God’s Sovereignty – Understanding God

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“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!” Romans 11:33

The Sovereignty of God is a hard subject to write about. The Sovereignty of the God is that He has control over everything in the universe. “If there is any element of the universe that is outside of his authority, then he no longer is God over all. In other words, sovereignty belongs to deity. Sovereignty is a natural attribute of the Creator. God owns what he makes, and he rules what he owns.” (R.C. Sproul) As I look at the world and see the evil the world and I see all that is happening, it is hard to believe that God is in control. I see people that I know are following God and trying to do His will. They seem to have so many things that are happening to them. It is so hard to understand. Paul tells us in this scripture that it is impossible to understand. Paul tells us in the following verses, “For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:34-36) Then Paul tells us, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28) I know as I look back over my life, I can see God’s hand on everything. I can see Him in control. At the time I did not believe it, but God worked it all out for my good. This is why He is God, not me.

God’s Sovereignty – The People Who Know God

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“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Philippians 3:7

The people who know God consider all things in their lives a loss except that of knowing Him. Paul in this scripture tells us there is nothing on this earth that compares to knowing God.
Augustine wrote of an encounter he had when a momentary delight was offered to him. The only condition was he would forfeit the pleasure of ever seeing God. He concluded, without a struggle: “No pleasure is worth the loss.”

One can know a great deal about God, without much knowledge of Him. There is a large difference between these two kinds of knowledge. I can study and know a great deal about George Washington, but I can never know George Washington in a personal way. I can never have a personal relationship with George Washington because he is no longer with us. I can know God and have a personal relationship with Him, because He sent His Son to die for my sins and through Him, I can know God more personally than anyone else on earth; because His Son is alive and seated at the right hand of God.

People who know God, and have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, are the ones that know the value of knowing God and to know God is worth everything in the world.

The people that know God have the peace that passes all understanding. This is the peace that you don’t understand why you have, but you know that God is in control.

God’s Sovereignty – Where Would I Go

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“Where is the god who can compare with you—wiping the slate clean of guilt, turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, to the past sins of your purged and precious people? You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long, for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most. And compassion is on its way to us. You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing. You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean. You’ll stay true to your word to Father Jacob and continue the compassion you showed Grandfather Abraham—everything you promised our ancestors from a long time ago.” Micah 7:18-20 (MSG)

Jesus asked Peter if he was going to leave Him and Peter’s response was where would we go? I feel just like Peter; if I left God, the one true God the one that loves me and takes care of me; where would I go? I have not always served the Lord, but for the past thirty years or more, I have walked with God. Do I have any regrets? Yes, I should have been walking with God my entire life.

This scripture in Micah tells us there is no God like the one true God. He pardons our sins and forgives us. He does not stay angry and He shows us mercy. The mercy that we do not deserve. He hurls our iniquities into the depths of the sea. He is faithful and keeps His promises. Where is another God like that?

Paul writes, “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
This is not just someday we will go to heaven and be with Jesus, but this applies to God’s kingdom here on earth also. Where would I go?

God’s Sovereignty – God is Creator

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“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

The Bible starts out telling us who God is. The first name of God in Hebrew is Elohim. The Hebrew words show us a picture. A picture of who God is. It is interesting that the word Elohim is plural, but the Hebrew dictionary still translates it “God’ instead of “Gods.” This is because the Hebrew knows there is only one God, the true God. In this first chapter of Genesis, we see this name of God (Elohim) repeated almost in every verse.

This picture of God shows us a God that is mighty in power and also creative. It shows a God that is three in one. This is the reason it is in plural. The picture we see in this name is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We see the Father God sending the Son Jesus so that we can have a relationship with Him, then we see God sending the Holy Spirit empowering us to serve God and build a relationship with God the Father.

In this name, we see a perfect unity that is more than one. God is essentially one, and essentially more than one. That is the mystery of the nature of God, this unique blending of unity and plurality.
We need to look closely at this unity of God. This is the unity that we need to see in our churches today. Yes, we are more than one, but we need to be as one so that we can reach more for Jesus and show that our God is powerful and creative.

God’s Sovereignty – God is All-sufficient

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“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1

In this scripture the name of God is El Shaddai which means that God is all-sufficient. In this scripture God was letting Abram know that He can be trusted. That His promises will always come about. God had promised Abram a son and his seeds would be many. At ninety-nine Abram had his doubts. God told him not to doubt, have faith. God is El Shaddai, all – powerful, all – sufficient, keeper of His promises. God saw that Abram was focusing on the impossibilities of his situation.
Do you have an impossible situation in your life? If you do, then listen, our God can perform the impossible. He is all – sufficient. There is nothing in this world or in your life that God cannot do.

The secret to our walk with God is, to receive, to acknowledge, believe, embrace and act upon the revelation God gives us of who He is. The evidence of such faith is a restful heart. A peace that passes all understanding.

