Our Sovereign God
By Allison Paala
In Tuesday night bible study we talked about God’s sovereignty. We hear it all the time, that God is sovereign. But what does this really mean? And how does God’s sovereignty affect us as Christians?
We focused on the story of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. In this chapter, King Nebuchadnezzar has once again given into his own pride and forgotten that God is in control and is the ONLY true God. He has ignored the fact that God is sovereign. In order to remind the arrogant king, God took him from the people and made him eat grass like an ox, and act like an animal for seven periods of time. By the end of this, King Nebuchadnezzar regained his reason, and began to praise God.
What a powerful God we have! But also, what a caring God. He cared enough about the salvation of King Nebuchadnezzar that he did all this in order to restore the king’s faith. How many times do we feel like we have drifted too far from God, or know somebody close to us who we fear for? We can rest in knowing that not only is God our father who loves us, but he is also so very capable in protecting and saving us. God wants us to draw near to Him, and when we do not, He seeks us out and goes to great lengths in order to do so. Now, that does not mean that we do not have responsibility in our own salvation. God, in his sovereignty, has also given us free will. We need to choose to believe in Him and to live according to His will. Just as God did not force King Nebuchadnezzar to praise Him after he regained his sanity, God does not force us to praise him. What He does is let His power be known to us in many ways in order to draw us near to Him.
In my live group we have been studying Ecclesiastes. This week we read chapter 3. Verses 1-8 are ones many of us have heard:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
At first I did not think this passage had much to do with God’s sovereignty. However, after some prayer and thought, I realized that it really has everything to do with it. If God were not in complete control, he would not allow all of these things to occur. Also, you probably noticed that each joyous verb is paired with something quite the contrary. For example, “a time to mourn; and a time to dance.” Mourning and dancing are very opposite things, but because we have a God who cares so deeply for us, He can turn our mourning into dancing if we choose to accept God into our heart and truly surrender to His sovereignty. We can trust in the Lord’s sanctifying work in us each day. The only reason we have choices in life is because God allows us to. But he also sees our mistakes and does work in our hearts in order to dry our tears, build us up, give us life, heal us, save us.
Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.