OUR SOVEREIGN GOD
Ephesians 1:17-23 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.
1. GOD WANTS US TO BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND HOW GREAT HE IS!
– Ephesians 1:18-19 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
– The eyes of our hearts need to be enlightened.
– We can see things with our eyes, but there is another dimension!
– We can also ‘see things with our hearts’.
– Seeing things with our eyes simply takes looking, but seeing things with our hearts takes revelation.
– Some things we can understand simply by applying rational knowledge and thought.
– Others need to come through the eyes of our heart being enlightened.
– We can have an open mind but a blinded heart.
– Perhaps this was what Thomas of the New Testament suffered with. He could only believe things that he could see with his physical eyes and things he could touch with his physical hands.
– Earthly wisdom is something to be desired and pursued, but Heavenly wisdom is another dimension that God wants us to experience.
– God wants to illuminate and bring to light aspects of His character and heart that we could never have begun to conceive or fully understand.
– We serve a great God and His greatness is such that it would ‘blow our minds’ if we could catch a glimpse of it with the eyes of our hearts.
– Only then will we understand what the ‘hope of His calling’ is, what the ‘riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints’ is and what ‘the surpassing greatness of His power towards us who believe’ is!
2. HIS ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY
– Absolute Sovereignty – His rule and authority is not restricted by anything.
– A country may have sovereignty within its constitution. But God has absolute sovereignty!
– Mankind cannot grasp this concept.
– The subject of sovereignty is controversial and the concept of absolute sovereignty even more so.
– It is a fact that this concept, from the moment when it was introduced until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon.
– This is because it is a concept that is difficult for us to understand.
– This is primarily due to the fact that no human being can ever actually enjoy such a thing.
– In one way or another we are subject to many constraints.
– Parents may think they have sovereignty in how they raise their children, but they don’t.
– The Municipality may think it has sovereignty in local matters, but it does not.
– God, on the other hand, knows no such constraints.
– God has unlimited and unrestricted power.
– He enjoys independent authority.
– He has the right to rule and reign over His creation.
3. HIS SOVEREIGNTY IS BASED ON THREE FOUNDATIONS:
1. He is all-knowing
– If there was an iota of knowledge that God did not have, He would not be sovereign.
– If something could take place without His knowledge, He would not be sovereign.
– But we know that He knows ALL things and nothing is hidden from His sight.
2. He is all-powerful
– If there is something that God could do nothing about, He would not be sovereign.
– If there was something too great for God to handle, He would not be sovereign.
– But we know that nothing is too difficult for God.
3. He is utterly free
– Nothing and no one can hinder God from what He wills or desires to do.
– He can do just as He pleases now and for eternity.
– He does not need the permission of anyone to act.
– He is free to carry out His eternal plans.
– In His sovereignty He has given to mankind the gift of a free will.
– It can be compared to a great ship on a great ocean. The direction and speed of the ship is set by a higher authority. It knows where it is going and it is going to get there. But on board this ship we have freedom to choose how we will live and what we will do. We can do nothing to get this ship to change course. We can only hope that we will live in such a way that when this ship finally reaches the destination that we have made the right choices and that we will not be found wanting.
– In His hand is the soul of every living thing.
– Psalm 31:15 ‘My times are in Your hands!’
– This is a picture of the sovereignty of God.
– Ephesians 1:21 Far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
4. WE NEED A REVELATION OF THIS GREAT FACT
– We need a revelation of this to be able to begin to grasp what it means.
– The Prophet Daniel had such a revelation and we can see it in the things he said.
– Daniel 2:20-23 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.”
– We need more than just ‘lumen siccum’ but ‘lumen madidum’.
– ‘Lumen Siccum’ speaks of basic ‘dry illumination’ but ‘Lumen Madidum’ speaks of an illumination that is heavy or drenched and soaked with understanding – revelation!
– Knowledge calls for movement of the mind but revelation calls for movement of the heart.
– I pray that your heart will be moved, that there will be a movement within your own heart and that as a result you will begin to see God in a different light, and in a new dimension.
– I pray that He will come and melt away every resistance to such revelation.
– I pray that He will captivate your heart with His greatness and sovereignty.
– May He come right now and breathe upon you and may your spirit be open and receptive to the things He wants you to know and understand.
5. HE FILLS EVERYTHING IN EVERY WAY
– There is another dimension to the sovereignty of God.
– He wants to come and fill everything in every way.
– Ephesians 1:23 ‘the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way!’
– The picture that this created in my mind has so inspired and filled me.
– The empty silo can be filled with grain.
– The empty honeycomb can be filled with honey.
– The empty vessel can be filled with the glory of God.
– The empty cistern can once again be filled with water.
– The place of darkness can be filled and flooded with light.
– The tank can once again be full.
– He fills the oceans with water.
– He fills the sky with stars.
– See Him filling you out of the infinite store of heaven.
– He will come and fill every space that we give Him.
– If you give Him the space of your life, He will come and fill it completely.
– If you will give Him your family, He will come and fill them.
– It speaks of overflowing abundance.
– You and I were designed to be filled.
– You and I were designed to be filled in every possible way.
– Not just a touch, or a taste only, but filled with everything in every way.
– Why would we settle for anything less?
– Why would you instead be filled with anger and sadness, frustration and stress?
– Let’s rid our lives of the garbage and let Him come in all His sovereignty and fill us completely with everything He has for us.
6. THE ONLY APPROPRIATE RESPONSE IS ONE OF SURRENDER
– Is it any wonder that the hymn writer wrote: ‘I surrender all, all to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all!’
– When we grasp what His sovereignty means we can rest in it.
– It can give us the complete confidence we so long to experience and enjoy.
– We can stop worrying and we can start enjoying the ride.
– We can receive His authority and drop the unbelief.
– Once this is established in our hearts we can realize that whoever is on God’s side is on the winning side and cannot lose and whoever is on the other side is on the losing side and cannot win. We can choose the side, but not the end result.
– That, my friends, is the sovereignty of God.
– In His sovereignty, God has determined that all who willingly commit themselves to His Son, Jesus Christ, will receive eternal life and become a son and a daughter of God.
– It’s as simple as that.
– Let our lives be an act of surrender to the One who knows all things, is all powerful and operates in complete freedom and yet wants to come and fill us in every way with everything!
Pastor Andrew W Roebert
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