Recently I witnessed an online conversation that (in my words) weaponized the word, “sovereignty.” The accusers stating this word was offensive and unbiblical were arguing that to say we are sovereign is to minimize the impact of God in our lives. They said it was New Age to use the word “sovereign,” and argued that this word was reserved to describe God, especially in the Old Testament wisdom literature, Psalms and Proverbs.
I was surprised by that, because though I’m very familiar with the passages they were referring to, I have a different understanding of the word “sovereign,” and it dates to Genesis. God created Adam and Eve to have DOMINION over the earth, which required them to be sovereign over it, in the context we think of, to have dominion. We can think of it in the context of our individual freedoms, too, to have sovereignty is to have control or autonomy over your body.
Think about it this way. I’m not talking about how we relate to God; I know that’s a concern for us Christians, but we need to expand our view. Sovereignty can also apply to having the wherewithal to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our thoughts, words, actions, and bodies are under our care. I’ll get to the connection with God in a minute. If we think about it in relation to others, we should have sovereignty. To live otherwise is to be subject to others, which can make us either a slave or a victim. Both of which are not under God’s divine order, because He calls us to be submitted to Him. Even within our families, though there is an order laid out in Ephesians 5 as well as 1 Peter 2 and elsewhere, Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 2 talk about being submitted primarily to God. Then, listen to this, as we submit to God, and maintain sovereignty, we WILLINGLY submit to others.
Why am I going into so much detail? In the Christian community, there are some hot button issues, and our relationship to God is one of them. I’m making the argument that God’s sovereignty makes way for Him to give us sovereignty. You know what I just remembered, too? We are made in HIS image. Why can we not relate to the world with sovereignty? He said in Genesis 1:28 to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth. Why? He created us for that. Not only do we relate to God as children, but we mirror His glory.
We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10)! We MUST grab on to what that means. I believe most people who claim to be Christians have a preconceived notion of what that means and are not allowing God to speak into that space and show them the fullness of what He would have created them in advance to do. We must not limit God.
If we are made in God’s image, we do have His special anointing to do what He has created us to do. He creates, and we are both benefactors and agents. We mirror His character. I was telling my daughter yesterday that our character reflects God, whether we are allowing Him to work through us, or not. Let me explain. If we have the Lord in us, and the Holy Spirit is permitted (by us) to demonstrate His power, God is glorified and allowed to work. If we limit God’s power in us, and thereby demonstrate behavior or actions inconsistent with His character, people know. Why? Because we as humanity KNOW God’s character since we have the capacity to reflect God’s glory. We all know His character because He stamped it on us in our mother’s wombs. By virtue of being God’s workmanship and created in His image, we know when we see Him at work.
How much are you letting the Lord demonstrate His power through you? What does it look like? How do we let Him do that? Oh, friends, that’s the culmination of God’s work in us in daily submission to Him. He says we are to be perfect, and we are perfect when He is perfectly reflected in us! Daily submission, daily time with Him, daily asking Him what He would have for us, those are all necessary for giving the Holy Spirit room to have His way with us and be perfected in us.
Start by submitting to Him right at this moment. Confession is good for the soul, they say! Confess all your sins you are aware of at this moment and ask Him for forgiveness and for cleansing (Psalm 51:4). Ask Him to have more sway in your life (John 3:30) and to demonstrate His mercy toward you (Lamentations 3:23) because His compassion does not fail (Lamentations 3:22). Once off your knees, brush the dust off and rejoice! Check out what Jesus says about fasting (which can signify release of burden of sin) in Matthew 6:17!
Next, stand tall and walk with authority as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
As with beginning an exercise routine, you may find yourself deliberately taking these steps over and over until they become second nature! As God has increasing Lordship in your life, you will find yourself over time doing this naturally, just like consistently running, lifting weights, playing hockey, or dribbling a basketball makes that second nature! Walking with God takes focus and skill, and over time you will see the fruit.
To me, sovereignty in the context of our humanity is using my free will to choose God repeatedly!