Monday, November 7, 2016

Relax, God Is In Control

The fact that God is firmly seated on His throne is one of the greatest comforts and encouragements to the Christian. No matter what happens we "know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Rom.8:28)  Our comfort is not "this too shall pass", or simply that all things will work out in the end, but that the one true God has the authority to make all things work for our good and does that very thing.

God is sovereign in all things, including all the affairs of man. The prophet Daniel (2:21) wrote that God changes times and seasons, raises up and deposes kings, gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. The Holy Spirit moved the apostle Paul to apply the sovereignty of God to those in authority, as he wrote the Romans (13:1), "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."  So, when it comes to the election of presidents, we don't have to worry. God is in control.

In a conversation about the election, I heard "Don't worry. God's still on his throne. Vote for the right person, but trust God." Another said, "I'm not even voting. God's gonna put the person He wants in office anyway. So, I'm not even going to worry about voting." That conversation made me think about how we apply the fact that our King is on His throne. Is the sovereignty of God meant to give me a vacation from action, or is it meant to empower and embolden me to righteous living?

The next president will be part of the sovereign plan of God. No matter who is elected, and how badly that seems to work out for godliness in this nation, God will make it work together for good for those who believe. Yet, unless God does something He has never done in the history of this nation, He will carry out His sovereign plan through the votes of the American people. He will use the form of government He instituted in this country to place the person in office.

Think about the sovereignty of God and evangelism. Some believe that God chooses who will and will not be saved, citing what Paul wrote "So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills."(Rom.9:18) Paul also wrote that "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame... For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom.10:11, 13)  I'm not writing to discuss Calvinism or Arminianism. I'm writing to say that God clearly commands both Calvinists and Arminians to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.  If we are to believe statistics, few Calvinists and few Arminians obey that command, yet both groups would say they believe God is on His throne. He is sovereign.

Whether you are a staunch Calvinist or Arminian, you must preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, going into all the world, making disciples who follow Him. It is the command of our sovereign King to do so. The challenge of the Great Commission begins with His authority, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Mt.28:18)  And it ends with the assurance that of His kingdom there is no end, "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Mt.28:20)

Faith in the sovereignty of God sets us free from worry. Relax, God is in control. It sets us free from the devastating questions that arise when bad things happen to good people. God has a purpose to make all things work together for the good of His children. Faith in the sovereignty of God also sets us free to courageously and boldly obey God.

The sovereignty of God should never be taken as an excuse for a lifetime vacation of passive Christianity. The fact that the omnipotent God is seated with full and eternal authority on His throne is meant to empower us and embolden us to live courageously obedient Christian lives, even if that obedience leads to our persecution or death.