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Summary: A message briefly discussing the sovereignty of God.

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God is in Control (Really!)

Ephesians 1:11-12

October 26, 2003

Introduction

Last week I talked about six strategies for living a life that¡¦s filled with the peace of God.

I said that before we can live in the peace of God, we need to have peace with God, by placing your faith in Christ.

And then we looked at those six strategies. The first was understanding God¡¦s sovereignty. Next was to adopt a biblical mindset. The third strategy is to pray about everything. Fourth, we need to plan ahead, but submit to the will of God, allowing Him to modify your plans through life.

The fifth strategy I mentioned was to live in obedience, and the last strategy was to live in anticipation of heaven, and of God fulfilling His promises on earth in the meantime.

And as I was reflecting on the message, I was convinced that God wanted me to spend a little more time on some of these before we got into the Christmas season.

We talk every so often about prayer here, and about obedience quite frequently, so I thought we should spend time on the other four strategies, and today is the first message of that idea.

Today we¡¦re going to talk about God¡¦s sovereignty. The Bible talks in many places about God¡¦s sovereignty, but I have chosen just one passage to help us get a handle on this concept a little better.

But before we look at it, and look at how it should affect us, let me give a quick disclaimer. There are multitudes of books written about this subject, and we¡¦re barely going to scratch the surface today.

This is important to understand, but if you¡¦ve known me for any length of time, you know that I¡¦m more about being able to use something than about being able to have everything figured out.

For instance, I don¡¦t know all there is to know about redemption, justification, sanctification, and all those other ¡§ations.¡¨ But I know that if you don¡¦t have Jesus, you ain¡¦t got any of that stuff.

And as it comes to the sovereignty of God, I don¡¦t pretend to understand it all, but I¡¦m grateful for it, and as you will see as we go through the message, it has a significant impact on how I go through life.

Ephesians 1:11-12 says this:

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of

his glory.

Sovereignty basically means that God is in control of all things, whether or not we see or understand them.

Another name for a king is a ¡§sovereign.¡¨ In other words, God is sovereign because He¡¦s the king. The king of creation.

Everything that goes on is under His control. As we begin to work through the note-taking guide, I want to begin by pointing out two things to keep in mind about God¡¦s sovereignty.

Two things to keep in mind about God¡¦s

sovereignty:

1. His purposes prevail.

Look at verse eleven of our passage, particularly the part where its says¡K

who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

The key to understanding the sovereignty of God is to get a hold of the fact that God is working everything out to fit His purposes.

Colossians 1:16b in the Message Bible says this:

Everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.

That¡¦s everything. Guess how much everything is? That¡¦s right! All of it. And He¡¦s using it all for His purposes.

This means that no matter who is in office, no matter who is running around loose in the world, no matter what the economy does, God is in control, and that ultimately, it¡¦s for His glory.

Remember when I said at the beginning of the message that I don¡¦t necessarily understand everything about God¡¦s sovereignty? This is one of those areas I just don¡¦t get.

I don¡¦t understand how God can use famine, war, crime, and all that stuff. But the Bible says it¡¦s true.

But you know what all this tells me? It tells me two things primarily. First, that no matter what goes on in this ol¡¦ world, He¡¦s got it under control and using for His purposes. Nothing catches Him by surprise.

Second, it tells me that God can use even me. And when you¡¦re a short, skinny, balding guy with a high squeaky voice, that means something, know what I mean?

And of course, that also means that He can use you for His purposes as well. You might be sitting here this morning wondering if God can use you, and I¡¦m here to tell you He can. Because He has a purpose for everyTHING and everyONE.

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