The Sovereign One
1 Chronicles 29:11 - Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
The word “sovereign” is not used in the King James Version of the Bible, but we often speak of God as Sovereign. I believe God is the sovereign ruler, but he has also established certain laws whereby he allows certain things to happen.
The dictionary defines “sovereign” as supreme ruler. It is assumed that since God is supreme that nothing can happen without His approval. While this is true, God allows people to make their own decisions, many of which are unwise. That is what the Scriptures teach.
In 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
This clearly states that it is not the Lord’s will for anyone to perish, but people are perishing.
Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14
It is a sad fact, but representative of this scripture, that only a few people are saved compared to the number that are lost. God’s will for people concerning salvation is not being accomplished because God does not force anyone against their will.
The Lord gave us all the freedom to choose, and as some seem to think, HE doesn’t will anyone into hell. People are the ones that choose hell by not accepting Jesus as their Savior. It is the free will of man that damns them, not God!
Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10) but we must choose to put our faith in Him and receive His salvation.
People have had to climb over the roadblocks that God puts in their way, in order to continue this path to Hell they all seem so determined to take. The cross of Christ and the drawing power of the Holy Spirit are obstacles that all sinners encounter. No one will ever stand before God and be able to fault Him for withholding the opportunity to be saved.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:19-20
GOD’S PERFECT PLAN
God has a perfect plan for every person’s life. Let’s see what the Prophet Jeremiah wrote about this in 29:11;
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
No matter how much the scriptures show us about God’s perfect plan for us, you will never see where God made anyone walk down the right path of life. We are free moral agents with the ability to choose.
God has told us what the right choices are in Deuteronomy 30:19; I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Still, He doesn’t make those choices for us. God gave us the power to control our destinies. Man has been given the authority over his own life, but he must have the Lord’s direction to succeed.
Jeremiah 10:23 says; “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”
God created us to be dependent upon Him and our independence is the root of all our problems. When man tries to run his affairs independently of God and His standards, then we are our own worst enemy.
THERE IS A DEVIL
James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
This verse makes it clear that some things are from God, and some from the devil. We must submit to the things that are of God and resist the things that are from the devil. The word “resist” means, “Actively fight against.” Saying “Whatever will be, will be” is not actively fighting against the devil.
Acts 10:38 says; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.
The devil is the author of death and through Eve he is the first sinner who led Adam to sin. From sin, then comes disease, afflictions, sorrows and trouble. It was not God who oppressed Adam & Eve with sickness. It was the devil. It’s the same today. Sickness is from the devil, not from God. We need to resist sickness, and by faith submit ourselves to healing, which is from God through the atonement of Christ.
Deuteronomy chapter 28, settles this question for all who believe the Word of God. The first 14 verses of Deuteronomy 28 list the blessings of God and the last 53 verses list the curses of God. Healing is listed as a blessing (Deut. 28:4). Sickness is listed as a curse (Deut. 28:22, 27‑28, 35, 59‑61). God called sickness a curse. We should NOT call it a blessing.
Knowing that God is not the author of my problems is one of the most important truths we can learn. On the contrary, it is very comforting to know that God only has good things in store for me. Any problems in my life are from the devil, or of my own making, or just the results of life on a fallen planet under the curse of sin.
Let’s remember God is sovereign, but is allowing sickness, troubles and problems in our lives. However, he controls the extent of them for his own eternal wise purposes.
TROUBLES OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Let me share with you the troubles of Job, who by the way was the best witness for God in all the world of his day. Read these verses carefully;
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil..... And LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.. Job 1, 7-11
We see by the way the Lord describes Job he is pleased with him, and by the way he lived. God blessed him because of this by keeping Satan away. One day though, Satan told God if He would let him, he would make Job curse him, and we see in scripture that God did give Satan an opportunity to test Job. We also see that Job remained faithful to the Lord no matter how difficult his life became from Satan’s attacks. After this the Lord doubly blessed Job for his faithfulness.
PROSPERITY OF THE UNSAVED
On the other hand, the Psalmist saw how the wicked prospered and were blessed in life, and it caused him great concern. How is this?
But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. Psalm 73:2-9
Yes, Satan sometimes does bless his people for a season to keep them occupied and away from the Lord. Keeping people occupied with the things of the world is just one of the ways Satan deceives people out of their souls & people don’t even realize this is happening. Many will even conclude this only proves there is no God when all the while He was blessing them. He gave them their food, their clothing, their families, jobs, friends, and even the sunshine and rain. Folks, we all should realize if the Almighty, Sovereign, God opens our eyes another day we are BLESSED!
Regardless of the many blessings people receive from God, their stubborn, rebelling hearts cause them to ignore the need of their soul. One day this will be their biggest regret as they plunge into hell after a lifetime resisting the gospel message of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
My dear reader, don’t let this be the way you spend the remainder of your days, ignoring, or not even realizing what God is doing for you. Days that only God can allow, or not allow. Accept Him today, and the free gift of salvation so you can spend eternity with Him.
Heavenly Father, how we pray for the souls Satan has deceived. We know that you love them & Jesus died to pay for their sins. Yet, in their pursuit of the things of this life many will miss the glories of heaven. Please forgive and have mercy upon them all. We ask & pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. "Loving the Savior" Preacher