The sovereignty of God is more than just a mystery, or when people say “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” It is more than just what we humans call it, or how we perceive it to be. It is more than asking why, how come, or even when. The sovereignty of God goes beyond time, circumstance and even emotion. There is a time in a believer’s walk that we all must come face to face with the sovereignty of God. When we come face to face with His holy sovereignty, we are left with only His divine omnipotence, and the fact that God’s sovereignty is His right and His will alone as He is the creator of all things.
As His children, we come face to face with His sovereignty on a daily basis. We even struggle with it as the disciples did in their time. If we struggle with it, then it is up to us to see the positive in His sovereignty. What is He trying to teach us? We must learn and accept the changes that His sovereignty makes inside of us. For example, Paul in 2nd Cor. 12:2-10.
2Co 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
2Co 12:3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows-
2Co 12:4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.
2Co 12:5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses-
2Co 12:6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.
2Co 12:7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
2Co 12:8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
2Co 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This is where Paul is talking about some of his being caught up to the third heaven and hearing things that cannot be told, or which man cannot utter. God in His holy sovereignty put a thorn in Paul’s side, or better known today as a check and balance to Paul’s old nature.
Paul asked God three times to have this thorn removed from him. This is where Paul would come face to face with Gods sovereignty. Not knowing that this was to teach him about Gods perfect strength through Paul’s weakness, or his suffering. Paul at this point would discover that to boast in his weakness would put him in a position to walk in Gods perfect strength. Paul would also learn to be content (2nd Cor. 12:10) with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. He would ultimately learn that when he is weak, then he is strong. Amen. Here are just a few other scriptures that indicate that Paul had learned this.
Rom 5:3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
Rom 5:4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Rom 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
Rom 8:39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2Co 4:8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
2Co 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2Co 4:10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
The sovereignty of God teaches us as it taught Paul in his time. Sovereignty teaches us how to be content in any given situation and circumstance. It also teaches us how to remain unmoved and steadfast in our walk with God.
For if we are unmoved by circumstances, situations and addictions those things will not have a hold on us. The sovereignty of God also assures us that whatever the circumstance, or situation, that this is the will of God and this should comfort us as believers. Why is this? You might ask. Simply put, the sovereignty of God is His will and this is okay with God for it provides us with a shelter of comfort and assurance that this is His will and His decision for our lives in Him. Knowing that God allowed this situation, or circumstance, or suffering to happen allows us to be free of the burden of guilt and regrets. Therefore, knowing that we did not do anything to cause the circumstance, or situation to happen. Most of us find that suffering for something other than our own cause is a waste of time and is an inconvenience to our walk and our daily life.
Though most of us believers do not feel comfort in God’s sovereign will, being that as it is, this is God’s will and His alone. The decision has been made and it is final. For most of us facing and accepting this is and will always be difficult. Assurance in His sovereign will provides the believer with the confidence that God is still in charge and in control. Be assured that His sovereign will for your life in God, will glorify His name.
The sovereignty of God teaches us His ways and His thoughts. God’s sovereignty also strengthens our faith, our belief and our trust in God. It teaches us submission to His will, His ways and His thoughts. The sovereignty of God also teaches us as believers to suffer for His will. Paul learned and understood this. He learned by his suffering with the thorn that he had asked God to remove from him three times. The sovereignty of God teaches us to be weak so that we may walk in God’s perfect strength.
God’s sovereignty teaches us to face ourselves and our issues of the heart in order for us to mature and move on and not to sit as stagnated children of God. God’s sovereignty teaches us to move past our regrets, inhibitions, addictions and temptations. Therefore as we move past the issues of our hearts, then we can see and hear more clearly the issues of God’s heart, mind and soul. It teaches us that purification only comes by that of sanctification. The sovereignty of God should not be viewed as an inapproachable wall that we see as a line not to cross over, or as a disciplinary action on the behalf of God. But instead we should view it as a teacher that will instruct us in the Holiness of God and as a mirror that will reflect our very soul.
Most of us believers will arrive at the assumption that the sovereignty of God cannot be learned, or understood. It is a wisdom only taught to us through the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God. But on the contrary, His sovereignty teaches us about ourselves and our lack of obedience. It will show us just what we are and will teach us who we should be in the Spirit of God. The sovereignty of God is an intimate side of God only to be understood by the revealing’s of the Holy Spirit. (1st Cor. 2:10-11)
God’s sovereignty is there for us to learn what God is trying to teach us and reveal to us. It’s up to us as believers to either reject it, or to accept it and learn and understand His sovereign will. For the sovereignty of God is Holy and not a brick wall, or punishment for anything we have done. The sovereignty of God is the evidence of the working out of our salvation, or the sanctification process.
The sovereignty of God teaches us humility the way Christ had humility. This is a Godly and holy humility. This is a humility that should not be mistaken for weakness, or to take advantage of a circumstance, or situation.
In closing to this short article, the sovereignty of God should not only be defined as a disciplinary action toward us as born again believers. But should also be ever present in our thoughts to reflect that which we are now during the sanctification process and teach us who we are in Christ Jesus.
We also, should realize that His sovereignty is not always the cause of our situations, or trials that we experience as believers. Sometimes, those situations occur because of the circumstances that we allow to happen in our lives that in turn lead us into those situations. Yes, God will help us in our time of need. But the fact remains that we are human and we cause our own situations by our own doing, or by entertaining temptation. Part of the sanctification process is to mature and own up to our own mistakes, our own disobedience to the will of God for our lives.