Welcome back, everybody. Good to have you here. As we look at section session six, be OD. God is sovereign over any situation you might be in one of the most common set seasons of fear in our lives is when we feel like life is out of control. What that means of course, is that yeah, we feel life is out of, or control.
Things are not happening as we expect, or in a way that we anticipated or in a way that we, we feel will keep us. Safe and protected. We fear we can control because we expect to be able to control life and having money or physical health and energy, having some abilities or skills that we lean into contribute to the Mirage that we can thrive as Lords of our own lives.
If you’re a type a personality, um, you are used to. Dominating circumstances maybe at times, even people as a means of keeping control in life, but we all do it. Fear comes when we feel life is out of control for the child of God. There is another way to live because God, our father is on his throne, ruling all things with perfect wisdom and power.
We are invited to relinquish. Our attempts to run our world’s life can feel safe, even in circumstances that are chaotic and dangerous living the way he advocates the Bible declares to us that life is safe. Not because we can control it, be because someone already does beyond. God is sovereign over any situation you might be in the sovereignty of God.
I want to give a definition for it. Uh, the evening or this morning, whenever you happen to be watching God’s sovereignty means that God has Supreme authority and constant control over all things in the scriptures. The old Testament God is continually used by a title that is a direct reference to his sovereignty.
It is the word. God most high. That’s the word that’s used. The term that’s used the word sovereign of course means a Lord or a King. Um, but the sovereignty of God is not just God ruling. But God controlling. He can’t be ruling all things without controlling our things. Now, most people don’t have a problem.
When we say that God is ruling all things. It’s when we say God is controlling all the things that we, I start to struggle, but I appreciate it to statement that RC Sproll once said, and here’s what he said. If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose. Totally free of God’s sovereignty.
Then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled. I saw this once when I was visiting a woman in the hospital, she had gone in with a very serious infection and was actually facing pretty serious surgery. And as I talked with her visiting in the hospital, she was a wreck, a mess.
Not so much with her physical situation, but with her spiritual processing and in her own words, she said for my whole Christian life, I’ve, I’ve struggled with the idea of the sovereignty of God. And I find that, you know, I, I I’ve sort of come to the place where I I’m comfortable with saying God is ruling he’s Lord.
But that God has no part in any of the bad things of life suffering, evil, uh, uh, and, and God’s role is to rescue that he intervenes in those situations. So she had this view of God that, yes, he’s he’s ruling, but he’s not controlling, but here’s what happened to her. She said, but I’m a mess because I’m here in the hospital and now there’s the potential of all these.
Hard things coming to me. Um, the surgery can go wrong. The infection can spread. Uh, I can give in to total fear. And she said, if I believe God is totally outside of the control of, of circumstances and that he even is overseeing evil as well as the good, he is overseeing suffering as well as prosperity.
How can I pray? Because I can’t pray. I’ve already said, God, God, isn’t involved in that. So how can I pray? God, don’t let evil come because that implies that God can make that decision that he, but I’ve already said he has no part of those. And I think she was expressing what Sprole is saying that if there’s parts of life that are not under the sovereign reign of God, then we can’t be confident that he is reigning over anything.
He is either in control or life really is out of control. Now, what does it mean that he is in control? And I’d like to talk about five things that indicates, and then at the end, we’re going to give some, so what stole this? What does it mean that he’s in control? First of all, it means that he is in control of the whole cosmos in the big picture of things in job 38 to 42, God is talking to job.
And as he’s talking to him, uh, in one of the most magnificent passages of the scripture, if you want to be humbled in OD by God, just listen to how God, um, Gives Joe, but perspective of the different speeds between him and God. And he says, where were you? When I created the cosmos, he says in another passage, where were you?
When I laid out the boundaries of the ocean and said, this far, you may come and know father here is where your proud waves halt. He asks him, are you watching over? And he goes through a litany of, of animals. He says, are you watching over the mountain goat, the ostrich, the hippopotamus, the Raven, the lion I am.
And then he says, are you controlling the weather? He goes through all these things and says, I’m doing that. I’m doing that. I’m doing that. In Isaiah chapter 46, verse nine and 10, it says, God is quoted. And God says this. I am God. And there is no other, I am God. And there is no one like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times that, which is still to come.
