The sovereignty of God is one of the most important doctrines in Scripture. Being linked to the eternal character of God, one cannot worship Him as anything less than completely sovereign. Diminishing God’s sovereignty is tantamount to idolatry. I believe that a correct view of sovereignty is essential if one is going to worship the Father in spirit and truth (Jn. 4:24). For this reason, in the next few blog posts, I will consider the following questions: What is the definition of God’s sovereignty? What is the extent of God’s sovereignty? What are the practical implications of God’s sovereignty? What is a proper response to God’s sovereignty?
Let’s consider the following:
- Sovereignty defined. The sovereignty of God is His absolute power and right to do all things according to His own good pleasure. In other words, when we speak of God being sovereign, we are saying that He has power, autonomous authority, dominant rule, and independent control. He answers to no one. The following verses will help our understanding. “The Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes…All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4:25, 35). The key elements to remember are that God is in control, answers to no one, and has the power to do whatever He pleases. As owner and possessor of all things (Ps. 24:1), God has the right of absolute and independent authority over everything. Nothing can exist outside of His control. Nothing happens by chance. If something did happen that was not ordained by God, He would no longer be sovereign.
- The testimony of Scripture. The Bible is replete with examples of God’s sovereignty. The biblical witness teaches us that no matter how we define its worth, everything that occurs falls under the control of God.
o “The Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’” (Ex. 4:11).
o “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand” (Dt. 32:39).
o “But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does” (Job 23:13).
o “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
o “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all” (Ps. 103:19).
o “Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (Isa. 43:13).
o “The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these” (Isa. 45:7).
o “Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?” (Lam. 3:37-38).
o “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding” (Dan. 2:21).
o “If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?” (Amos 3:6).
One cannot read these passages without the clear sense that God wants us to know that He is in absolute control of everything. That’s what God’s sovereignty means. It’s not a popular message but it is true. You don’t control your life, God does. The implications of this biblical truth are myriad. Fighting it is a no-win proposition. Rather, we should worship God for His control, learn about Him and what He wants, and above all, submit to His absolute authority.