This past month I’ve had one of those experiences where one name of God seemed to jump out at me from every direction – when I read my Bible, when our pastor talked on Sunday, when we sang worship songs, when I talked with friends, in blogs I read… sometimes 3-4 times a day…eventually I got the hint that God is wanting to show me something about Himself.
The Sovereign Lord.
I guess I have an issue with authority, control and trite, religious comments. Because I admit that I’ve actually avoided focusing on this attribute and name of God. It seems like people typically say, “God is Sovereign” when they can’t answer the question “why?” or when something bad happens. So, saying “God is Sovereign” felt like an excuse or a “disclaimer”. “God is Sovereign, so oh well” or, “He is in control, you just need more faith.” That doesn’t inspire hope, faith or trust…just resignation to God’s unknowable will and His whims to do whatever He pleases.
Of course it is true that God is sovereign and His ways are different than ours. We do need faith. We need to rely on Him when we can’t understand what is happening around us.
But apparently that’s not all The Sovereign Lord means. What God is revealing to me through His Word is transforming my perspective of Him as Sovereign Lord.
God’s Sovereign Plan
King David “went in and sat before the Lord” and had a conversation with The Sovereign Lord one day (2 Samuel 7: 18-29). David pondered all God had done in his life and sat amazed that God has chosen him to be part of His plan. David said, “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no God but you.” And then, with wisdom and discernment, he highlighted three parts of God’s sovereign plan we see playing out throughout history:
- To redeem a people for Himself;
- To make a name for Himself
- To perform great and awesome wonders.
I used to imagine God’s sovereign plan as a magical way to eventually (never in my timing) turn bad things into something good. But David saw The Sovereign Lord as one that inspired joy, worship, and confidence. For some reason, I hadn’t consciously connected His sovereign plan to these three things that I believe and love about God.
Redeeming A People
God has redeemed the Hebrews, the Israelites, the Gentiles. But He also redeemed David, Saul/Paul, Peter, and me. David’s natural response to this Sovereign Lord who chose him and his family, revealed His future plans and redeemed him was to expresses his amazement and gratitude and to declare His greatness and His power.
I have begun to realize the real basis of my gratitude is His sovereignty. He has been at work to redeem me for Himself.
“It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me” (Isaiah 50:7,9).
Make His Name Great
When you read through the prophets, especially Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Amos, we see The Sovereign Lord declaring judgment on nations and even His own people. This reinforces that image that the Sovereign Lord is an angry, old man who is ready to zap us when we disregard His authority.
But then I saw it—The Sovereign Lord is the name of God that the prophets used when God speaks…when He declares His redemptive plan. God is not silent, angry, or uncaring. In fact, His declaration of judgment is most often answered by His own sovereign plan of redemption, mercy, and compassion. His declarations against evil and His acts of mercy reveal His power, His authority, and His goodness SO THAT, “Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. You are my sheep, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 34:30-31).
The Sovereign Lord is like no other. When people see His sovereign plan, they admire and desire Him.
Because the Lord is Sovereign, His covenant is trustworthy and the things He has promised, He will do. “Whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 12:28).
The wonders He has done throughout history and in my life are proof of His power, goodness, and authority over all of creation. They prove that He is who He claims to be and therefore His purposes will prevail.
With these newly realized thoughts, I can say that my confidence is in the Sovereign Lord. I can place my hope and faith in His perfect timing. I can rest in times of trouble and have peace and even joy because of His faithfulness, authority, and power to accomplish His sovereign plan. “I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord. I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone” (Psalm 71:16).
Instead of seeing sovereignty in light of what has gone wrong, I am now full of gratitude for the way God works out His unfolding plan in my life and in our world. I complain and worry less, and I can let Him who sees the full plan lead me. So, my declaration is, “The Sovereign Lord can and does run the world better than I would!”
What is your declaration of the Lord’s sovereignty?written by Heather Hicks