God Is Sovereign

I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD,
who does all these things. “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it. Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Isaiah 45:7-9
The idea of sovereignty terrifies us, as it should, when we imagine supreme authority in the hands of evil rulers or even imperfect ones. In None Like Him, Jen Wilkin writes that ‘the idea of God’s infinite rule is not only difficult to grasp, it is difficult to trust, unless we have first spent time considering other aspects of his nature.’ When we consider all God is—omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, infinite, holy, merciful, loving, just, unchanging—we find rest and hope in his sovereignty.
There’s a friend I’ve loved since I was a little girl. She’s a beautiful person, tenderhearted, who cares deeply for people, a hard worker who serves others, and a deep thinker who asks challenging questions. She doesn’t believe in God, and over the years, we’ve had open and sometimes hard conversations about matters of faith. What the other person thinks matters to each of us, and during one conversation, she asked me if I really held to the belief that we are eternal beings and that without Jesus we are destined for unending misery. Boiled down, she was asking me: ‘If I don’t believe in Jesus, do you really think I’m going to hell?’
I hate this question, and I think I know why. It’s misdirected. It isn’t a question for me. It isn’t a question for Christians. It isn’t a question for any human being. This question, at its core, is a prayer. It makes no sense to ask it of anyone but God. What I think, or what any of us thinks, about the eternal destination of any person’s soul including our own, holds no power. What matters is what God ordains. God alone holds supreme authority over all creation, time, and space. God alone is sovereign.
In Milton’s Paradise Lost, the angel Abdiel asks:
Shalt thou give law to God, shalt thou dispute
With him the points of liberty, who made
Thee what thou art, and formed the pow’rs of heav’n
Such as he pleased, and circumscribed their being?
Who dares tell God what to do when it is God who formed us and spoke the entire universe into existence? Does the clay pot question or criticize the one who makes it?
‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us’ (2 Corinthians 4:7).
It is such a fitting analogy. Our bodies, after all, are made of dust and will return to dust when we die. Without God, we are no more alive than a clay pot. Our Sovereign God is a master sculptor. We may be like clay pots, but God has crafted us in his image, breathed into us the breath of life, redeemed us in Jesus, and regenerated us by the Holy Spirit. And God does not leave us empty, but fills us with “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” this treasure in jars of clay.
Questions for Reflection:

  1. In what areas of your life do you struggle to give God supreme authority? Could you trust him more in any of the following areas: changing circumstances, your health or the health of someone you love, your finances and possessions, your relationships?
  2. As you rest in the sovereignty of God, make a list of all his other attributes. Spend time in prayer, praising God for the humbling and freeing truth of his supreme authority over all.
Rebecca Janni | Author

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