The Will of God: Sovereignty and Surrender

This past Sunday, we heard a great message on the sovereignty of God, and God has been dealing with more of my misconceptions about my walk with Him. To be honest, as badly as I want to be strong in these areas, I’m actually quite weak, though I’m sure that’s no surprise to those of you who are around me!

Take a verse like this:

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”  (Proverbs 16:9)

Really?

In my head, I know that God is sovereign and establishes my steps, but I live my life as if it weren’t true. Instead, I live my life with “what-ifs”. What if…

  • …I miss the call of God on my life?
  • …I don’t reach the bar that I set for myself?
  • …my choices and decisions keep God from moving through me?
  • …this is my own opinion and isn’t the voice of God in my life?
  • …this is only an empty work of the flesh and not a work of the spirit of God?
  • …I step out in something and fail because I didn’t have enough information, knowledge, or teaching?

We have a word for this in our language. It’s called fear.

It has other names, too. It’s called a prison. It’s called a shackle. It’s called a weight. It’s called a burden.

It’s also unbelief, and it’s sin.

Jesus died to save me, and He has invested too much in my life to let His life within me be wasted.

God opens and closes doors. If He closes a door, the worst thing that can happen is that I bang my nose on the door because I’m trying to sneak past.

The Holy Spirit is my teacher. Man might be lazy or incompetent, but God isn’t. I can trust the Holy Spirit to teach me before, during, or after whatever situation I find myself in. I can trust Him to teach me everything I need to know at the time that is best.

The spirit of God is joined to my spirit, and the desires of the righteous man are only good. This means that as I walk with Him, I can do what I want because my desires are joined with God’s desires. Obviously, not all desires are God’s desires, and some are very clearly of the devil. I should never go out and kill someone, but that desire only gains entrance because of sin. What makes me think that the spirit of God within me would even allow me to do that?

Here’s the way I see it. Our lives are like a train running on invisible tracks that God laid before we were born. Psalm 139 says that all our days were written in His book. We can’t see where the tracks lead, but we need to trust that God laid them where He wants them. We can sit on the tracks and try to figure out the best route to go, or we can provide the forward motion and go where God takes us. Of course, we can make decisions that will derail us, but our walk with God will keep us on the tracks. In short, it seems to me we must live our lives in full-speed surrender.

Jesus laid out very clearly:

  • “Ask, and it will be given to you.” Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t try to get it for yourself. Just ask. Jesus is the one who gives it.
  • “Seek, and you will find.” Jesus assumes that we don’t know where to go, but we look, we explore, we seek out. Jesus is the one who reveals it.
  • “Knock, and it will be opened to you.” Doors are all around you. Knock on them. Jesus is the one who will open those doors for you.

Ask. Seek. Knock.

It’s much more nebulous and vague and indefinite than we’d like for it to be, but it throws us back on a dependence on the sovereignty of God. Just keep yourself pure and undefiled before God as you press forward, but try things and explore. God will lead and direct you. The tracks that are in front of you may be invisible, but they are no less real. They may seem unsafe, but you can trust the One who laid them.

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