What Does It Mean That God Is Sovereign?

“Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.’ But Abram replied, ‘O Sovereign Lord, what good are all Your blessings when I don’t even have a son?’” (Genesis 15:1-2 NLT)

In the text above where the NLT translates Abram’s response as “Sovereign Lord,” he’s literally saying, “O Lord God,” using two Hebrew names for God: Adonai and Jehovah. These are transliterations of the Hebrew, meaning we take English letters and substitute them for the Hebrew letters.

Essentially what Abram is doing is recognizing that the Lord God of Israel is the ever-existing, Sovereign Creator who reigns supremely over everything and everybody. According to the Webster’s New World College Dictionary (Fourth Edition), Sovereign means: “above or superior to all others; chief; greatest; supreme; supreme in power, rank, or authority…”

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

John Piper reminds us: “God is sovereign over your life, and God is good.” That sounds very spiritual and it’s certainly theologically correct, but what does it mean in layman’s terms? Does it mean since God’s got the “wheel” all I have to do is ride out the journey? Does it mean since He’s all powerful He will “auto correct” my bad decisions? Does it mean since He’s all-knowing He will give me a “heads-up” when I’m about to do something really stupid?

God’s sovereign rule in our lives is a process in which we have a part. How so? First, by yielding our will to His we allow Him to forgive us, which sets in motion the transformation of our life and character, resulting in an ever-increasing likeness to our Savior, which is our goal as a Jesus follower. When we align our will with His by being born again of the Spirit, we invite the Sovereign Ruler of all that is to enable us by His indwelling presence to allow Him to rule and reign over us – body, mind, soul, and spirit.

Does that mean God will make us do whatever He wants? No, it means we give Him permission to do whatever He wants – a big difference. God isn’t a bully who forces us against our will to do anything. He’s a gentleman who will work cooperatively with us to accomplish His sovereign will in and through our lives.

Micah Wood said it well when he wrote: “Before the Gospel heals a man, it humbles a man. It tells him the depth of his need for God.“ Until we get a glimpse of who God is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, we likely won’t trust Him, nor realize that His rule in our life is best. How can we be so sure?

Having walked with the Lord for more than 60 years it has become crystal clear that He loves me most and knows me best. I trust Him without reservation with anything and everything related to my life. He will never do anything in me, to me, or for me that isn’t loving, merciful, and leading in some way, even if I may not understand, for my good and His glory.

Does that imply I’ll always love what He does? Of course not. Did I love it when my parents disciplined me? We see the proverbial “parade of life” through a keyhole, while God sits on the roof top. He sees our lives from beginning to end and has the vantage from which to see things we can’t possibly see. That’s why I trust His sovereign wisdom to guide me in the ways He sees best.

His sovereignty doesn’t force us to do anything against our will, but it does enable us to walk confidently in the paths on which He leads us. Learning to trust His wisdom and follow His Spirit’s leading are two very rich and rewarding aspects of His sovereign rule in and over our lives.

Food for thought.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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