’ll remain rock solid, ruled by peace not panic.
God’s Word on His Sovereignty
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, Unless the Lord has commanded it?
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him:
“What have you done?”
Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”