This week we close our study on the sovereignty of God. It is our hope that a better understanding of God’s sovereignty has expanded your trust and confidence in our “all wise God” (Jude 1:25).
Our appreciation of the sovereignty of God will also help us as we attempt to make sense of these tumultuous times. We know that our future is not dependent on our past or current circumstances but it is based on Who we serve (Ps. 20:7).
We thank God for His grace. Grace introduced at Creation when we were given God’s image. We thank Him even more for salvation resulting in our righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). All these are ours as a result of sovereign God’s fulfillment of His purpose for mankind.
The Challenge to God’s sovereignty
As a result of God’s grace and love, we are now invited to freely choose a lifestyle that will result in God’s glory and our good. So why is it so hard for man to operate under God’s sovereign rule? The challenge to God’s rightful position and authority boils down to a matter of sin.
Man’s resistance to God’s sovereignty is rooted in sin that began in the Garden of Eden and is still manifesting itself today on the world stage. Remember, the wisdom of God, revealed in His purpose and will are foolishness to the world (1 Cor. 3:19). Such thinking leads to disobedience. And disobedience to God is a fast track to sin and ultimately death (James 1:14-15).
God’s sovereignty or man’s sin
Unless led by the Holy Spirit, man, by nature, will most often choose to be wise in his own eyes (Prov. 3:5-6). He is persuaded by his lust of the flesh, the lust of his eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) which satisfies his fleshly impulses.
However, when led by the Holy Spirit, man can more clearly see and discern the will of God As it is only by the Holy Spirit who can reveal the sovereignty of God, it is not surprising that when the Spirit has been poured out in such an abundant measure, that this truth has been clearly known and loved.
The biblical account cites many who chose their will over God’s with disastrous results. Yet God’s sovereign will was accomplished (Job 42:2; Is. 14:27). Many of them were kings, prophets, and people of God. They “should have known better” but they didn’t do better. These accounts were written for our learning so that we might not make the same mistakes (Rom. 15:4). Here are just a few to help illustrate man’s resistance to God’s will.
- Saul (1 Samuel 10:8; 13:7-10)
- The children of Israel (Exodus 32)
- Jonah (Jonah 1)
Alignment with God’s Sovereignty
We can better position ourselves to align with God’s sovereignty when we recognize: (1) God’s authority and plan, (2) man’s moral responsibility, and (3) believer’s relationship with God.
God’s authority and plan
- His right—as Creator God, He is the only rightful ruler and authority over His universe.
- His rule—it is God’s nature, His goodness and greatness that “qualifies” Him to rule.
- His will—His divine plan of salvation and redemption of mankind is constantly at work.
Man’s moral responsibility
- Our choice—how we exercise our “free will” is an indicator of how we respond to God’s sovereignty.
- Our love—God is the object of our affection resulting in our loyalty and our obedience.
- Our obedience—we are to submit to God’s will by actively participating in His eternal purpose.
Believer’s relationship with God
- Our reality—it is grounded in the belief that God can do what is needed to bring about His purpose. That belief fosters our trust in God.
- Our partnership—it gives access to God’s will and ways. This opens up enormous opportunities to join with God in establishing His kingdom rule.
- Our service—it is a natural outcome of our belief and partnership with God.
Final Words on God’s Sovereignty and You
We conclude this study with remarks from one of my favorite teachers, A. W. Pink. He shares his “heart” on this matter of sovereignty so that we may grow strong in our faith and witness for the Lord.
The sovereignty of God is something more than an abstract principle which explains the rationale of the divine government: it is designed as a motive for godly fear; it is made known to us for the promotion of righteous living; it is revealed in order to bring into subjection our rebellious hearts.
A true recognition of God’s sovereignty humbles as nothing else does or can humble, and brings the heart into lowly submission before God, causing us to relinquish our own self-will and making us delight in the perception and performance of the Divine will.
When we speak of the sovereignty of God we mean very much more than the exercise of God’s governmental power. Truly to recognize the sovereignty of God is to gaze upon the Sovereign himself. It is to come into the presence of the august “Majesty on High.”
 The Sovereignty of God, A. W. Pink