Keys To Spiritual Survival – Living in God’s Sovereignty

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the-mercy-of-gods-sovereignty-410-200We are living in dark days and times are getting darker. At time we run around like a chicken with his head cut off not knowing what to do.

What we tend to forget when we are in this “Headless Chicken Mode” is that God is at work, God has a plan and God is in charge.

God’s sovereignty is the same today and is no different from any other day. In fact it has not changed in any other time. He has and will always be on His Throne and He is in charge of everything.

However, in the midst of what seems like chaotic times (and couple that with our complicated lives), we often forget this simple truth: God is sovereign.

Living in God’s Sovereignty

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Understanding the sovereignty of God in these last days is a HUGE help. I know that having this knowledge anchors me when the days are hard and when life seems dark. I am comforted knowing that God is in control and that no matter what, He has my best interest at heart.

But here is the key, His sovereignty is only peaceful when we learn to rest in its truth. When we are operating in “Headless Chicken Mode” we are running around without faith in Him.

Without faith we flounder and it can be a very scary thing.  

jesus-christ-walking-on-water-saving-peter-picture-254x300I am reminded of Peter when he walked upon the water with Christ.

Matthew 14:24-33 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Christ did not let Peter drown, He will not let us drown either.

Faith in His sovereignty is what shores up those times of despair.

Knowing and I mean REALLY knowing that He holds us in His hand, will help us weather life’s storms and crises.

To understand sovereignty, we have to also understand that we are His subjects and that He purchased our lives at a high price.

He is our King and the Lord of our lives. Our very next breath is in His hands.

David puts it this way in Psalms 139…

Psalms 139:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Please take the time to read all of Psalms 139, it deals with the sovereignty of God and is a great Psalm to read.

The one thing that we can glean from this Psalm is that God not only determines how we are made, but where we will live and when we will die. That is God’s sovereignty.

But it does not stop there either.

Scripture says…

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Isn’t that amazing? God knows how many hairs we have on our heads. So not only does God care for the lowly sparrow, He cares for us even more.

What stops us from living in God’s sovereignty is submitting to God.

Being subject and submissive to our King, well … can be hard for some of us to accept.

In fact, many Christians out there still can’t accept it.

They live one foot in and one foot out of living a holy life unto Him.

Your Reasonable Service

romans-12-verses-1-2postHere is one of my favorite verses…

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God sacrificed His only son Jesus Christ. A very high price was paid on our behalf. This verse in Romans states very clearly that it is our “Reasonable Service” to live as well as die for God. But not only just live, but live a holy and acceptable life unto Him, our God, our creator.

God’s sovereignty is not like some evil tyrannical despot welding his power over you. No, God loves us and wants what is best for us in our lives.

God is the creator of everything, He is infinitely wise, He cannot err, and in fact He cannot lie.

We read this in Titus…

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

God cannot do wrong. Evil is not even a possibility when it comes to God.

So why do we find it so hard to live in God’s sovereignty?

It is interesting, I wanted to get some feedback on this so I popped into a Pal Talk chat room that I often go into and posed that very question.

The response I got was pretty unanimous.

It is hard to live in God’s sovereignty because we do not know God. We do not know God because we do not spend time in His Word.

I shared the following verse with the room and they all agreed.

What was that verse?

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

It is next to impossible to live in God’s sovereignty if we do not have faith in Him. To have faith in Him, we need to know His Word.

When we know His Word and His Word is hidden in our hearts, we can then begin to live within God’s sovereignty.

But if we do not know God’s Word, well it states that we “are destroyed for the lack of knowledge.”

Do You Enjoy Headless Chicken Mode?

headless-chickenI have to admit that there are times that I still run around like a chicken with his head cut off. I can’t process the crisis that I am going through and when I try to “fix” it, things just go from bad to worse and from worse to REALLY worse.

It is at these times that I am NOT living in God’s sovereignty. I forget that God is on His Throne and that He is in charge, not me.

But puny human me, thinks that I can deal with the situation or crisis, when in reality a snowball has a better chance of not melting in Hades than I do of solving the crisis.

Know what I am talking about?

Have you been there yourself?

I wrote an earlier article about “The Third Party Rule.” If you have not read that, go to the Prophezine website and read it.

