Sovereign. That isn’t a word we use very often. It is an adjective that is used to describe one who has ‘supreme or ultimate power’ according to the oxford online dictionary. To the Christian there is a powerfully freeing truth in the statement: The God of the Bible is Almighty and sovereign!
In this statement, the God revealed in the Bible is declared to have All-might, or all power. This means that nothing is beyond, our God’s ability to perform. He isn’t lacking any strength or resources needed to bring His plan to fruition, nor is there any other person, thing, virus, or substance that can thwart or hinder His plans and His purposes. He is sovereign, meaning that He alone rules from His heavenly throne over the creation that He has made.
This truth means that God’s people need not fear anything. In fact, throughout the Bible the command “Fear Not” or ‘do not fear’ is repeated 90 times from Genesis to Revelation. God’s people are not to fear because: He is with us (Num 14:9); He is our provider (Gen 50:21); He fights for us (Dt 3:22); and We are more valuable than many sparrows (Mt 10:31), to name just a few reasons.
One of results of God’s sovereignty and a life that isn’t fearful is the ability to live freely and fully in the present recognizing that God has a plan for each of our lives and that our death will not come prematurely. Job declares that man’s ‘days are determined and the number of his months is with you [God]’ (Job14:5). Jesus tells us that we are incapable of adding even a single hour to our life (Mt 6:27) This is immensely freeing – just look at the life that the Apostle Paul lived as a result of knowing that God is Sovereign – He travelled over 10,000 miles, planted between 14-20 churches himself and countless others that sprang up from his influence, wrote 13 canonical letters in the New Testament and all of this as he faced lashings, beatings, stoning, shipwreck, floating on the open ocean, jail, etc. (2Cor 11:24-31). The testimony of the other apostles is similarly telling – Peter and John were imprisoned and slated for execution when God released them from prison (Acts 4-5, 12). God’s people never died a moment too soon. As they went about the Lord’s business, He protected and preserved them until He was ready to call them home, as He did with Stephen (Acts 7) and James (Acts 12). No doubt the environment of their day included, in addition to all the listed dangers, health concerns from poor sanitation, viruses, illness, sickness and a variety of other things. And yet these brothers and sisters knew that The Lord God is sovereign and they need not fear going out into their world to do the work of the Lord.
But I wonder, “Is your god sovereign?” One of the things I am saddened by as I watch and listen to Christians talk is the way that they seem to have forgotten who the True God is. The current pandemic has caused believers to mistakenly believe that they have the power to control when they die and how they die. There is a belief that one’s safety and security, even their longevity upon the earth, is directly related to staying hidden within their homes. There is the idea that if one stays inside and doesn’t gather with the Body of Christ in person, then he or she will not be exposed and hence will live longer, cheating death. Such is not true. And what is sad is that many of these ideas are being foisted upon us by the media, or worse yet, by loved ones who themselves are not aware of who the True God is. The Lord alone knows your end from your beginning. He knit you together (Ps 139:13-14). He will preserve you until the day when He determines to call you home and by the means He wishes to use to call you home – gruesome murder, viral infection, heart attack, peaceful passing or something else. God chooses this, not you nor I. If the Sovereign God wishes that you or I die from Covid-19, no matter how isolated you are, nor how diligent you are in the use of prophylaxis gear, your days will end by Covid-19.
Unfortunately, I believe that this pandemic has revealed that the god we often worship (and I purposefully use a lower case g) is not the God of Scripture. Our god is often too small and doesn’t resemble the LORD Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. So, let me ask this concluding question – What does your behavior reveal about the god you serve and worship?
p.s. I realize there are legitimate reasons why some people may be staying home and I am not challenging those reasons or judging them. Ultimately, each person needs to submit themselves to God, His Word, and the leading of His Spirit. But remember, Our God is sovereign over all.