God is charge — always. All the time.
This is true but not always easy to remember and act on. God is God. He can do anything. He will do what He wants.
My job is to align with and act on what He wants to have happen at any given moment. My job is to listen and then obey. My job is to love God.
Ah, Yahweh [Lord] God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Jeremiah 32:17). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
God’s sovereignty is one of the most important principles in Christian doctrine. All followers agree that God is preeminent in power and authority.
- God’s sovereignty is a natural consequence of His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence.
- When we speak of the sovereignty of God, we mean He rules the universe.
- God is in charge.
- We are not.
God is described in the Bible as all-powerful and all-knowing, outside of time, and responsible for the creation of everything. These divine traits set the minimum boundary for God’s sovereign control in the universe, which is to say that nothing in the universe occurs without God’s permission. God has the power and knowledge to prevent anything He chooses to prevent, so anything that does happen must, at the very least, be “allowed” by God.
Paul says that God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20), and God is called the “Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8), a term (Gk. pantokratōr) that suggests the possession of all power and authority. Furthermore, the angel Gabriel says to Mary, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37), and Jesus says, “With God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).
The fact that God is sovereign essentially means that He has the power, wisdom, and authority to do anything He chooses within His creation. Whether or not He exerts that level of control in any given circumstance is a completely different question.
- Often, the concept of divine sovereignty is oversimplified.
- We tend to assume that, if God is not directly, overtly, purposefully driving some event, then He is somehow not sovereign.
- The cartoon version of sovereignty depicts a God who must do anything that He can do, or else He is not truly sovereign.
- Of course, such a cartoonish view of God’s sovereignty is logically false.
God has the ability to do anything, to take action and intervene in any situation, but He often chooses to act indirectly or to allow certain things for reasons of His own. His will is furthered in any case. God’s “sovereignty” means that He is absolute in authority and unrestricted in His supremacy.
Everything that happens is, at the very least, the result of God’s permissive will. This holds true even if certain specific things are not what He would prefer. The right of God to allow mankind’s free choices is just as necessary for true sovereignty as His ability to enact His will, wherever and however He chooses.