But in short, the third party rule is Proverbs 3:5-6. But to operate within this rule, you have to submit fully to God’s sovereignty.

God is in charge and there is nothing that you can do about it anyways except messing things up worse and worse.

Folks, God will not do wrong no matter what.

We must be willing to surrender ourselves to God’s sovereignty and not our own. This means everything, every issue, every event, the people in our lives, the places he directs us everything.

When you do this, you are doing the exact same thing that Peter did.

You are getting out of the boat and stepping out upon the water with Christ.

Here is the good news. No matter what, He will not let us sink. His hand will always be there and His Grace is sufficient for us. He will see us through any storm that we are part of.

A Faulty Understanding of the Sovereignty of God Will Produce Fear

I want God to use me in any way that He can in these last days of the last days.

I am sure that if we were all sitting in a room and I asked people to give a show of hands who agree with this, most people would raise their hand.

In fact, I am sure YOU would be one of those people.

But here is the kicker, most of the time we are just too afraid to submit to his plan.

It is our fear of the unknown which becomes stronger than our faith and trust in God, the very God we claim to know and serve.

Sure we “know” God and He might be living in your heart today. But what you may have not come to is the knowledge of God’s sovereignty in a proper way.

If we do not grasp the sovereignty of God properly then sin creeps in, for example…

Pride – thinking that we can control our lives better.

Haughty Spirit – We think we are arrogantly superior to God.

Foolishness – We think we are wiser than God and have superior understanding.

All these things when combined exude fear because we are refusing to accept the sovereignty of God.

woman-afraidNow the interesting thing that this fear brings to light is that we do not know our Father as well as we think we do.

This false understanding of God’s sovereignty prevents us from understanding the very extent of his goodness and kindness. It prevents us from also understanding how vast his compassion and wisdom really is.

The hard truth is this, no matter how tight we try to hold on to our plans and be “the captain of our own ship, God controls it all.

Scripture says..

Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

We may think we are in control, but in the end it is God who will win out, not us.

The more we know God, the more closely we walk with him, the easier it becomes to trust in Him.

When we do this, then His plans start becoming our plans. He starts directing our paths because we are trusting in the Lord with all our hearts and THAT is living in God’s sovereignty

A proper understanding of the sovereignty of God will give us a sense of security and bring us to that resting place for the heart.

I am finding myself quote the 23 Psalm more and more to myself when I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

Psalms 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

When I meditate on this, it brings me peace knowing that God is in fact in charge.

His rod and staff truly do comfort me. Why? Because I do not have to worry about making the decisions, God makes them for me, all I have to do is follow.

When I do follow Him and submit to His sovereignty I dwell in those green pastures and I am allow to rest beside those still waters that this Psalm speaks about.

Now do I literally lay in green pastures beside some nice quiet brook? No, but I am brought to a place of peace within my heart. A place where it is good and I am truly secure with God.

We live in a world that contradicts this idea because the world does not want to submit to the sovereignty of God.

We are told over and over again that we are in control, that we determine what kind of life we are going to have, that it is all up to us. We are told (us guys) “Be a man and make something of yourself.”

We are told that we can do anything we want as long as it makes us happy.

This is a lie strait from the pit of Hell.

Why?

Because these are false promises made by the enemy to trap and snare us.

Trust me when I say I do not wish power and riches, because if I have those, why should I need Christ?

These things are traps in and of themselves. But it all starts with a rejection of the sovereignty of God.

god-is-totally-sovereignHe is all knowing, omnipresent, meaning that He can be everywhere all at once. He is ultimately wise, and ultimately powerful.

His goodness and mercy is something that we cannot even wrap our brains around.

Understanding the sovereignty of God will free us from ignorance of who he is. It shows us the error in how we think about life’s stresses, and the anxiety and fear of feeling the need to be in control of it all.

The truth of God’s sovereignty enables us to live life confidently and peacefully, for He is the Lord and His ways are best for our lives.

How can we even think that we can compare to that sort of sovereignty?

We can’t.

That is why it is such a critical key to our spiritual survival that we understand and grasp the sovereignty of God almighty.

Once we have grasped it, we can then take peace in it and where there is peace, there is rest and contentment in Him.

What better place can we be, except living in the sovereignty of God?

ray-gano-med thumb

By Ray Gano

 

 

 

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