THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
INTRO: God’s sovereignty has taken a bad rap. Some believe that God is a cruel master who is ready to punish, that sometimes He is good and sometimes He is not. Whether or not we agree with what God is doing or not doing, we must remember that God sees and knows all, and He wants the best for each of us.
I. Sovereignty means independent.
> God accomplishes whatever He wants.
- God is ruler of all; He answers to no one.
- No enemy can hinder God’s plan.
- God isn’t afraid of anything.
- Nothing shocks or surprises God.
- When it comes to His directing events, God doesn’t need our permission.
- God really does know best; He sees everything from beginning to the end.
- God does change His mind because of prayer, yet His character does not change.
- “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord (Isaiah 55:8).
> Sometimes we become upset with God because of things that happen in this life.
- When we think of God’s sovereignty we may feel afraid.
- People are killed or have terminal illnesses.
- We can believe that God is unpredictable.
- Sometimes we are similar to children with our questons – why? when?
- We have our ideas of how God should do things.
- We intercede with our prayers, but we may be out of His will.
- God is good all of the time, and He is in control.
- The Bible does say, “Come, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).
- God delights in having a relationship with us.
> God created a world in which we can choose to sin.
- But He is not the author of sin.
- God is not a micromanager.
- There is a part of suffering that we cannot explain.
- Calamities and natural disasters do strike.
- Our bodies age and become frail.
- God didn’t intend for us to live here forever; we will go home to Him.
II. God’s perfect will and His permissible will.
> Something may not be in His perfect will, yet God will allow it.
- God determines all things in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11).
- Everything He does has a redemptive purpose.
- But circumstances can be difficult.
- We are not puppets; God created us, and He permits things that happen.
- He has given us intelligence and allows us to make choices.
- He doesn’t control every aspect of our lives.
- We use our free will.
- We have choices to make.
- If we turn away from God’s will, we will perish.
- Obey God and hold fast to Him (Deuteronomy 13:4; Joshua 22:5).
- We are to honor God and trust in His ways.
- Deuteronomy 30:19: “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
- There are consequences to the choices we make.
> How can a loving God allow suffering?
- God doesn’t orchestrate our lives just to make us happy.
- He wants us to grow and become more like Jesus.
- Sometimes difficult circumstances cause us to grow closer to Him.
- God guides us through our circumstances.
- Our attitude toward our circumstances determines our reaction and the outcome.
- We have such a limited view of life.
- God sees everything.
III. How do we respond to God’s sovereignty?
> If God’s Word says it, I will obey.
- Because we know we can trust God.
- Your will be done.
- Submit to God; resist Satan (James 4:7).
- Even when we don’t understand, we should obey and submit.
- Sometimes it’s the Holy Spirit telling us to choose not to do something.
- We can choose to obey or do that thing.
- We may suffer the consequences.
- Obedience pays; disobedience costs.
- God resists the proud but shows favor to the humble (James 4:6).
- We humble ourselves and obey.
- We know God is in control.
> We sometimes question His goodness.
- Why doesn’t God make life perfect?
- God won’t violate our free will.
- He wants us to have the freedom because we learn to trust Him.
- He sees our freedom as the greater good.
- Even in the midst of the worst evil, He can bring about the greater good.
- Jesus’ suffering and death was horrible, yet it accomplished God’s plan.
- We need to not whine or complain when things don’t go our way.
- We ask Jesus to help us to continue to trust and seek His direction.
- We are to cast our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
CONCLUSION: The crux of the message is that no matter what happens, we can and should trust God. We trust even when we don’t understand. We battle and pray. God guides the footsteps of the righteous person. Only God has all of the answers. We submit to God, and believe that He has the best in mind for each of us.