Sunday, November 30, 2008

God's Involvement with Mankind....

I've been pondering the meaning of sovereignty and how it relates to God. The word "sovereignty" is not in the Bible anywhere. In fact, only the word "sovereign" is used in the NIV addressing God as "Sovereign Lord" where other translations say "Lord Most High".
Now, I am not questioning that He is Sovereign. In fact, I believe that He is still on His throne, an unshakable throne. It's more a question of application. There are some streams that say that we don't really need to pray because God's will is going to be done regardless. They even take it to the extreme that they won't vote on election day since God is going to put His person in authority anyway, so it doesn't matter. They also explain every bad thing that happens as "God's will". Many in this stream believe that God has predestined those who will go to heaven, so evangelism and missions are "useless". On the opposite side, there are those who believe that God's will can be changed by prayer, fasting and our free will, and that while God is sovereign, He allows humans to make choices. All choices have consequences, some good, some bad, but consequences nonetheless. Both sides have scriptural support. And this is the dilemma. God is not divided, so there has to be someway to reconcile God's sovereignty with our free will.
I don't really know the answer, so I"m sure that this will be an ongoing journey.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines sovereignty as:

sov·er·eign·ty           Listen to the pronunciation of sovereignty
1obsolete : supreme excellence or an example of it
2 a: supreme power especially over a body politic b: freedom from external control : autonomy c: controlling influence
: one that is sovereign ; especially : an autonomous state

Sovereign is further defined as "one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere [or] an acknowledged leader"

I love that God is "free from external control". This means that nothing can change the fact that He is still on His throne! The economic "woes" of this country have not surprised Him. The results of the election did not surprise Him. He is not moved by the tides of "change" in our world. But, and I do mean "BUT", I believe with all my heart that God's heart is 100% toward people, not just His people, but EVERY single person on this planet. And I believe that when His people pray, He is moved with compassion and stretches out His hand in love and mercy, and that He will turn away from His wrath. I believe His mercy trumps His judgment, but He always remains just, which is a mystery.

So I pose this question to you....what are your thoughts?

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