Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who’s Calling the Shots? A Refresher on the Sovereignty of God

God is good and in control.  That’s a comforting truth we can rest in.  We would be lost without this assurance.  But when you’re hurting – whether it’s you own blood that’s spilled or that of someone you love – and you’re ready to give up, it’s hard to say, “God is in control” because everything seems out of control.

Regardless of what you believe about the sovereignty of God, regardless of what you learned in Bible college or seminary, regardless of how many years you have been serving the Lord, pressure squeezes all kinds of thoughts out of us, distorting truths we once held orthodox, with divine sovereignty being one of the first to blur.

Nevertheless, God is still in control.  Even more, He has the authority to make a situation different.  That’s what Job finally realized as he wrestled with his pain: “I know you can do all things” (42:2).  God Himself asked Abraham, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord” (Gen.18:14).  Jeremiah acknowledged, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you” (32:17, 27).  Jesus said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

Do you believe that?  Do you believe it right now?  Whatever it is that is making you ready to give up, are you convinced that God has the key to the very door that would alter your circumstances?

To believe that – to really know it – changes us.  For starters, it discharges high-voltage fear, the “what ifs” that rob us of peace.  We come to realize that none of these things – people, circumstances, or the demonic forces behind them – holds the key.  God does. 

We intend for things to run smoothly.  Our goal is to go clockwise.  We want the good things in life; health, a happy family, a fulfilling career, and prosperity.  But along comes something or someone and suddenly things go the opposite way – counterclockwise.  And what does God do?  He takes the clockwise and counterclockwise motions of life, presses them together, and makes them display time.  Perfect time.  His time.  Though the gears go in opposite directions, both are used by Him.  We call it Romans 8:28…..

  • And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

If you are ready to give up, don’t.  As long as God has decided to use that thing, that person, that situation, or that circumstance, it will not hinder you.  God might use what you’re facing to tell you to move on, or stay put.  But don’t ever think that He’s telling your to quit.  He’s not.  His timepiece always tells His timing, not yours.  When God opens the door for you, it will stay open.  When God says it’s time to close the door, it stays shut tight and you can’t open it.  He always accomplishes His purposes in you.

Assuming that our difficulties are not the consequences of willful disobedience, there is no way we can be eternally injured in the situation in which we find ourselves.  Sometimes we find an exit door in our trouble, and sometimes we don’t.  But always, we are secure in God.  Eternally secure.  Safe.  Protected.  Beyond irreparable harm.

Our difficult circumstances, rather than being a cause to give up, are in reality a cause for praising Him.  The problems that you and I face, although painful, are themselves tools of a holy, sovereign God.  Nothing can prevent God from being a perfect God to you and me right now, right where we are.  As the eternal Holy One, He’s in control.

In God’s time, you’ll come to see that.  In the meantime, just rest in Him.

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