Deut. 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Deut. 30:20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
I want to address one of the teachings and false beliefs about God that has done more to undermine the faith of many people than almost anything else you can name. There are far too many believers who have been miss-taught through a man-made doctrine that goes completely contrary to what scripture teaches about God. There are many verses I can share to reveal the truth about the sovereignty of God, but we will only have the time to cover a few of them.
Let’s begin by defining the word “sovereignty”. It is defined as:
1. Supreme or highest in power; superior to all others; chief; as, our sovereign prince.
2. Independent of, and unlimited by, any other; possessing, or entitled to, original authority or jurisdiction; as, a sovereign state; a sovereign discretion.
3. Predominant; greatest; utmost; paramount.
None of these definitions declare that sovereignty means that one is controlling everything else. God is sovereign, and the Word of God reveals Him as the One who is highest in power, and superior to all others. The word sovereign is not in the KJV of the Bible. It does appear in some modern translations, but the references are to the word “Lord” in the scriptures, which mean: Supreme in power or authority. Simply put, there is no higher power than God. This does not mean God is controlling everything that happens. So let’s look to the scriptures as our guide to find out what the Bible reveals about our God.
Look back to the foundation text that I gave you from Deuteronomy 30:19-20. Notice in verse 19 that the Lord said that He had set before His people life and death, blessing and cursing; and then He even tells them to choose life. If God is in control of everything then He is in control of everyone. If God is the One who is controlling everyone then why would He even mention that they have a choice? They had the free will to choose life or to choose death. God even tells them which to choose, but God did not choose for them.
In the following verse He goes on to tell them that they “may” obey His voice, and that they “may” cling to Him. Again God is telling them that they have a choice if they obey Him or not. If God is in control of all people and therefore all things that happen, then man would not have a choice; his choice would have already been made for him. Scripture for example reveals to us that God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Let’s take a look at this verse together.
1 Tim. 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1 Tim. 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Here we see that it is clearly God’s desire for all to be saved. If it is God’s desire for all men to be saved and God is control of everything than why is it that not all will be saved? Why is it that scripture reveals that those, who by their own choice not God’s, will reject Christ and they will not make heaven? The answer is simple, man has been given a choice and because he has a free will to choose man is responsible for his personal outcome in life.
This addresses one of the key reasons why this false teaching on the sovereignty of God is so damaging. When one believes this false teaching it will result in one of two things in their life. One: they will have their faith in God undermined not understanding why God would do bad things to them, or two: they won’t take responsibility for their actions which keeps God from working in their life.
This second reason is one that has been used by man since the fall in the garden. When we fall for this false belief in God being in control of everything that happens then we will not take responsibility for our actions. This only causes us to continue to make the same mistakes. Adam after he sinned in the Garden of Eden because he made the wrong choice when confronted by God said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, …”. Adam immediately tried to blame God for the woman He had given Him. But it was not God’s fault Adam sinned. Adam could have refused to do that which he knew God had told him not to do. He had a choice. But Adam chose to sin and disobey God’s command.
When we don’t take responsibility for our actions, then we remain deceived because we actually think God is the one that caused what happened to come to pass. God gets a lot of credit for things He never did. This again keeps us from recognizing our mistakes and therefore keeps us deceived and walking in error. If a person does not take responsibility for their actions, they won’t see the change God can bring in their life.
This can also lead to our faith being undermined by the devil. If you think God for example caused a family member to die early, or that He brought about some harmful attack on you personally, then our faith is weakened for we don’t know what is God’s will and what is not God’s will. To have faith in God you must know what is God’s will for your life. If you believe God made you sick, then how are you going to have the faith for Him to heal you? You won’t. It is interesting to note that people who claim God made them sick for some reason will then go to a doctor to get help in getting well. If you believe God made you sick then you would be out of line with God’s will to try and get help to become well.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
This verse clearly states that we should submit to God and resist the devil. If we do so the devil will flee from us. But what if we don’t resist the devil? He obviously is not going to flee. This also reveals that what God wants to bring into our life comes from our willingness to submit to Him. When we do we receive from God what He desires for our life. When we resist the devil then we reject what satan is trying to do in our life. This would not be so if God was controlling everything that happens. If He was doing so then why would James even tell us to resist the devil? He would not.
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
This is the dividing line of the Bible. The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy. Anything that involves these three elements is attributed clearly to the thief. God is not a thief. Never has been, never will be. Jesus said that He has come to give life and that we may have it more abundantly. Jesus was God’s representative here on the earth. He said if you had seen Him, you had seen the Father who sent Him. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Rom. 13:1 Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God.
Rom. 13:2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.
Even when it comes to elections and elected officials man chooses them by election, and not God. God is the One from whom all governments “originated”, for God established what His rule of government was. It was founded on His commandments and His Word. If we are to obey all types of governments that exist that were not founded on God’s law, then Peter rebelled against God. Even Peter after being told by the authorities of his day to stop preaching in the name of Jesus continued to do so. Had he not he would have been in disobedience to Jesus for not preaching the gospel. God did not establish those leaders of Peter’s day who went against God.
God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17). Yet Hitler made it legal to kill millions of God’s own people. God does not oppose Himself. To say He places everyone in authority would mean He placed Hitler in power to go against His own will. Not possible, for God Himself never changes. These verses in Romans simply establish that the origination of all governments began with God. We are to obey the laws of the land, not the laws of men who make laws that oppose what God established in the earth as the law of the land. It is that simple.
Thank God we serve the Lord who is all-powerful, but don’t fall for the false belief that God is the One controlling everything. This will only lead to further deception by not taking responsibility for our choices, and will undermine our faith in God. We have a choice. Time for believers to start making the right choices, those that are in line with God’s Word and therefore His will.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker