What Does the Sovereignty of God Look Like?

5 Mins read

The sovereignty of God is one of His most important character traits. In fact, God is referred to as sovereign more than 300 times in Scripture. On the surface, the sovereignty of God seems like one of the most difficult concepts for humans to understand.

As we dive into today’s study about putting your life under the leadership of the Sovereign God, let’s consider what the term “sovereign” really means.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “sovereign” is defined as “a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.”

The God we serve is higher than any monarch who has ever or will ever reign in this world. Scripture refers to Him as the “King of Kings” in multiple passages. With that in mind, the sovereignty of God isn’t all that mysterious.

It is essentially the idea that God is the Supreme Ruler in our lives.

As humans, we have a natural tendency to resist submission. However, when we truly understand the goodness of God and how His sovereignty does nothing but benefit us, it becomes easier.

David’s life is filled with examples of God’s sovereignty. From the time that he was born, David was destined for greatness in God’s Kingdom, even if he hit some roadblocks along the way.

Even if you don’t aspire to be the king of an entire nation, God’s sovereignty is an important part of living out your purpose. What does that look like? Keep reading to find out.

God’s Sovereignty in the “Little Moments”

1 Samuel 17:17-20 (NIV)

Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance for them. They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.” Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.

You’re probably familiar with the story of David and Goliath. It has been the subject of sermons, lessons, and songs for thousands of years. The story is so famous that it’s even been referenced in modern entertainment.

Sportscasters continue to reference games between a successful team and an underdog as a “David and Goliath” moment.

What you may not realize is that there was never a plan for David to fight Goliath. The entire story started with a simple errand. Jesse, David’s father, wanted David to deliver some food to David’s brothers who were in the army.

David arrived with lunch for his siblings before finding himself on the frontline of the battle.

This story is a powerful example of God’s sovereignty in what we consider the “little moments” of our lives. When your life is fully under the authority of God, there aren’t any “little moments” at all. Every detail of your life, even the ones that seem to be mundane, plays an important role in God’s plan for your life.

God knew that David was going to kill Goliath long before David was born. God set up David for the moment when the lion and the bear tried to steal sheep from his flock.

It was no mistake that Jesse sent David to Elah with bread and cheese on that day. God had orchestrated the entire event so David would be there when Goliath spewed his blasphemies.

God’s sovereignty isn’t limited to the things that we consider the “big things.” When we fully embrace His sovereignty, we can see Him working in every detail of our lives.

God’s Sovereignty in the Big Moments

1 Samuel 17:48-50 (NIV)

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

There’s no denying that David’s triumph over Goliath seems like a bigger deal than his arrival with a sack lunch for his brothers. However, if the first thing had never happened, the second thing wouldn’t have happened. That concept is at the heart of God’s sovereignty.

Another important part of the sovereignty of God is the fact that it empowers us to do the things we would not be able to do without it.

Can you imagine what the people watching the battle must have thought when Goliath started charging at David? Goliath was likely somewhere around 10 feet tall. David was likely barely over five feet tall.

Goliath could have literally stepped on David and crushed him. When you add the complexity of Goliath’s armor and the size of his weapons, David didn’t seem to have a chance.

As the Holy Spirit stirred up inside David, he did the unthinkable. He ran towards Goliath. The entire army of Israel had spent days running in the opposite direction.

When Goliath would stand on one side of the Valley of Elah, Israel’s troops would go hide in their tents. David ran towards Goliath when the trained soldiers ran away from him.

Endued with a type of power from God, David launched a stone from his trusty slingshot. put enough power behind the stone to make it drop Goliath. He also ensured that it hit the one spot that wasn’t covered by the giant’s armor. That’s sovereignty at work.

God’s Sovereignty in Failure

2 Samuel 12:1 (NIV)

The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.”

In order to fully understand the parable that Nathan taught to David, it’s a good idea to go back and read 2 Samuel 11. That chapter contains one of the most shameful, painful times in David’s life.

For the sake of today’s study, let’s quickly summarize the events of that story.

When David was supposed to be out leading his troops, he was at home. While there, he went onto his rooftop one morning. That’s when he saw a woman a few houses over bathing on the roof. It’s important to understand that the woman wasn’t wrong for what she was doing.

In Biblical times, bathtubs were generally kept on the roof so the sun could heat the water.

David immediately lusted after the woman, his first mistake. When he asked who she was, one of his most trusted servants told him that she was married to a man in his army. David didn’t care. He sent for her, had an affair with her, and she got pregnant.

Instead of owning up to his failure, David hatched a plot to conceal the affair that resulted in the murder of the woman’s husband, Uriah.

In the span of a single story, David became a lustful, adulterous, lying murderer. However, the opening words of 2 Samuel 12 reveal a powerful aspect of God’s character. “The Lord sent Nathan to David.”

God still wanted David, even though David had made some of the worst mistakes a man could make. The Lord sent Nathan to David to give David a chance to repent. David took advantage of the opportunity and wrote Psalm 51 as a result.

God not only called David back into a relationship with Him, but He also inspired David to write one of the most powerful Psalms that we have today. That’s sovereignty at work.

A Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, today, I fully commit myself to Your sovereignty. I submit to You the moments that I consider small, and the things that are far too big for me to comprehend. I place my successes and my failures under Your authority. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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