Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Sovereignty of God and Walking in Peace

I have a saying, “The joy of the Lord is your MORAL strength”

I contend that if you are delighting in God, then you will have power to walk in purity, and you will have a testimony of “righteousness, peace and joy” to share. Does not all gossip and sins of the tongue come from a lack of peace and joy? Therefore, in discipling people, the number one topic is how to remain undisturbed. For many, this skill is called anger management for some it is just living stress-free in order to be a powerful witness. In learning the skill of living stress free, I think one must be a biblically high view of the sovereignty of God.

Traditionally a lower view of God's sovereignty has been called Arminianism. As a pastor, I see the spiritual ramifications of such beliefs quite often, and, in discipleship, a high view of God's sovereignty is essential. Such a lower view of sovereignty might go as follows.
We are called to participate in the Kingdom by fighting against sin and satan. God has delegated the war to us, and we are to fight. If we are losing the fight, it is because we are not fighting or believing hard enough or consistent enough. Basically, the onus is on our commitment to or zeal in fighting. This worldview produces a certain response to adverse circumstances.

A believer with a deep sense of God's sovereignty will approach such a problem quite differently. We would agree that we participate in the kingdom and in the work of Christ on earth. We agree that there is a fight, but we fight by giving the outcomes of al our labors to God. We ceasing all fighting and peacefully and joyfully accept the results as from the hand of God through faith. The difference in the two worldviews is how we respond to adversity and unpleasant outcomes. The arminian fights; the Biblical faith accepts and continues to do the work leaving the outcomes to God.

An Example
The foundation of this peaceful labor is a high view of the sovereignty of God. For example, let’s say I am working hard at my job and I am not given that promotion. The more Arminian believer says this is warfare; I need to have faith. The outcome God wants is my good, and I need to fight for this good. The believer with a lower understanding of God's sovereignty fights against the daily outcomes of life.

In the same scenario, the biblical faith says, "God is good. I accept this set back with patience. All your works are wonderful. This circumstance too is perfect." Upon reflection, the biblical faith is far more prone to say, "In fact, Lord, You are teaching me that I have [such and such] character defect. Thank you for your pruning, and Your jealousy for my sanctification. I love you Lord".

Here is a great key to living the blessed life. We are all equally called to be zealous for the kingdom. We are all equally called to exercise means to build up the church and do the work of Christ on the earth but do you accept as from God’s hand those outcomes that you cannot control.

Next...accepting people and living in peace.

God Bless,


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