“You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies—though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet His beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.”
Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence
That little quote about melted my face, because I’ve never read a more vivid description of how I typically deal with the Sovereignty of God in my life. I had wanted to write about how 2015 seems to be starting out as the Year of Sovereignty, but within moments I realized just how ridiculous that was. It’s ALWAYS about God’s Sovereignty! The Sovereignty of God is at the root of every struggle I have ever had and ever will have.
John’s post yesterday so perfectly clarified the paradox of salvation by highlighting the inescapable role of a Sovereign God in granting it. We may be able to fool the world with pretty talk and outlandish declarations of repentance and love, but God is Sovereign. A Sovereign God sees the true heart condition and responds to that.
I’ve written about my salvation experience many times, but John hit the very heart of my madness: “If I could tell [God] when, where, and how I am saved, then guess what? I’m God.” And who would respect, let alone bow down to, a god that answered to them? A bloodless gospel is likely the result of so many bloodless “salvations.” No, my salvation required my first complete surrender to the Living, Sovereign God.
I bargained and reasoned and railed and pleaded and raged and accused and cajoled and nothing changed. As long as I insisted on dictating the terms of my salvation, I remained the same—unredeemed, unchanged, and unsurprisingly, terrified. There’s no scarier world than the one in which I may yet prevail over God. God’s Sovereignty cannot be, will not be denied.
Salvation was just the beginning. My every waking moment can be tied in some way to either embracing or resisting the immovable truth that God is GOD. And I see this in every life around me. John has written on this out of the reality of his own life for weeks. Martha revealed that Sovereign Hand at work in her life in the most personal, intricate ways. And Carole had a powerful revelation of God’s transcendence within His complete Sovereignty.
This is the ever-present issue of the life of a disciple. We will never move past it, mature out of it, or be done with it while we draw breath. Embracing the sovereign move of God over every part of my life is the heart of my journey. And meeting Him in those places is the adventure that no one else but me will ever truly know!
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.
Proverbs 14:27 NKJV