When I consider the whole of Scripture I think of a summary of what God has to say to us, in a nutshell. Many ideas come to mind and when I considered the constant theme of His sovereignty, I thought I’d write about it.
His sovereignty is best understood once we’ve read the entire Bible. We can see it in the New Testament, but the Old Testament drives this point home and it gives the reader a completely different perspective and understanding of God than the New.
Consider these definitions of sovereign as an adjective:
- Self-governing; independent
- Having supreme rank or power
- Paramount; supreme
Which of these definitions apply to the most high God? If you answered the missing number 4, “all of the above”, you’re absolutely correct!
Psalm 115: 3 Our God is in the heavens,
and he does as he wishes.
I believe to fully trust God we need to have an accurate perspective of Him. After all, what kind of God are we serving here?
Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This is the perspective we need to constantly keep. We see many prayers in the Bible referencing this very event, for example:
2 Kings 19: 15 And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth.
I think this is so important to keep in mind because I get so caught up in my day to day life which causes me to focus on material things and the difficulties I have. Before too long I can lose sight of my God and start to lose hope or just become confused.
Isaiah 26: 3 You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
When I was young my Dad could do anything, he was all-powerful and took care of all my problems. That’s exactly how we should think about God, as our heavenly Father who is always there when we need Him.
Romans 8: 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Knowing that our heavenly Father is the Creator of all things, seen and unseen, gives us a great sense of peace doesn’t it?
Knowing that God is sovereign also gives me a healthy fear of God. For example, suppose a married man is working in an office. He’s been living right and fears God. But one day he starts thinking of the cute, new secretary in the shipping department that smiles at him when he talks to her. He then has this thought to make up an excuse to go see her, “Just to talk”, he thinks to himself. Although this idea is not from God it keeps running through his mind and is very seductive. Before too long it’s time for lunch and he didn’t have a chance to act yet on this thought, but it’s still alluring to him. He takes his Bible to the lunch room and as he normally does he cracks it open and starts to read as he eats his meal. Suppose he reads one or more of the following verses after a prayer for discernment:
Ecclesiastes 12: 13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
1 “I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look with lust at a young woman.
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life.
She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
21 For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
examining every path he takes.
22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23 He will die for lack of self-control;
he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
Matthew 5:27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Hopefully, after reading any one of these scriptures, the man will humble himself before God because in his heart he knows that what he has been planning is wickedness, I think that when he reads any part of the Bible he’ll get convicted as the Holy Spirit works on his conscience. When he’s done reading he has a choice. He could simply forget what he’s read and continue as planned or he’ll have this renewed sense of fear of the Lord which will cause him to pray something like this: “O Lord, thank you for showing the deceitfulness of my heart and making it clear to me that I was going down a dark and dreadful path. Your ways are pure and righteous; please change my heart so that I’ll willingly obey you. Draw me close to you so that I’ll love my wife so much that I wouldn’t want to jeopardize this precious gift of marriage that you’ve given me, amen”
I think the more real our God becomes in our lives the more fear we have for Him and the more we wish to please Him. Just like the more a man loves his wife the more he wants to please her.
King David understood His sovereignty very well and it is illustrated beautifully in Psalm 139. I’ll end this message with just the beginning of this psalm and I encourage you to read the entire psalm as soon as you can.
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
What does His sovereignty mean to you?
“Dear Lord, I cannot even begin to understand you. You are far too wonderful for me to comprehend. My hope is that I can continue to know you more so that I can love you more and share your kindness and everlasting mercies with others. People need to know how great you are. Please help me to stay on your path. Thank you for your patience with me and calling me, to begin with. You are a great and mighty God, Creator of the earth and who am I that you even think of me? In Jesus’ name, amen.”
You can read Psalm 139 online using this link: Psalm 139
Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash