walk in the word
11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. —Ephesians 1:11-14
Passages like Acts 2:23 and Acts 4:27-28 teach that when Jesus came into this world the rulers, chief priests, and the scribes thought they were controlling events, but Jesus’ death happened “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23).
Romans 9:19 says, “You will say to me then, ‘Why does he (speaking of God) still find fault? For who can resist his will?’” So, who has resisted God’s will? The answer is no one. No one has ever kept God from doing what God wanted to do. No one has ever slowed God up by a minute. He never got anywhere late by ten seconds because someone was in His way. It’s God’s sovereign will (see also Romans 11:36). God does what God’s gonna do.
The classic New Testament passage on the sovereign will of God is Ephesians 1:11 (above). If you’re interested in knowing God’s Word, as I trust you are, then turn to this verse and circle it in your Bible. I have “sovereignty” written in my margin. “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.” The passage doesn’t say “predetermines.” God doesn’t control everything. God is in control but God does not control every decision. We make decisions; God determines outcomes. He “works all things” according to the counsel of His will. If you make a right choice, God uses it. If you make a wrong choice, God uses it. Sometimes it’s not a matter of right or wrong choice (which way to drive to the mall), and God still “works” it. But within His oversight, plan, and sovereign right to intervene, we make real decisions for which we are and will be held responsible. But isn’t it great to know that in the end, we can’t mess up God’s plan?
Revelation 4: 11 says, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.” By God’s will all things exist, including you and me. This is God’s sovereign will. Everything God wants to have happen happens. He works all things according to His plan. And He invites us to participate.
Prayer – Father, making important decisions can be scary and it’s comforting to know that You’re always in control. Thank You for reminding me that you make Your Word available to me to learn, to obey, and to put into practice. I want to trust Your grace for my everlasting destiny and my daily needs. I want to take seriously Your call to faithful living under the power You provide me in the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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