I say, my purpose will stand and I will do all that. I please. Okay. Secondly, he’s in control of the big moments in our world. In Psalm 33, verse 10, the Lord foils the plans of the nations. He thwarts the purposes of the peoples, but the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations, he says his plan.
For the nations succeeds in acts 17 verse 24 says, God, who made the world and everything in it as the Lord of heaven and earth, this is the apostle Paul talking from one man. He made all the nations that they should inhabit the whole earth. And he marks out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
Never Condesa was a King that learned this firsthand Nebuchadnezzar was the King who was responsible for building the city of Babylon had just been a third rate, a city. He built into one to the, one of the majestic cities that the entire ancient. Uh, world, uh, he’s the one that built what is known as the hanging gardens of Babylon.
One of the seven ancient wonders of the Senate, seven wonders of the ancient world. And one day scripture records in the book of Daniel chapter four, never could Nezah this, this King that truly was one of the most powerful Kings of world history was looking out on Babylon and he was just, he was bragging and he says, this is not this babble that I have done.
And I have made by my own hand. And God, then humbled, Nebuchadnezzar. He took away his sanity. Uh, he actually had him, uh, uh, acting like a beast of the field, literally on all fours. And he lost his mind for a period of time. It apparently a number of months and. Eventually his sanity was restored and he recognized that this was the hand of God that had done this.
And here’s what he, Rick is recorded to have said Daniel chapter four, verse 34. Then I praised the most Thai again. Then I recognize the sovereignty, the bigness of God, I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion. His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing he does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him, what have you done? He’s in control of the big movements of the nations of the world. He’s in control of your enemies. There is no power that is brought against you, that God does not control.
It does not mean that everything, every wrong that is done against you has been caused by God, because God does not cause evil. God allows evil as a part of his. Sovereign purposes in your life. The book of Genesis, the story told of a young man named Joseph, whose brothers were his 10 older brothers who were all jealous of him because of his father’s attention.
And, and they heinously sold him into slavery as many of you know, the story, but the story of Joseph, then he goes down into Egypt and while he’s there, he sold there. And the, the home of the, the man and his wife that own him, the wife tries to, uh, sexually, uh, advance and give, brings some sexual advances to get him to sleep with her.
He refuses her and she and her in her scorned fury makes it, uh, false accusations. He gets thrown into jail for a couple of years and eventually. Many years later, his brothers and he come in contact again. And as he’s with this brother, is he sure it gives them and he makes this remarkable statement in the book of Genesis chapter, chapter 50.
He says this, you intended it for evil. But God intended it for good that even that which is being done against you today, if you are being mistreated, if you are being wronged, if you are being slandered or missed represented, God is bigger than Joseph’s brothers. Their action was used by a sovereign God for an amazing purpose for good.
It is true in our lives as well. It may be intended for evil. God intends it for good for us. He is in control of everything that comes into your life. God is not wasting experiences. He is always at work to build his kingdom and his people. This is the story of the book of Esther. I’m deliberately giving a few biblical stories today.
The story of the book of Esther is the story. Uh, it’s an amazing book because God’s name is not mentioned in the entire book. And yet it is a book that is full of God. God seems to it. Wasn’t the God forgot to put himself in the book. God is in the book from beginning to end, but it seems like he is deliberately not associating himself with one particular act.
Or one particular message, uh, as if that was the focus, because the entire message of the book of Esther is that God is sovereignly working in all of the circumstances that were going on, though. Many of them very mundane in order to accomplish the, the astonishing action. Of him, uh, delivering, rescuing the entire nation of Israel from a planned genocide, literally to wipe out the nation of Israel.
The book shows a hundred different circumstances, mundane stuff. Where God was using them. I mean, the King gets drunk at a banquet. It was a, it was a piece of the story. Uh, there’s a nationwide beauty pageant for a new queen because the queen rebuffs the, the, the, the Kings advances. There’s a young, unknown Jewish woman who becomes one of the wives of the Kings of Babylon.
