God is sovereign – His right, authority, power, and position are unlimited and absolute; we need to be in the right position to see His sovereignty, worship God for His sovereignty, and fulfill our responsibility as believers in Christ.
It is crucial for us as men and as God-men to see a vision of God’s sovereignty and have a clear view and proper understanding of His sovereignty.
On the one hand, God has mercy on whomever He wills to have mercy – He even chose Jacob, a supplanter and usurper of men, and He revealed Himself to this one, showing him a vision of Bethel, the house of God.
On the other hand, we need to seek the Lord, fulfilling our responsibility as vessels of mercy unto honor, so that we may have a clear sky and an open heavens to be one with the Lord. God’s sovereignty has nothing to do with us – and it also has everything to do with us.
When God decides to do something and accomplish something, He will do it – for no other reason except that He wants to do it. He raises kings, and He allows nations to be destroyed. He saves His people from the hands of the enemy, and at other times He allows the enemy to take His people into captivity and burn the temple and the house of God.
He saves His people from dangers and persecution, but at other times He allows them to pass through fire – as He allowed Daniel’s three friends to be in the fiery furnace.
All things were created by Him and for His will; He made from one every nation of men to dwell on earth, determining beforehand their appointed seasons and the boundaries of their dwelling (see Acts 17:26).
He is worthy – He is our Lord and God – to receive glory and honor and power, for He has created all things, and because of His will they were and were created (Rev. 4:11).
As the sovereign One, God is above everything, behind everything, and in everything; we need to have a clear view and proper understanding of His sovereignty, realizing that God is sovereign not only in our personal life but also in the world situation and in the whole universe.
Changing our Position and Angle from Ourselves to God to Recognize His Sovereignty
In the book of Lamentations Jeremiah laments over the situation and condition of God’s people; he appeals to God according to his environment and condition, and he called out to God.
In Lam. 5:1-18 Jeremiah spoke according to his own situation, but then suddenly in v. 19 he says, You, O Jehovah, abide forever; Your throne is from generation to generation. Suddenly, in v. 19 he changed his position and angle from himself to God, and he referred to God’s eternal being and His unchanging and eternal government.
On the one hand Jerusalem was overthrown, the temple was burned down, and God’s people were in captivity, but on the other, Jehovah, the Lord of the universe, remains to exercise His administration.
We need to have a change in our position and angle from ourselves to God, and we will recognize His eternal being and His eternal and unchanging government, knowing His sovereignty over all things.
God is on the throne, looking down from the heavens; under His sovereignty, many nations such as Babylon, Assyria, Medo-Persia, the Roman Empire, the Greek Empire, etc which once were prevailing – now no longer exist. Only Jehovah abides forever.
When we see God and His person, authority, and administration, we will praise God. God’s lovingkindness and compassions – which are new every morning – can fluctuate, but God’s person and His government remain forever unchanging!
For eternity, in the New Jerusalem, God will be fully unveiled in His person as the eternal King with His eternal and unshakable kingdom (Heb. 12:28; Rev. 22:3).
When we change our position and angle from looking at ourselves and our situation to looking to God and seeing His person, His authority, and His administration, we will praise the Lord!
When we go through difficult things and He saves us – or He doesn’t save us from them, we will still serve Him and praise Him. Sometimes we pray and cry out to God, but our situation is not changed; we then learn to know Him as the I AM, we know His sovereignty, and we worship Him for His sovereignty.
Jeremiah, unfortunately, did not get an answer to his challenging God concerning His people, because the real answer was in the remaining books of the Bible, especially in the New Testament.
Today we are in the consummate age, in the last age, and we can clearly see what God’s purpose and His economy is, and we can worship God for His sovereignty.
Today the throne of God is not only the throne of administration but also the throne of grace where we can come forward to receive mercy and find grace (Heb. 4:16); this throne will be the throne of judgment (Rev. 4:2), and eventually it will become the throne of the supply of eternal life, out of which proceeds the river of water of life.
When we turn to our spirit, we immediately see the throne set up in heaven, and on the throne the Lord rules and reigns in His sovereignty.
Lord, we want to have a change in our position and angle from ourselves to God to see His eternal and unchanging government. Praise the Lord, God is on the throne: He is the Lord of the universe, and He exercises His administration! Lord, we want to turn to our spirit and just be in spirit, so that we may have the realization of God’s sovereignty over all things and in all things. May our view be uplifted from earth to heaven, and may we be in spirit and live in spirit, worshipping God for His sovereignty!
