Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sovereignty Redefined

by Donna L. Watkins

The sovereignty of God is often defined as God controlling everything, or at the very least allowing things to happen through the devil, like Satan is His errand boy. This does not promote good feelings toward God as a loving Father.  There are different definitions for the word sovereignty.

God is certainly sovereign in many ways including absolute power.  What is not considered is that He doesn't violate His own word.  When He established free will or free choice for man, it wasn't meant to extend just until man messed up and God says, "Kings X - I think that was a bad decision on my part." 

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Corsage Orchid
(Rhyncholaeliocattleya 'Sybil Farewell')
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens - Richmond, VA
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God definitely operates under a "government" that He set up at the time of Creation when He gave dominion of the world to Adam or man in general. He didn't take it back after Adam sinned. We still have free will and choice as humans.
 
In Acts 10:38 Peter gives a very descriptive summary of the life and ministry of Jesus. He says, "Jesus was anointed with power and with the Holy Ghost." Pretty simple. If you read the Gospels you will quickly notice that Jesus used this power to do good, not evil. Jesus told us that "if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father" (John 14:9). This makes it easy to discern what comes from God in this life and what comes from the devil. God is a good God and the devil is a bad devil. If it's good, it's from God. If it's evil, it's from the devil.

Did Jesus ever refuse healing to anybody?  Did Jesus condemn anybody ... even a woman caught in the very act of adultery? He didn't condone adultery and told her to go and sin no more, but He didn't condemn her or punish her.  He showed compassion and love to all except those who were religious and stuck to their own opinions and ideas of what the Messiah would be like.

We have to realize that bad circumstances and tragedies don't always come from the devil. There's natural laws to consider like gravity. If somebody drives recklessly and kills himself, it's not God or the devil that killed him. He violated natural law and thus paid the price. When a car full of drinking teenagers crashes into a tree, it's not God deciding he needs them in Heaven. They violated natural laws and ended up with the consequences. Sometimes we, even as adults, just do stupid things.

It is incorrect to believe that God controls everything. We were given free choice. If we think God makes everything happen or allows it, then we will not be able to have a true loving relationship with this God. Psalm 78:40-41 says, "How oft did they provoke Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel." If God controls everything, why couldn't He control His own people that He had delivered from Egypt out of bondage?

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Gorgeous Leaf Colors
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens - Richmond, VA

If God hadn't given us free choice, He would make sure that everybody is in good health because 3 John 1:2 says He "wishes [why would God need to wish if He was in control of it all?] above all things that we may prosper and be in health, even as our souls prosper."

Notice the requirement for good health? Our souls have to be prospering. Our soul is our mind, will and emotions. Current scientific research over the past ten years has been showing us that our thoughts determine the lives we create around ourself. 75-98% of mental and physical illnesses come from our thought life!

There is mounting recent evidence for neuroplasticity, that is, the ability of the brain to change according to experience. The anatomy and physiology of the human brain is much more malleable and plastic than we once thought. This shows that the brain changes according to how we use it. Thinking, a mind activity, effects gene expression. Gene expression produces proteins. Proteins are fashioned into structural elements and enzymes (biological catalysts), which change brain anatomy (structure) and physiology (function).

Seems God was very specific when He said we need to "take every thought to the obedience of Christ." How do your thoughts line up with what Christ provided for us? Do you believe you can be "anxious for nothing" (Phil. 4:6) or do you believe that "everybody lives with stress in this world." Do we even bother to take those thoughts captive? To think on what the Word tells us we should do?

He has also told us that we can "renew our minds." He says to us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Rom. 12:2).

So many Christians say they can't hear the voice of God. It's because we're so used to hearing our own thoughts without any challenges towards them. This verse says that transformation will take place and we will know "His good, pleasing and perfect will." We will be able to communicate with the God of the Universe who created us in His image to have a loving relationship with His creation.

Thinking that God controls it all allows us to be complacent and without any responsibility for our lives. It will lead us to ignore the devil which gives him a free hand to destroy our lives. We will attribute his evil to God and will be passive about accepting all that the devil dumps into our lives, thinking that it's for our good that God is allowing it.

Spend some time in the Bible. Read through the New Testament looking up Greek words so you can know what's in the Bible instead of believing anything that is preached to you. Become a disciple of Christ. That's what He wanted us to be.

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2 comments:

Sandra Dunn said...

I really like what you said about challenging our own thoughts! We have the mind of Christ, amen. Thank you for this encouraging post.

Donna L. Watkins said...

Thank you, Sandra. Checked out your Blogger page. What a pretty girl you are! Beautiful! My husband is from Oklahoma and our son is living there now. He was born there. Lovely pictures you have also! Be blessed!

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