I am glad that God is in control of things—aren’t you? The psalmist said: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalms 37:23). We make our plans as best we know how, and yet God ultimately superintends our lives. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Without realizing it, I scheduled myself to be at two churches the same week. I know what your are thinking, and you’re right—I am getting old! Four days before the meetings, I realized my mistake. As we scrambled to try to figure out what to do, I sensed that God was working everything out according to His perfect plan. Within a few hours, four different pastors agreed to move their dates around so as to accommodate my blunder. I went ahead and preached the one revival that was scheduled and God blessed with over ninety first-time visitors in the service on Sunday morning. Many were saved that day, and I sensed that God had been in control. When I finally was able to preach the “other” week of meetings, I was concerned that people might be disappointed that the revival had been postponed for over a month. As we started the week, however, just the opposite was true.
The people were eagerly anticipating what God was going to do and the building was packed each service. The pastor had graciously led the people to use the extra month to prepare more diligently, and it was obvious that God was again in control. Halfway through the meeting I stopped counting the number of people who came up to me and said: “You were delayed because of me. Had you come during the original week, I would have been out of town on business. Tonight, God spoke to my heart and changed my life.” One adult Sunday school teacher told me that he had planned to use the week before the meetings to teach on revival, but because the meetings were delayed, he ended up teaching for four Sundays on the subject! As a result, he said: “God has done a great work in our class before you even arrived!”
As I pondered these events, I thought of Romans 8:28 where it says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God again assured me from His Word that His way is always better than ours and He can even use our mistakes to accomplish His purpose.
I am thankful for the confidence, the completeness, the character, and the condition of God’s sovereignty. Our confidence is not in ourselves, but in Him, “His work is perfect” (Deuteronomy 32:4). God’s will according to Romans 12:2 is “…good and acceptable and perfect.” Our lives are in His hand and there is no greater place of safety and blessing. “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even forever” (Psalm 125:2).
Not only can we put our confidence in God’s sovereignty, but we can also trust the completeness of His sovereignty. “We know that all things…” not just the big and important things—but all things work together. Paul reminds us to, “Be careful for nothing” (Philippians 4:6)! We can trust God to know what is best for every area of our lives whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. No wonder Solomon instructs us: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
But the great thing about God’s sovereignty is seen in the simple words “…for good…” in Romans 8:28. During times of trial and difficulty we can’t always see the good, but the character of God’s sovereignty assures us that whatever we are going through, it will ultimately be for our good. How many times have you realized after the “cloud” in your life, that the cloud gave some rain that produced growth for God’s glory. Nahum 1:7 declares, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
While the confidence and the completeness and the character of God’s sovereignty brings great assurance to our lives, we must also not neglect the condition. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God declares in Proverbs 13:15 that “the way of the transgressors is hard.” Saul of Tarsus found out that it was “hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 9:5).
When I saw how graciously God worked everything out in spite of my mistake, I was challenged to love Him more. I would hate to think of the mess I could create trying to live my life without Him. Do you love God today? Are you living your life according to His will? God has a plan—trust Him! What a great example Job is in the Word of God. In the midst of trials and uncertainty, he said, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him” (Job 23:10,11,14). Let Him guide your steps today. You won’t be disappointed.