The first principle we looked at taught us how important it was for us to understand what God is like, and, on the basis of that understanding, to get to know Him..
The greatest truth I have ever learned is that Jesus Christ died for me and for my sins, and that, through trusting Him, I have a complete and eternal salvation. My understanding of this truth, and my response to it, took place in November 1949, and I have been rejoicing in it ever since. Then, in 1976, after almost 30 years of ministry with Child Evangelism Fellowship, God began to reveal to me a truth about Himself which was to change my attitude to Him, to my ministry, to my circumstances and to my problems. During those first 30 years of my Christian life and service, I had always believed, at least in theory, in the sovereignty of God, but that belief was more a qualified belief than an absolute belief. But God now initiated a process in my life which was to lead me to an absolute, complete and very practical belief in His sovereignty. And it was this truth about God which would change my life and my service.
What does the sovereignty of God mean?
It means that He is in absolute control of everything and everyone. It means that He reigns supreme over Heaven and earth and all in them. It means that God is on the throne and that He rules absolutely over the affairs of men. It means that nothing happens on this earth, or in your life, unless God sends it or God allows it. If there was a third possibility God would not be sovereign (I suggest you stop here and read 1 Chronicles chapter 29 verses 10-13).
Where is this truth taught?
The Bible teaches this trust about God more often than any other truth about Him. It is, indeed, the truth upon which all other truths and doctrines are based.
There are many BIBLE VERSES which clearly STATE THIS TRUTH. These include the following: Psalm 47:7,8; 103:19; 115:3; 135:6; Isaiah 40:21-23; 46:9,10; Daniel 4:34,35; and Ephesians 1:11. There are many Bible stories which clearly illustrate this truth. These include the accounts of God’s control of all the events and persons in the life of Joseph (Genesis 37 to 50:20), and in the ministry of Jonah (Jonah 1:17, 2:10,3:5); and His control of every person and circumstance in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:23, 4:28).
- The Bible teaches that God’s sovereignty is absolute and covers everything.
- He is sovereign in creation (Rev 4:11) including the creation of our bodies, personalities and souls ( Psalm 139:14).
- He is sovereign in providence. He controls all that is in the world (Daniel 4:35) including the forces of nature (Psalm 147:15-18), all people, including kings and presidents (Isaiah 40: 15-17, 22,23), Satan and all angels (Job 1), and all the events and circumstances in our lives (Romans 8:28). There are no accidents in a believer’s life. Everything that happens to you has one of the two causes – either God sent it or God allowed it.
- He is sovereign in redemption. Sinners are spiritually dead and unable to take any step towards God unless He opens their hearts and draws them to Himself (Acts 16:14; John 6:44, 65).
What are the consequences when we really believe this truth?
- We will trust God completely for His blessing in our lives and families, and for strength and ability in our ministry.
- We will have complete peace concerning the circumstances in our lives and the problems we face.
- We will have confidence in our ministry knowing that God wants to use us to achieve His divine purposes.
- We will learn to thank Him for all that He is doing –even though we may not understand what is happening.
- Above all, we will worship Him, the sovereign, almighty God (1Chron 29:10-15; Psalm 95:3-6).
Charles Spurgeon said that the day he understood and believed the truth of God’s sovereignty was the second greatest day in his life –second only to the day he was converted, and the day “he grew from a babe to a man”.
Lesson 2 – An understanding and belief of this great truth will revolutionise your life and ministry.