Her older cousin happens to overhear a conversation just in the marketplace one day. The King one night has insomnia because he can’t sleep. He’s bored enough that he actually goes and reads the minutes of some of the, the court, um, uh, hearings that have taken place and, and something jumps out at the plate page off the page to him, dozens of other small events, seeming irrelevant, combined to provide the framework for the surprising.
Deliverance that God will bring all of these ordinary events, which form a set for me. Essential links in the chain are recorded for one reason when God seems silent, do not assume he is not at work. We love it when God is doing his red sea type of stuff. When he is, uh, when David slings, the, you know, does the Slingshot, when we see great evidences of God at work and in miraculous ways in our day, but he’s always at work that even when the events don’t seem to have his name attached to them, he is sovereignly working in the lives of his children.
And when you get to the end of the book of Esther, here’s what you say. Oh, I get it. I see, I see how this connected with this and this connected with this and this connected. But if you, so those dots, they seem completely irrelevant. Some of them bizarre, some of them utterly contrary to what and you think God could use.
And yet all of them were being woven together to accomplish God’s purpose. The fifth and last thing is he is using everything that comes into your life for his glory. And you’re good familiar verse in Romans eight 28. Some people get mad when they hear this. And I think there’s sensitivity when we, when somebody is going through really difficult waters, how we, but it is true.
Romans eight 28. And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. What is his purpose for his children? He continues for those God for knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son. God is using all circumstances in our lives to conform us to the nature and image and likeness of Jesus.
So what. So what difference does it make that God is sovereign in our individual lives? Three quick things. Number one is he can be trusted with whatever he asks. He’s big. He’s creative. I asked a, a guy from our church he’s in our church. It has been a part of my community group. And, uh, for a handful of years, uh, Dennis Chacho is going to come and share a little bit, uh, from his own life story.
Hey guys, how you doing my name’s Dennis . Um, I am here, uh, to continue the OSC series and give you guys an example, um, of how God has used me, uh, and how he has replaced a lot of the fears that I had in life that I, things that I was going through at the time. And he, uh, became sovereign over all of it. So I had this opportunity to, uh, play college baseball and, um, For my first two years of college, I did not know the Lord.
I did not walk with him. I did, I knew of the Lord. Um, but I never, uh, I was not walking with him. So two years I spent in college, uh, we’re very much of this world. Um, a lot of partying and other things and, um, It wasn’t until my junior year going in from my summer of my sophomore year, to my junior year, where I accepted the Lord at fellowship Christian athletes, sports camp in Kutztown, PA.
And, uh, at that time, uh, I really was able to understand my sin and understand that, um, it didn’t matter about, uh, Me being ready. It was, um, you know, I didn’t need to be, uh, um, fully aware of, uh, the thing that I need, the things that I needed to do, I just needed to trust the Lord and he will provide the strength that I needed.
Um, but I did have a huge fear of going into my junior year where, um, you know, you move off campus as an underclassmen. You move, uh, I moved into a house with four of the teammates of mine and, you know, we were very much of the party house and we had the party house mindset going into that year. And, um, during that time, or I really was nervous and scared and anxious about going back to school that I might not be able to be the man that I wanted to be.
That I might fall into the same temptations that I had or that people would think less of me that he’s just this crazy kind of lunatic type of guy. I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted to, you know, if you’re in a team environment, you know, it’s all about unity, unity. And, um, and that’s what I wanted to re you know, I wanted to be a part of the team, but I also wanted to remain true to the man that I was.
So I went back to school and, you know, while I had a lot of fears and worries, Um, I stayed true to my colors and trusted on the Lord strength to really provide the best ways and the best opportunities for me to be a good example to them and still be, uh, a man that can be a part of the team, but also, uh, know the things that I’ve stood up for.
I let my teammates know that even though I’m not going to join you guys out, um, I want you guys to know that you always have my phone number and, you know, feel free to call me at any time, do not get in the car and drive don’t. Worried about that. You can come in anytime. So I spent a lot of my time, uh, that, that fall, um, you know, waking up early in the morning, one, two, three, o’clock in the morning to pick up certain guys.
