I recently came across a rather amazing statement of God’s sovereignty. I was reading Isaiah 5 in which the prophet is prophesying of an Assyrian invasion at the response of God’s “whistle” (v. 26). Isaiah then describes the battle ready condition of this army saying among other things “not a waistband is loose, not a sandal strap is broken” (v. 27).
Not only is God sovereign over nations but his sovereignty is thorough, down to the last detail like waistband’s and sandal straps! Isn’t that amazing! Nothing is left to chance in God’s universe (not even dice throwing and birds flying – see Proverbs 16:33 and Matthew 10:29-31).
The sovereignty of God is asserted on every page of the Bible. As Psalm 115:3 says, “But our God is in the heavens; he does whatever He pleases.” However in spite of this fact it seems Christians and non-Christians alike will allow God to be anywhere except upon his throne ruling his universe according to his good pleasure and will. We are forever trying to dethrone God but what does Psalm 2 say God is doing in response to our rebellion? He is laughing and working out his plan to establish his Son as King. Therefore if we are smart we will serve the Lord with fear, rejoice with trembling and kiss the Son.
I for one find God’s sovereignty to be immensely comforting and awe-inspiring. I think King David and the Apostle Paul did also (have you read Psalm 145 lately? Or how about Romans 11:33-36?) along with the rest of the Holy Spirit inspired authors of Scripture. The apostle John in Revelation 19 records what Ottman calls, “Heaven’s Hallelujah Chorus.” In verses 4-5 the 24 elders and 4 living creatures fall down and worship God “who was seated on the throne.” What a powerful picture of a sovereign God! He is sitting on his throne in absolute control of all things. As Psalm 103:19 says, “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and his sovereignty rules over all.” Just a few verses later in Revelation 19 the apostle says he heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.”
When is the last time you praised God for his absolute sovereignty? What are you waiting for? Stop arguing, prostrate yourself before the Lord and start adoring!
The perfect wisdom of our God
Revealed in all the universe:
All things created by His hand
And held together at His command.
He knows the mysteries of the seas,
The secrets of the stars are His;
He guides the planets on their way
And turns the earth through another day.
The matchless wisdom of His ways
That mark the path of righteousness;
His word a lamp unto my feet,
His Spirit teaching and guiding me.
And O the mystery of the cross,
That God should suffer for the lost,
So that the fool might shame the wise,
And all the glory might go to Christ!
O grant me wisdom from above,
To pray for peace and cling to love,
And teach me humbly to receive
The sun and rain of Your sovereignty.
Each strand of sorrow has a place
Within this tapestry of grace;
So through the trials I choose to say:
“Your perfect will in Your perfect way.”
– See more at: http://www.stuarttownend.co.uk/song/the-perfect-wisdom-of-our-god/#sthash.lLHjdJyh.dpuf
The last time pastor and author James Montgomery Boice addressed his church before succumbing to cancer he spoke these words:
A relevant question, when you pray is, pray for what? Should you pray for a miracle? Well you are free to do that, of course. My general impression is that the God who is able to do miracles – and he certainly can – is also able to keep you from getting the problem in the first place. So although miracles do happen, they’re rare by definition. A miracle has to be an unusual thing.
…Pray for wisdom for the doctors…Pray also for the effectiveness of the treatment.
Above all I would say pray for the glory of God. If you think of God glorifying himself in history and you say, where in all of history has God most glorified himself? He did it at the cross of Jesus Christ, and it wasn’t be delivering Jesus from the cross, though he could have. Jesus said, ‘Don’t you think I could call down from my Father ten legions of angels for my defense?’ But he didn’t do that. And yet that’s were God is most glorified…
When things like this come into our lives, they are not accidental. It’s not as if God somehow forgot what was going on, and something bad slipped by…God does everything according to his will…
But what I’ve been impressed with most is something in addition to that. It’s possible, isn’t it, to conceive of God as sovereign and yet indifferent? God’s in charge, but he doesn’t care. But it’s not that. God is not only the one who is in charge. God is also good. Everything he does is good.
…If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you’d change it, you’d make it worse. It wouldn’t be as good. So that’s the way we want to accept it and move forward, and who knows what God will do?
‘Sing to the Lord, all the earth, proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among the peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise…’
Along similar lines Bryan Chapell encourages all who will listen with these words:
With faith in God’s sovereignty over eternity undergirding our prayers, I have often encouraged others not to pray for God to heal if it is his will – as though maybe he will heal and maybe not. Instead, I encourage my friends and family to pray for God to heal according to his will. Then, whether he answer with the temporary healing that keeps a loved one with us longer, or whether he answers with the perfect healing of taking that one into Jesus’ arms, we remain confident that he has blessed. We have faith that our God’s blessings will be according to a sovereign plan that is as beautiful and boundless as he.
Disease and suffering are inevitable in our fallen world. Yet amid the hurt and confusion, we can pray without doubting that these afflictions are not the ultimate reality or the final chapter of King Jesus’ response to the prayers of his people. Our Lord Jesus will use our prayer in his name to extend his rule through this world and the next. He is able because he is sovereign over all things for all time.
God is sovereign.
Do you pray that way or do you pray as if you are?