Summary: When I "encountered" God in His Sovereignty, I realized how helpless and unworthy I am...
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov. 21:1, all ESV unless specified).
When I was in the catholic elementary school, because of the teaching that God can make something out of nothing and that He knows everything, my admiration for Him began to blossom in my heart.
As I grew up and continued to learn more of His Great Power and His complete control of the whole universe, my regard for God soared higher! At that point in my life, I began also to become interested in reading and studying His Word (the Bible).
When I became familiar of His Love – that He loves even the unlovable – my admiration for Him climbed to a different level – I was beginning to fall in love with Him.
Then, I was introduced to His Grace. It was not easy for me to grasp and appreciate His readiness to bring me into His Kingdom, not because of any good work I had done or I would do, but because of His mercy. As if I was again struggling with my early thought before – how He could make something out of nothing. But God made His Words clear to me, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Because of the height of my adoration for Him, then, I finally fell in love with Him! By that time, I became also interested in reading Christian books. For I wanted to find out and understand more about His grace and be acquainted with Him as much as I can.
As God continued to make Himself known to me, I realized more that He is indeed worthy not only of our love, but also of our worship, especially when I became aware of His Sovereignty. Because of it, my admiration for His Power, Love, Grace, Holiness, and His other attributes was magnified. It was a new level of appreciation of God. I felt I fell in love with Him again!
Before I realized the Beauty of His Sovereignty, I was moved to consider some of His Words, especially the following:
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Prov. 16:9).
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Prov. 19:21).
“…I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” (Isa. 46:11).
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov. 21:1).
“…the LORD STIRRED UP THE SPIRIT of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation …” (Ezra 1:1.)
“Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone WHOSE SPIRIT GOD HAD STIRRED to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem.
” (Ezra 1:5).
“…for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose…” (Rev. 17:17).
I realized that in order to accomplish God’s Sovereign Will, He does not need to make us automatons. But though we have our own different choices, God can make us willing – He can direct our steps, turn our heart, or stir our spirit – to accomplish His Will.
He can plant directly the thought in our mind – just what He did to Cyrus -- or use other means – just like how He made Jonah willing to accomplish His Will, by using the storm and also a big fish to swallow Jonah. When God told him to go to Nineveh, we read his initial reaction in Jonah 1:3, “But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” But after his experience (Jonah 1:4 to 2:10), we read:
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you. So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord...” (Jonah 3:1-3.)
God did not turn Jonah into a robot. He made him willing to choose and perform what
God wanted. Nor Nebuchadnezzar – who had said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" (Dan. 4:30) – became a robot, when he finally “…blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, What have you done?" (Dan. 4:34-35).