Thursday, November 20, 2014

God's Soverignty

God’s sovereignty is often presented as if he directs events on earth by remote control, but that would be a breach of his gift of authority to humans, and would turn us into puppets. He has the power to control people, but he limits himself to influencing people into freely choosing to do his will. He uses a variety of means to get people who do not know want to obey him to do what he wants.

  • The Holy Spirit can put thoughts into the minds of hostile people. If they accept his ideas, they voluntarily do God’s will without understanding that they are being guided by him.
  • He will often give the same thought to several people, so they spur each other on.
  • The Holy Spirit makes his suggestions well in advance, at a time when the person is receptive. He often repeats the thought until it is accepted.
  • The Holy Spirit presents his thoughts in a way that appeals to people, so they think it is their own idea.
  • When dealing with kings, he takes advantage of their pride. God was able to use King Cyrus to accomplish his purposes, because Cyrus accepted the suggestions of the Holy Spirit. He was led by God without realising it (Is 45:1).
  • When dealing with ordinary people, the Holy Spirit often stirs up emotions like fear or anger (Deut 2:25). Many Canaanites fled their land when they bought into the fear that he stirred up.
  • God sometimes uses evil spirits to deceive evil people (1 Kings 22:19-20). These spirits do not want to do his will, but if he makes a suggestion, they will often do it, because they do not have many original ideas. Unlike humans, angels were created to obey another person, so they are not very creative.
  • God uses physical events to prevent powerful people from doing evil things. He used the Red Sea to destroy Pharaoh’s army (Ex 14:27-28).
God does not control events on earth. He accomplishes his purposes by superior wisdom and the ability of the Holy Spirit to influence people, often despite their opposition, and without their understanding (Kingdom Authority, p.44)

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