God’s Sovereignty is one of those subjects everyone has had trouble with. It’s a reality that only a spiritual man can truly receive and accept, and that is with a concerted effort of choosing. In essence, sovereignty is about absolute Lordship. If you want to know if you have accepted God’s sovereignty, go watch the news for a few minutes and see if your blood pressure rises. This isn’t the only place we struggle with sovereignty but for me it is a real quick barometer. If our God is sovereign, and no man holds governmental office outside of Him placing them in that seat, then I have to do a great work of surrender as I watch those officials do the most ungodly things.
Thanks and Sovereignty
Today I am going to give you the key to accepting God’s sovereignty—THANKS. And with that key we can open a lock in our lives to experience true hope, joy, and contentment. But it doesn’t come without much work, and that work is a choice. This work will be some of the hardest work we will have to do. It is one thing to have to deal with forgiveness – forgiving is hard enough – but it is quite another to embrace sovereignty. Sovereignty is where the rubber meets the road. And as I have said before on this blog, God is either totally sovereign or He isn’t sovereign at all. It is an all or nothing proposition and this is hard to swallow.
Giving thanks is a key that opens the door to accepting God’s sovereignty. But I’m not talking about general thanks, like thanking Him for a wife and children, or for a job. I am speaking of a specific issuing of thanks, which thanks God in everything. For instance, thanking God for that political opponent whose winning a hotly contested seat will throw your state into chaos. Or thanking God for that abusive parent whose abuse set an engram in your soul that you can’t seem to overcome. Yes, our acceptance of sovereignty includes thanking God for things that cross our will. The things we really don’t like. The areas where we think we know better. Even the tragedies that wound us deepest. Again, God is totally sovereign, or not sovereign at all.
Without Thanks Life Ends
I can tell you, more often than not, the end of spiritual growth usually rests where we refuse to believe or accept the sovereignty of God. When I declare Him not sovereign in an area, then I am saying He is not Lord. And if God is not Lord, He is not MY Lord! This is a life or death issue and thanks is the key.
Now, I am not talking about giving thanks with glee. I am not saying you have to have a feeling of overwhelming joy. I am saying we have to exercise thanks as an act of surrender and worship.
An Example of Thanks and Sovereignty
For instance, one day Martha was in the kitchen fixing lunch. She received a phone call and I watched her smile morph into horror. She had just received the news that her daughter-in-law had been in a major car accident. Martha hung up the phone in tears. I immediately went over and asked her what happened. By the time that she had gotten the news out to me the phone rang again. Her daughter-in-law didn’t make it; she had been pronounced dead at the scene. The next few minutes have impacted my whole life. Martha collapsed to the floor and through sobs proclaimed, “I don’t understand but I thank you Father, YOU ARE GOD!” I had never seen anything like this but I knew it would radically affect my life.
Giving thanks for the things we don’t like becomes a proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is a determination that He is sovereign and He is Lord. There is no more powerful thing to proclaim to our soul than, “No matter what the circumstance looks like, I will believe in Him who is on the Throne!” This is the thanks I am describing here. And this is the gratitude that opens the door to our accepting and embracing God’s sovereignty.
Experiencing True Life with Thanks and Sovereignty
The result of this interaction is exactly what I have stated above: true hope, joy, and contentment. We live in torment when we don’t believe that God is sovereign. We are vulnerable to the world’s chaos and we are, quite frankly, not safe. Talk about scaring sheep! It is frightening when we are left hanging in the wind and our peace is destroyed. But thanking God in all things proclaims His Lordship to your world. It is a choice to trust Him, because He is trustworthy.
There is no greater contentment than to know you are safe in the hands of an All-powerful God. No, there may not be understanding in the moment but there is hope when you know your destiny is intact. There is joy and peace to know Jesus is ruling over it all, even the evil of man. Again, you may not understand but giving thanks abandons self to find your life, rather than saving self and losing it.