“And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.” -Luke 1:80
Whatever you want to be in public, you need to start training for it in private.
When you start studying the lives of those God has used greatly and told us about in his word, you notice a similar theme in all of their journeys. The details are different but every one of those men and women who God has used in significant ways have always gone through a period of private training with the Lord before he used them publicly.
Unless you are a stay at home parent, which is a full-time job with its own unique challenges, a huge portion of your life will most likely be spent in the work place. No matter how much you love your job, there will always be challengers in this area of life trying to steal your joy.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.-1 Corinthians 15:9-10
In some evangelical circles, it can feel like you are saying a naughty word when you mention “good works.” I understand, however, why Christians start fidgeting whenever these two words combine. Because of legalism, poor teaching, and unbiblical emphasis on works in the equation of salvation, the alarm bells begin to go crazy inside of many Christians when they hear someone explain that our actions really do matter.
1 Corinthians 10:31
When I was 19-years-old, a deep fear came over me that I might waste my life. I had just spent the last four years of high school goofing off, living wild, partying with friends, and basically ignoring God. In our senior class yearbook, I was voted with the best laugh. That was my legacy thus far. Thankfully, however, God was not laughing with me or ignoring me.
If you listened to the world, you’d come to the conclusion that the earth was made through a big, random explosions and through the course of time, organisms slowly evolved into all that we see before us. Random, dumb luck is the reason you and me are breathing oxygen this very moment. And if everything happened by luck, then there can’t really be any true meaning to life – only subjective meaning created in each individual rather than objective, global meaning applied to every human by a higher power.
Prayer is an amazing act. It is literally a conversation with God where we can pour our hearts out to him, thank him, intercede for others, and listen to what God is saying to us through the impressions the Holy Spirit places on our hearts and minds.
I met Michael while working at a Christian drug rehab center in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a coworker of mine, and he has one of those testimonies you’ll never forget. But there was one part of it that has especially stuck with me.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.-Hebrews 11:3
There is a common desire in people for a plot. Everyone seeks to find the rhythm to the pages their life is written upon. We all seek to understand the themes of life, whose who in the character list, and what part are we to play in the show unfolding before us.
5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. – 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Agreeing on one definition and explanation regarding the sovereignty of God is not going to happen amongst all Christians.
An Arminian and a Calvinist or a Charismatic Christian and Reformed Christian are simply not going to agree on the finer parts of theology, though we should all be united around the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is one biblical truth, but in our sinfulness and limited knowledge, humans will always struggle with grasping God’s Scriptures perfectly, especially when it comes to difficult doctrines like the sovereignty of God.
While agreeing on all the finer points of how God’s sovereignty actually operates is impossible amongst different theological camps, a slightly easier task should be agreeing on a right response to the sovereignty of God. While the Bible is certainly the place to look if you want to form doctrines and beliefs, it is also the place to look when we need to know how to live and actually serve God with our actions.
The Bible not only teaches us about the sovereignty of God and what it is, perhaps more importantly, it also teaches us how to rightly respond to God’s omnipotence.
So here are 4 of the most common ways to rightly and wrongly respond to the sovereignty of God.