This post is a part of the Sovereignty of God Blog Series going on throughout the months of July and August. You can read about the series and see a schedule of the posts here. You can subscribe to all the posts here.
Today’s post is from Justin Wise. You can find Justin on his blog (Bedeviant) and on Twitter as well. Justin is currently attending Bethel Seminary and lives in Des Moines, Iowa. Justin has a great ability to deal with deep theological topics in a way that is accessible for everyone.
If you’ve ever done any thinking on the sovereignty of God, you know this to be a weighty issue. It’s a little more complex than asking, “How’s your day going?” or “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” Your perspective on this question can reveal a lot about what you think of God (and what he thinks about you, for that matter).
Even that word, “sovereignty,” has some weight to it, doesn’t it? For a word that does not appear in the canon of Scripture, sovereignty gives many a theologian doctrinal fits: What do we do with Hell? If God is all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing (a.k.a. ‘sovereign’) how can there be so much evil in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? And on, and on…
Sovereignty, in my mind, is the freedom from any external control. In other words, one who is sovereign is free to call the shots: When they want, how they want, where they want, why they want.
In that way, I believe that God is the only True Sovereign that exists. In the same way that God is love, God is sovereign. The Uncreated One. The one who transcends all borders, boundaries, or limits. He exists ultimately and completely in himself–no strings attached.
While I believe God to be sovereign, I also believe him to be limited. A self-imposed limitation, but a limit nonetheless. When we see the person of Jesus, we see an infinite God bound by time, space, and flesh. We see the Word who spoke created order into existence being limited by the governing rules of creation that he put into place! Simply put, Jesus was held to the planet by gravity. Jesus got hungry, thirsty, tired, and even *gasp* irritated. Just like you, just like me.
So what do we do with a limitless being who imposes self-limitations? We could try and figure it out and define it. We could scrutinize and dissect and build complicated (and harmful) theologies around the concept of sovereignty. We might even tell others that the awful things that have happened to them are a bi-product of this limitless being’s sovereignty. However, I propose the only natural thing to do is to worship that being. They clearly exist on a different plane; that’s where I want to be.
What is more powerful? A being who has no limits or a being who has no limits and chooses limitation? I think the answer is clear. God, in his sovereignty, chose limits. Limits that bring you and me to life. Praise God!