The Good Thing About Being Out of Control

the·ol·o·gy noun : the study of God

We study God through His Word each Thursday on the blog. Our goal is to present the truth of God in a way you can digest and apply. This week we’ll tackle the sovereignty of God described in verses like Job 42:2.

Did you take driver’s ed? I did. My instructor would pick me up a few mornings a month before school to give me a chance to practice driving. As a fifteen-year-old, not-yet-licensed-driver, the feeling of being behind the wheel of a car was exhilarating. I got to choose where we went. How far the needle climbed up the speedometer was up to me.

I was in control.

Well … kind of.

That particular driver’s ed car was equipped with two of everything that matters—two steering wheels, two brake pedals, two places to step on the gas. If I sped up too fast, my instructor could hit the brakes. If I steered us into oncoming traffic, the teacher could steer us back on track. I can see how someone whose job was to strap himself into a vehicle with inexperienced drivers, high on their newfound freedom, would want such a backup system in place.

If we imagine our lives through the lens of this scenario, most of us would place ourselves behind the wrong steering wheel. We like to think that we are the primary drivers. We get to call the shots. We see God as our backup, capable of steering us back on track should our own plans for our lives veer off track.

We need to shift from treating God like a spiritual genie whose job is to meet our every need and recognize instead that we are made for Him.

But God is the One in the driver’s seat. Ultimately, He has total control. The Bible teaches that God either directly causes or allows everything. Nothing in history past or future is outside of His control. Nothing. Not wars. Not earthquakes. Not political leaders bent on evil. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, God is ultimately the One behind the wheel.

The fancy word for this truth is sovereignty. God is sovereign. Translation: God is the highest authority. He has absolute control. The buck stops with Him.

The Bible is clear on God’s sovereignty, but because it’s a big idea, sometimes the importance of it whizzes right over my little head. In case that happens to you, too, here are the facts about the sovereignty of God along with the translation for why that matters in our lives.

God rules!

Translation: We don’t.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns”(Rev. 19:6, emphasis added).

God sits on the throne. We don’t. That’s true in a big, cosmic sense. God rules the universe. He rules the past, present, and future. (Did you hear that sound? That was this big stuff whizzing right over my head again!)

But God rules my life. He’s ultimately in charge of what happens to me.

So what? What does that mean for how I live my life? It means I need to stop fighting for control and surrender (daily, sometimes hourly) to what God wants for me.

Do you live your life like God’s in control or like you’re in control?

We exist for God.

Translation: God does not exist for us.

The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble (Prov. 16:4).

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen (Rom. 11:36).

The entire universe exists for God.

But sometimes we act like it exists for us, right? We think it’s the job of the people in our world to make us happy. We want things in our communities, country, and world to fit into our agenda. We even want the weather to cooperate with our plans for the day.

But nothing was made for us.

It was all made for God.

So what? What does that mean for how I live my life? It means that we shift from treating God like a spiritual genie whose job is to meet our every need and recognize instead that we are made for Him.

God is in control.

Translation: You’re not.

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).

Nothing can stop the plans of God.

As in nothing. At all. Ever.

God is in charge.

That can make us feel like we’re in a free fall. But the fact that God is in charge (and we aren’t!) is actually a good thing. Nothing surprises God. Nothing happens that He does not allow or prepare for. You may feel out of control, but God never does. You may be powerless to change your circumstances, but God never is.

So what? You can live with confidence that God is always, constantly, consistently behind the wheel. You don’t have to fight for control; you can surrender your life to Him knowing He’s got this.

Do you live your life like God is sovereign? Meaning …

  • He rules! He’s in charge. We are not.
  • It’s all for Him. The world was not made to revolve around us.
  • He is in control. There’s nothing in your life He cannot handle.

Or are you like a driver’s ed student, pretending you’re the one behind the wheel?

PS: If you want to dig deeper, here’s a great article from John Piper, “Ten Reasons Why Believing In the Sovereignty of God Matters.”

About Author

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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