We need to Worship God for His Sovereignty and Carry out our Responsibility Today
In the book of Revelation we see a clear vision of God’s administration; this book unveils the throne of God for the divine administration throughout the universe (see Rev. 4:2; 5:1; 6:16; 7:9; 8:3; 21:5). When we turn to our spirit, we will see the throne set up in heaven.
Even such things as famine, war, and death are all under God’s sovereignty working among men so that the gospel would be preached and people would repent, believe, grow in life, and be built up as the Body of Christ.
God is sovereign, and we as His creatures cannot challenge His sovereignty.
In Exodus, for example, when Moses came to Pharaoh to convey to him the message of God to let His people go, first Pharaoh hardened his heart, and then Jehovah hardened his heart.
Some may argue why did God harden his heart, so Paul in Rom. 9:20 appealed to God’s sovereignty; as the Creator, God has the sovereign authority to do whatever He wants, and we can’t argue with Him.
We need to realize that we are clay and He’s the potter; God has the authority, out of the same lump, to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor – He has the right to make vessels of wrath to manifest His glory as well as vessels of mercy unto honor (Rom. 9:22-23).
We as believers in Christ are vessels of mercy and of honor unto glory; however, this is not of us – it’s not because of our willing, seeking, and running, but because of God’s mercy to us (Rom. 9:16). It is only because of God’s sovereignty that we are able to be vessels of mercy.
We can’t explain why God willed to show mercy to us; all we can say is that, according to His will, the mercy of God has been extended to us. What we need to do is realize and clearly see God’s sovereignty, worship Him for it, and fulfill our responsibility.
On the one hand God is sovereign and we worship Him for His sovereignty; on the other hand, His sovereignty doesn’t contradict our free will.
Rather, we need to exercise our will and spirit to choose God, contact God, enjoy God, and seek God, and at the same time we need to humble ourselves under God’s sovereignty and spontaneously take up our responsibility.
If we are indifferent toward the Lord, we may not fulfill our responsibility; but if we are zealous in pursuing the Lord, we need to be careful not to boast of our spiritual seeking, for it is the Lord’s sovereignty.
We need to not allow anything negative develop in us toward the Lord, otherwise the Lord may allow it to develop and grow, and it may be a serious issue. We need to come to the Lord again and again and let His light shine, and we need to remain in fellowship with the saints in the Body so that the Lord may have the freedom to expose our problem and shortcomings.
How we need to worship God for His sovereignty and thank Him for His mercy! Amen! And how we need to carry out our responsibility, keeping any negative things from arising between us and the Lord, and cooperating with the Lord to be vessels of mercy and honor unto His glory!
Lord, we worship You for Your sovereignty. Thank You for having mercy on us to save us, regenerate us, and bring us in the church life. Oh Lord, it is not because of our willing, running, or zeal that we are here as vessels of mercy – it is all because of Your sovereignty. Thank You for Your mercy. We worship You for Your sovereignty. We want to carry out our responsibility, exercising our free will to choose You and seek after You, realizing that it is Your mercy and sovereignty that we are vessels of mercy and honor unto glory!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by the brothers for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Exodus, msg. 21 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Special Fellowship concerning the World Situation and the Lord’s Move, msg. 2 (week 2), God’s Sovereignty, the Divine History within the Human History, and the World Situation and God’s Move to Spread His Recovery.
- Hymns on this topic:
# By His mercy, we’re selected, / Ours a glorious destiny. / Not by running, nor by willing, / But through God’s own sovereignty. / Once we were wild olive branches, / Now the root and fat partake, / Grafted in, rejoice together, / Growing for the kingdom’s sake. (Hymns #1203)
# Long as I live my song shall tell / The wonders of His dying love; / And when at last I go to dwell / With Him His sovereign grace to prove, / My joy shall be / His face to see, / And bowing there with loud acclaim / I’ll praise Him—Blessed be His name! (Hymns #156)
# Hidden behind every scene, / Lovingly, sweetly operating, / One who is sovereign and wise, / Patiently guides even our eyes. / Look at My Son, the Beloved, / Sitting here at My right hand. / Jesus is King, yet He’s bound, / He cannot move until His people / give Him ground. (Song on God’s sovereignty and our cooperation)