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:18-21)

God’s Sovereignty – Humility

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“The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12

The sovereignty of God means that He has total control of all things past, present and future. Nothing happens that is out of His knowledge and control. All things are either caused by Him or allowed by Him for His own purposes and through His perfect will and timing. He is the only absolute and omnipotent ruler of the universe and is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption. “If there is any element of the universe that is outside of his authority, then he no longer is God over all. In other words, sovereignty belongs to deity. Sovereignty is a natural attribute of the Creator. God owns what he makes, and he rules what he owns.” (R.C. Sproul)

Do you believe in the sovereignty of God? I know that at times it is hard to believe that God rules the universe. If we look at our world today we think, “How can God be in charge?” No matter what you feel or think, God is in charge. To believe in the sovereignty of God, we have to get ourselves out of the way. We must have humility. If we don’t have humility, we feel that we are in charge. We feel that we are God. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) Studying God and His greatness can do nothing but humble us. In this series of devotions I want to look at the greatness of God and why we should realize that we can only look at Him in humility and say, “Have mercy on me a sinner.”

God’s Sovereignty – Reverence the Holy

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“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

We need to learn how to handle the holy things of God with tenderness and sensitivity. If we are going to live the deeper life, we must have reverence for God. We need to become holy as God is holy. One of our problems today is we have no respect. We don’t respect others so how do we think we can respect God and His house.

God is only going to move in the places where there is respect for Him. God is only going to move where God is wanted. Do you want God to move in your life and in your church service? I don’t believe the move of God has anything to do with how big and fancy your building is or the songs you sing or the message you preach. God is going to move in a place He is welcome. A place where we are allowing Him to examine our hearts and lives to remove anything that is not pleasing to Him.

Our attitude in God’s house and our lives need to be an attitude of respect and reverence of how mighty that our God is. Allow Him to purify our lives by removing pride, lust, greed, competition and jealousy.

We need to realize who God is. We need to know God. We need to know the Sovereignty of God. I pray that as we start on this study of the Sovereignty of God you will realize what a great and wonderful God we serve.

God is in Control – Total Trust

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“Even though the fig tree have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer able to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

This is total trust. This is trusting God no matter what happens in life. No matter if you are rich or poor, healthy or sick. No matter what, you trust in God. To me this is a difficult outlook of life to have. When things are going difficult in my life, God brings me back to Habakkuk. Then God brings me to this scripture in Romans, “Can anything separate us from Christ’s love?” Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the scripture says, “For your sake we are killed every day, we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No despite all things, overcoming victory is ours through Christ who loves us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angel nor demons, neither our fear for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39) My friend, God is the answer to all our questions. God is the answer to all of our problems. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are. You can rejoice in His salvation.

God is in Control – Fear of God

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“I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us.” Habakkuk 3:16

In the beginning of this book, Habakkuk came to God and said, “Why are you doing these things? Why are you permitting me to see evil? Why don’t you move?” Now we see Habakkuk realizing that God knows what He is doing. After God answers Habakkuk in chapter 2, we see a man that fears God and knows that He is all powerful. This is what we need today. We need a fear and respect for God. Today nobody has respect for anything. Many years ago I had a gentleman that I respected greatly. He told me that I should call him by his first name. I told him that I just could not do it. My respect for him was too great. It was not that I feared him. It was I felt that he was should a man of principals and I was too young to call him by his first name. We don’t need to fear God, but we need to show respect for Him. We need to realize that God is all powerful, but He is all loving also. We need to realize that God will meet all of our needs, but not all of our wants. He will walk hand in hand with us through this world and at times carry us. In my next devotion I will complete our study of Habakkuk. I hope that you have had a deeper understanding of God. My next series of devotions will be on the sovereignty of God.

God is in Control – God can move Mountains

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“Pestilence marches before Him; plaque follows close behind. When He stops, the earth shakes. When He looks the nations trembles. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the eternal one.” Habakkuk 3:5-6

These verses in chapter three are some of the most beautiful verses on the power of God. How He is the God that created this world and He has complete control over everything in it. We feel the mountains are in place and will never move. We lived in Colorado Springs for several years and everywhere we lived we could see Pike Peak. It towered above the city. I would wake in the morning and see how the mountain had changed. Somedays the mountain would shine with the sun on the snow. Then the next day it would have clouds covering it and we could not see the mountain. Somedays the clouds would cover only half of the mountain. On these days I would tell my son that God had moved the mountain to Denver so they could enjoy it. I know that God is powerful enough to move the mountains if He so wished. Is there a mountain in your life that you wake ever morning and see. Do you feel that the mountain is too big for God to move? God can move any mountain in your life. He can use the mountain in your life so it turns out for your good. Do you believe that God is in control and He can move mountains? When we started reading the book of Habakkuk, Habakkuk did not believe in the power of God, but as God answered Habakkuk’s question, Habakkuk believed.