Thursday, October 11, 2012

God's Almighty Sovereignty

If it wasn't already picture-perfect clear after all the events that occurred in our life this year, reading the Bible has reaffirmed the fact that God is most definitely in control. My sister joked that I had a birth plan written down exactly how I thought it should go, or how I wanted it to go, but God stepped in and told me in not so many words, "Becky, I'M IN CONTROL. Deal with it." I honestly thought, due to the fact that both my mom and sister had their first children without emergency, that "it wouldn't happen to me." Boy was I ever wrong. So after the birth of our daughter, and the postpartum hemorrhaging emergency I experienced, I picked up my Bible and began reading it again. God opened my eyes to His sovereignty. I was blown away by what His word says about His sovereign hand!

I am 100% positive that God's word has TONS more to say about God's sovereignty, but this is what has been revealed to me since the life changing events that took place recently.
  • Job is a man who lost everything. And through his tragedy and loss he continued to worship God! He has friends, however, that come into his life to try and tell him that because of his great sin these things have happened, but one man, Elihu proclaims differently,
    "... he does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow he says, 'Fall on the earth,' likewise to the downpour, his might downpour. He seals up the hand of every man, that all men who he made may know it. Then the beasts go into their lairs, and remain in their dens. From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the think cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightening. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen." Job 37: 5-13
    Elihu asks this phenomenal question in verse 18 of the same chapter, "
    Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror?"
    What makes man think that we are of his equal? What makes us think that "God wouldn't let this happen!" when in fact, because of his almighty purpose, which is totally unknown to us, He DOES make it happen. Whether it's for correction, for his land, for love.... HE CAUSES IT TO HAPPEN. So why? That I do not know. But think about Elihu's question, Did you create the heavens and the earth from nothing? Do you know what will happen tomorrow, a month, year, or decades from now? If you do, you can create the rules, until then you live in HIS world for HIS glory. There is none like Him, He is the beginning and the end. Once I realized that, it was far easier to worship Him in all His majesty. It was far easier to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I can trust in Him because He is unchanging and perfect, sooooooo unlike myself! If I try to rely on my own strength, my own will, me, my, I... my life is filled with drama and imperfections. BUT once I let go and let God - because it's going to happen anyway - I find an unfathomable peace about the events in my life.

    What's even better about the story of Job is God's response,
    "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:4-7
    "Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?" Job 38: 12-13

    "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?" Job 38:22-23
    "Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? can you establish their rule on the earth? Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, 'Here we are'?" Job 38:31-35
    God continues to ask questions like this all through chapters 38 and 39. I highlighted quite a few favorites, but I only shared a few. Wow! God is amazing! And so is Job's response,
    "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2
    That is what I choose to believe as well.
  • Psalm 147 is an excellent Psalm that speaks numbers on why we should praise Him,
    "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understand is beyond measure." Psalm 147:3-4
    "He covers the heaves with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry." Psalm 147:8-9
    "He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow." Psalm 147:15-18
    How can it be more clear than that?
  • Well, read Proverbs!
    "The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble." Proverbs 16:1-4
    That last sentence that I underlined, bolded, and italicized, blew me away.... It doesn't end there...
    "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
    "A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?" Proverbs 20:24
    "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart." Proverbs 21:1-2 (This is a great one when thinking about our political drama...)
    "No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord." Proverbs 21:30-31
    God knew what would happen to me even as I planned a med-free delivery. Even as I sat at home trying to recover afterwards, God did everything in HIS PERFECT TIMING. I can praise Him for that!
  • The story of Moses also speaks loudly to God's sovereignty. I mean who else would've planned that Moses be saved from Pharaoh's commandment to kill all the male Jewish children by putting him in a basket, sending him down the Nile, having the daughter of Pharaoh find him, then asked Moses' own sister to bring a woman (his own mother) to breast feed him?! Um... sounds like God's hand to me! Then Moses flees Egypt, only for God to call him back again. Moses resists by saying he is slow of speech, God's response is amazing,
    "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak." Exodus 4:11-12
    As the story progresses Moses and Aaron travel to Egypt to ask Pharaoh to let God's people go, but God tells Moses,
    "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go." Exodus 4:21
     He says that over and over again throughout this story, "I will harden his heart." like in verse 7:3-5,
    "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them."
     or again in Exodus 9:14-16,
    "... I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may now that there is none like me in all the earth. For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth."
    When they were finally released by Pharaoh, Moses said to the Israelites,
    "Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place." Exodus 13:3
     Everything the Lord did, was for his glory! He destroyed Egypt with gnats, bloody water, frogs, disease, because He wanted everyone to know that He is the ONLY GOD and it was made pretty obvious that HE IS IN CONTROL!
    "I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen." Exodus 14:17-18
    And that's when God swept them away by the Red Sea.
  • So I am at peace because I have a God who knows the day I take my last breath. I have nothing to fear because He has promised me that if I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, I will be saved (Romans 10:9). I will dwell in His glory someday. I won't put my trust in the things of this world. I will rely on Him alone for He is in control,
    "The Lord is my Shepard; I shall not want. HE MAKES me lie down in green pastures. HE LEADS me beside still waters. HE RESTORES my soul. HE LEADS me in paths of righteousness FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. YOU PREPARE a table before me in the presence of my enemies; YOU ANOINT my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23
     Even when I am not experiencing "goodness and mercy," when God chooses to send me through the fire, I will put my trust in HIM because I know that one day soon, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. His understanding of the events in my life far surpasses my own understanding. I may ask "why?"now, but I have no doubts that someday God's almighty purpose will be made known and I will look back and say, "wow!"
God's sovereignty continues to amaze me.

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