The question of ‘Sovereignty’; whether God is ‘really in charge’, is a really interesting one, and raises all kinds of questions: some of them comforting; some of them awkward; many of them unanswerable; and just about all of them questions that people have been asking for centuries.
It touches on the concepts of ‘Theodicy’ (If God is all-loving, and all-powerful, why does He allow suffering?) and human free-will; predestination; future-fluidity (is the future fixed?); and many other ideas too.
Of course, I can’t answer those questions; no-one can. As I have mentioned in a previous article, Life’s Big Questions are only answered over the space of years; lifetimes even. But every so often, something comes up that sheds just another smidgen of truth; a piece of the jigsaw if you will, that puts into our hearts just another small insight to add to those already there.
Here is just such an item: a short essay by Ken Nichols, whose work I have published on this blog several times.
When you view God’s “sovereignty” as meaning CONTROL, then you miss the whole point and run into all these “conflicts” with man’s free will.
Sovereignty doesn’t mean God CONTROLS everything. It means He has a plan that will ultimately come to pass. He doesn’t HAVE to control it for that to happen.
It’s like shooting an arrow at a target. If you are a good archer, you know once you’ve released the arrow, that it WILL hit the target, though it may take time to get there. You don’t have to course adjust and control it while it’s on the way there.
That is how it is with the plan of God for the universe. He “released” the plan long ago. It’s on it’s way to it’s completion (target). He doesn’t have to micro-manage and course-adjust in order to make sure it gets there. Because He’s the BEST archer that ever was, and never will He ever “miss the mark” (sin).
We, on the other hand, LIVE for micro-managing, and can’t see how God could NOT, while looking through our lens of the desire to control events, need or want to control every element of His creation, either now or at some point in the future. Us, who OFTEN “miss the mark” (sin), do not grasp a God who never can.
Once set in motion, it will come to completion. And all without the violation of any man’s free will.
THAT’S God’s sovereignty.
– Ken Nichols, used with his kind permission
|Hence the header picture being one of a jigsaw with several pieces missing.