The Key to Accepting Sovereignty is Thanks

The Key to Accepting Sovereignty is Thanks

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

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

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

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.

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    • Rachel

      Amen, John! I very much agree!

      Colossians 3:17 (NASB) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks THROUGH HIM to God the Father. (Emphasis mine)

      1Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB) In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you IN CHRIST JESUS. (Emphasis mine)

      I love these verses because they show me that I can CHOOSE to walk in Jesus’ thankfulness and I don’t need to dredge it up from myself (like you said).
      God has shown me (in not an EXTREMELY hard situation, though it looked hard at the time) that there is an extra measure of grace poured out when we thank Him in all things.

      I’m thanking God for giving this to you to share! 🙂

      • shulamite

        Oh that is so good. Yes, I believe grace does embrace us when we choose to thank God in situations. Without gratitude it is too easy to become bitter. Bless you Rachael!

    • Mary Baker

      I Thess 5:18 I have always felt was God’s prescription for all we face in life. You have described this practically and very well.

      • shulamite

        Thank you Mary, I am pleased it blessed you. Monday’s post is going to be really good on this subject as well. I hope you will check back. It is called If God is Sovereign, What’s the Purpose of Prayer?”

    • William

      I thought God’s sovereignty was Him bringing His will to pass in spite of man’s actions. For instance, the people may elect a certain individual to an office. It may not have been God’s choice, but He will still accomplish His will in spite of the people’s choice. That does Not mean He placed them there. It just means He will still use the situation to accomplish His will. Satan is the God of this world and politics and earthly government are part of the worldly system. However, because God is Sovereign, He will use everything the devil meant for harm and chaos to still effect His plans and purposes. That is Sovereignity!

      • shulamite

        Thanks for responding William! Actually this isn’t sovereignty at all. As I say in the post, God’s sovereignty is either total and absolute or He isn’t sovereign at all. I appreciate your position but it misses the mark. Have you read Martha Kilpatrick booklet God’s Sovereignty or her book All and Only? I think they would be a balm to you! Bless you William!

    • Debbie kochergen

      What a blessing this article is right now in my life! Thank you

      • shulamite

        Thank you so much Debbie, so pleased to hear it spoke to you! It was just what I needed to hear as well.

    • Carol

      Thank you John! I just finished reading Martha’s booklet “God Sovereignty” and this blog was such a great follow-up to that. Not that you intended it to be but I think God intended it to be for me 🙂

      • shulamite

        What a perfect combo! I look forward to hear what you get out of Monday’s post. It will be up early for you to enjoy. It is called “If God is Sovereign, What’s the Purpose of Prayer?” I was answering a comment on Facebook. Love and blessings to you.

    • Wanda

      Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks ALWAYS FOR ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I love the always and the for and the all. I remember when I first read that and said “Really, Lord?, for all things?” His reply. “That’s what it says.” I’ve always been a literalist when it comes to the Word of God. If it says it, then that’s what it is. Love you

      • shulamite

        Thank you so much Wanda! That scripture is perfect isn’t it. All things is all thing huh?!
        Love you big!

    • Paul Spuler

      I love this John: “I am saying we have to exercise thanks as an act of surrender and worship.” This series on Sovereignty has been just outstanding! Thank you so much!!

      • shulamite

        Bless you Paul, thank you for your prodding me to explore this subject further. It has been a joy for me! Love you man!

    • Jolie

      I love this word !!! Thank you John.

      • shulamite

        Oh it is so great to hear from you Jolie! We’ve missed you! Thank you for the encouragement. Check out today’s post too. God seems to be doing a series. Hope we will see you soon! Big love!

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