In my last post I was saying that this phrase “the sovereignty of God” is often trotted out as a simplistic and doctrinaire statement with the effect of killing all sense of responsibility on our part. For many, it excuses them from obedience to the revealed word of God.
We hear the phrase from writers and preachers who present a view of God as absolute sovereign in such a way that God will “do whatever he wants, when he wants, the way he wants, and he asks no one’s permission”. This herds us into a mental state where God’s word coming to us in the scriptures is not final, settled. So then we fail to hear the voice of the living God who “changes NOT.”
Yes, God is KING! We acknowledge his right to rule over us and our vital need to obey him and to depend on him. That is the way we have been created, designed, and we fight against life continually and invite death when we fail to maintain the glorious relationship with God freely available to all.
Life and death is all about our relationship with the Almighty and Ever-living Father God, the Lord of all creation, the One who has given us his word which is “forever settled in heaven” and whose word can never pass away nor be broken and who has given us his final word in his Anointed Son. Thank God he is our King and our victory is assured under his leadership. Let us never stop praising him.
But we must choose him! Choose life. Choose the King all-glorious and all-loving. His ways are perfect and we know and can trust his ways and that he will never withdraw his love and mercy and care for us.
The phrase “the sovereignty of God” cannot be found in the Bible and it was never on the lips of Jesus. He expected people to have faith. He lived out a faithful relationship with the Father, indwelt by God in the person of the Holy Spirit. He commands his followers to be the same as he, in the same relationship!
Jesus had no advantage over us, was subject to the tests and temptations we all face. He could have said no to the will of God in the Garden and followed our first parents’ disobedience in the original Garden. He chose to obey.
God seeks our cooperation and partnership to carry out His will. How blest we are! He asks us to make disciples, teach them whatever he taught us disciples. He asks us to do the works of Jesus, no less!
These are not suggestions! NO. These are commands. They cannot be shrugged off by doctrines invented by men like cessation of spiritual gifts” or “once saved always saved” teaching their own doctrines as the will of God. Such teachings void the word of God and put traditions of men in its place.
Is it all up to us then?
NO, NO. It is not –he does not leave us alone by ourselves in a world full of evil and sin. No. He promises to be within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a real person—not just an “it” or just an influence. It is time for us to meet and love the Holy Spirit, to listen to the Holy Spirit, to be led by the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit and not the opposite (fulfilling the desires of the flesh).
It is time for us to learn to “pray in the Holy Spirit”. It is critical that we think in terms of the Holy Spirit day by day. He is our HELPER, our advocate, our intercessor, our teacher, constant reminder of Jesus.
The Father’s purposes will not met by us. Nor will they be met without us! We are all in this together, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and you and me in a tremendous unity of mind and spirit. He acts through people like you and me.
Once again, a wonderful exposition of truth, Ian. To me The sovereignty doctrine renders our existence pointless and hopeless. We have an enemy and we must fight the good fight just as The apostles did with the guidance, help and power of the Holy Spirit given to all those who ask God.
Thanks Jenny. When we understand the teaching of the Lord and the writers of the NT we can take responsible action knowing that God is totally trustworthy and true to his words and that we enjoy such utterly superb covenant privileges, protection and security because he is our sovereign and we are assured of victory over the enemy as his partners in his work. Fantastic!