A friend sent me a long article today about the sovereignty of God. It said that nothing happens without God’s permission, thus everything that happens is God’s will. In her email, my friend asked me to explain the sovereignty of God. Ha! (That’s God laughing, not me).
Basically, I think trying to explain God's sovereignty is kind of like trying to explain to a dog why some people wear glasses! That’s a challenge, since the dog has no context for understanding refraction in the human eye. I could try to explain farsightedness to my granddog, Scout (pictured above), but all I’ll get is a blank stare (pun intended)! I could also tell him that I’ll give him a treat if he barks when I explain farsightedness, and guess what, he’ll probably bark...because he knows the words, “treat” and “bark.” In his mind, that’s a pretty good combination!
Human’s are a lot like dogs. (There's an entire essay there). We don’t have the capacity to comprehend the mysteries of God's person and power. In a sense, every time we try to define God, we effectively diminish Him in some way. This is the curse of theology as we know it today. It's become man’s attempt to try to tell us what God can or cannot do, based on our limited knowledge or understanding.
In the article my friend sent, the author wrote a lengthy treatise on what the sovereignty of God “really” means. I chuckled to myself. Anytime someone writes a lengthy article to explain anything, it’s probably because they’re trying to convince the reader...and themselves too.
So here’s my answer to the question, “What does the sovereignty of God mean?” It means that God knows everything (past, present and future), and God intervenes in some things (past, present and future), and that God allows some things, (past, present and future) which are consistent with His purposes and plans.
He doesn't limit Himself to past performance, nor does He need to have a book, chapter and verse from the Bible (or any other holy book) to justify His actions on any given day. Nothing constrains Him...ever.
He never makes a mistake, He's never early, and He's never late. Nothing comes into my life that doesn't first cross His desk, yet He doesn’t necessarily initiate every event in my life or yours. In fact, I gag when I hear someone say, “Well, the little toddler who was killed by a hit-and-run driver?--that just proves that God needed him more than we do.” Nope. It just proves that people have the terrible capacity to hurt, even kill, others. Let’s not blame God for our sin and stupidity.
Beyond that, I’ve got nothing more to say about the sovereignty of God. I don’t understand his omnipotence (how He can do anything as easily as He can do anything else), or his omnipresence (how He can be everywhere all the time), or his omniscience (how He knows everything that can be known). But I do understand this: He loves me. I know that to be true, even in the darkest seasons of my life. And I've come to understand that sometimes experience trumps knowledge, and I’m fine with that. Job said it well, “Though the Lord slay me, yet I will trust Him." Trust is a choice, not an emotion. By the way, even my ole' granddog, Scout, understands that.