Summary: OUR GOD IS SOVEREIGN/IN CONTROL WHETHER WE ACKNOLEDGE HIM OR NOT, HE WILL PROVE IT!
THE CHRONICLES OF DANIEL #4: THE SOVERIEGNTY OF GOD:
DANIEL 4: 1FF
AUGUST 15, 2004
INTRODUCTION: It was Sunday morning and Harry was off. He pulled out of his driveway in his 2-seater convertible, with the roof closed because of typical Melbourne driving rain, and headed for church. But as he turned into the main road he saw ahead of him three bedraggled figures huddled under a single umbrella at the next bus stop. One was old Mrs Fletcher. She still insisted on getting to church by herself, despite her arthritis which was always worse in wet weather. There was Dr Jones, the local GP. A year earlier Dr Jones had diagnosed a rare and dangerous disease that Harry had contracted on an overseas holiday, so Harry virtually owed him his life. And the third person was Judith. Harry had had a crush on Judith for the past 6 months since she joined their church but had never had the courage or the opportunity to ask her out.
Harry had about 3 seconds to decide what to do. There was only one spare seat. Who should he offer a lift to? But 3 seconds was enough. He pulled to a halt, jumped out, passed the keys to Dr Jones, helped Mrs Fletcher into the passenger seat, then modestly waved them good-bye as he huddled close to Judith under the umbrella.
God’s sovereignty and our action so often go hand in hand. Contributed by: Chris Appleby
A.W. Tozer attempted to reconcile these seemingly contradictory ideas of God choosing or calling us and our choosing God with this illustration:
"An ocean liner leaves New York bound for Liverpool. Its destination has been determined by proper authorities. Nothing can change it. This is at least a faint picture of sovereignty.
"On board the liner are scores of passengers. These are not in chains, neither are their activities determined for them by decree. They are completely free to move about as they will. They eat, sleep, play, lounge about on the deck, read, talk, altogether as they please; but all the while the great liner is carrying them steadily onward toward a predetermined port (which they have accepted as their destination).
"Both freedom and sovereignty are present here, and they do not contradict. So it is, I believe, with man’s freedom and the sovereignty of God. The mighty liner of God’s sovereign design keeps its steady course over the sea of history." Contributed by: Kenneth Henes
TRANSITION THOUGHT: As we have moved thus far in the Chronicles of Daniel, one thing we should have noticed is that God is at work. Though His people are in exile, He has not abandoned them and is steadily at work blessing them. Not only is He blessing His people, Our God is orchestrating an awareness of just who the God of the Jews is! Our God uses every circumstance to reveal Himself as God and as the God who is sovereign over all humanity regardless of the Power of the Day! Up to this point in our study of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzer has seen the hand of God at work, but Our God is about to step it up a notch (1:18-20, 2:46-49, and 3:28-30)! The God of heaven is about to get personal!!
THESIS SENTENCE: OUR GOD IS SOVEREIGN/IN CONTROL WHETHER WE ACKNOLEDGE HIM OR NOT, HE WILL PROVE IT!
I. SOVEREIGNTY IS REVEALED WHEN GOD SPEAKS: THE DREAM VV. 1-18
A. GOD SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO THE KING
B. GOD SPEAKS THROUGH THOSE WHO ALLOW HIM
II. SOVEREIGNTY IS EXPRESSED IN AN OPPORTUNITY OFFERED: THE INTERPRETATION VV. 19-27
A. OPPORTUNITIES ARE THE TRUTH OF GOD
B. OPPORTUNITIES ARE THE WILL OF GOD
C. OPPORTUNITIES ARE THE GIFT OF GOD
III. SOVEREIGNTY IS REALIZED WHEN GOD ACTS: THE FULFILLMENT VV. 28-36
A. GOD ACTS IN RESPONSE TO OUR ACTIONS
B. GOD ACTS BY KEEPING HIS WORD
C. GOD ACTS FOR OUR BENEFIT
D. GOD ACTS FOR HIS GLORY
IV. SOVEREIGNTY IS EXPEREINCED WHEN WE SURRENDER VV. 1-3 AND 37
A. SURRENDER IS PLEASURE
B. SURRENDER IS SIGNS AND WONDERS
C. SURRENDER IS ETERNAL LIFE
D. SURRENDER IS PRAISE
E. SURRENDER IS HUMILITY
ILLUSTRATION: "Prayer is surrender-surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boat hook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God."
E. Stanley Jones, in Liberating Ministry From The Success Syndrome, K Hughes, Tyndale, 1988, p. 73
Contributed by: Joel Smith
E. Stanley Jones said, “If you don’t surrender to Christ, you’ll surrender to chaos.”(2)
(2) Rick Warren. The Purpose Driven Life. Zonervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002, pg. 82.