And, um, I didn’t think really much of it, but I just felt like it was one of those things that the Lord just gave me to, um, just to be there for my teammates and, um, It was those moments where, you know, while I didn’t enjoy waking up super early and being a, been out and doing things that I didn’t want to do, um, I used it as an opportunity to be a leader, to be a good example.
And, um, my teammates were able to see that that fall I was, um, I was elected captain by my teammates and, uh, you know, they were, they were able to see, um, a certain, uh, you know, a difference in me. Um, but one of the things that I was most scared of, and I, I was saying is that when I was going back to school, I was scared of how my teammates would view me that, you know, I might be turned back to my colors of, you know, fitting back in with them and.
And never hold true to my faith and hold true to the man that I believe God wanted me to be. Um, but at that time, uh, just a couple weeks into school, um, my, I had a couple of friends from back home that wrote me letters and just letters of encouragement, the most amazing part of these two letters. It was just two letters.
Random people did not know each other. And this is where I think that the, that God really used that time to really help. Uh, the place that I was in to really calm my fears and, and, and, and reminds me of him about how sovereign he was. Um, both of these letters were written, um, again, as words of encouragement and they ended with the same exact Bible verse, and the verse was, uh, Deuteronomy 31 10, uh, where it says, uh, do not be scared or terrified because of them for the Lord.
Your God will not leave you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. And it’s one of those things where it was one of those, like all moments that we talk about that Mark is speaking about, where you realize is that God is in so much more control than I really think that I, I try to not be in control as much as possible, but he is in full control of my life.
He can give me words of encouragement, um, from two different people and, uh, You know, where does that speak directly? To my fears that I had being scared of them being scared of people’s opinions, being terrified that they would think less of me, but he, the Lord will never leave you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
If you’d rely on him, you trust in his way you trust in the ability that he is, uh, the, he is the sovereign God that he is. If you can do all those things, he won’t leave you. Thanks, Dennis. He gave me a trusted whatever he asks you to do. Secondly, God can be trusted with everything he allowed cows into your life.
AWL TOSA says it this way in his sovereign wisdom. God has permitted evil to exist in carefully restricted areas of his creation, a kind of fugitive outlet law whose activities are temporary and limited in scope. In doing this, God has acted according to his infinite wisdom and goodness, it means that when we feel out of control, we can rest in his perfect control.
God is not wasting experiences that there are things going on in some of your lives right now that are exhausting. They’re there. They’re crushing. They’re weighty. Suffering is what it is. And it seems interminable at times it is a season. It is a season that by God’s grace and mercy, he provides light and help and relief along the way.
But there are chapters in the book of our lives that are hard.
We count on the reality. That he can be trusted with everything he is allowing into our lives. He is writing a story we do not fully see. So the last thing is this. So what if he sovereign. Well, we can cast on him the weight of what he is allowed to come to us in Psalm 55, verse 22, a verse that has come to mean a great deal to me.
It’s a verse that Peter quoted in first, Peter chapter five, verse seven, Psalm 55, 22. He says, cast your burdens on the Lord and he will sustain you. Peter translates it from the Greek translation of the old Testament. And he says, cast your anxieties, or your cares on the Lord. The word here in Psalm 55, verse 22, cast your burdens on the Lord.
The word burden is not used anywhere else in the old Testament to understand what it really means. We have to go to its verb form because. In the noun burden, it’s only used one passage. So what does it mean cast your burdens? What’s what’s what’s my burden. Well, the word burden is from the verb to give, and that verb is used many times in the old test.
In other words, it’s this cast what you have been given on the Lord and he will sustain you. There are things, some of you have been given that are hard to carry. You weren’t wired to care of them. God has given them. He’s allowed them to come, that you might cast them on him. And he says, if you do, if you let me be the carrier and you be the caster, it will live infinite work infinitely better than you try to be the carrier.
Cast what I’ve allowed to come upon. You cast it on me and I will sustain you. We’re not designed to carry. We’re designed to cast
life may feel very much out of control right now. It is out of your control. But there is one very much in control. Writing a story. You only see small snippets of. What the enemy intends for evil God intends for good, for your good and for his glory beyond that is suffering over any situation you may.