by Eva Juliuson
God is in charge and rules forever.
His power and rule exceed our comprehension. There is no beginning or end to his reign. He has always been, is now, and forever will be the highest ranking, most powerful, and ultimate ruler of all. He spoke and galaxies were formed. Nations rise and fall at his beckoning. All forces of nature answer to him. Yet as frighteningly powerful as he is, he is also patient, loving, and tender toward his children.
He doesn’t want meaningless worship or mindless obedience from his subjects. In his sovereignty he graciously gives us the freedom to choose whether or not to submit to his rule. He sent his Son to earth to die for our sins and make a way for our willing submission to him.
Our submission—or lack of it—does not affect God’s sovereignty. He rules whether or not we admit it.
God Rules Over the Earth
The more we discover about far-reaching galaxies, the smaller our earth appears. God spoke our home planet into existence so we would have a place to live. Many of us rarely leave our own town or country, much less travel across continents. The earth seems vast to us. Whether we view our world as a tiny speck in the universe or a massive home to billions of people, God has authority over earth and all that is in it.
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of man” (John 1:3, 4). God not only created everything, he reigns over all he has made. God made it perfectly clear who is in control when he answered Job,
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7).
No one else knows and controls all the mysteries of the earth. God reminded Job (and us) that he rules over all the earth.
Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? (vv. 8-13).
God created, sustains, and rules over the earth and all that is in it.
God Rules Over Heaven
At times we want to rule over our own lives, forgetting there is one who created and rules over Heaven and earth. We can’t see all that goes on here on earth, let alone see all of Heaven. How can we rule what we can’t see or comprehend? How can we control what we don’t understand? God is a gracious and loving ruler who reigns with justice and righteousness. He cannot allow lawlessness or rebellion to go unpunished, yet “he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
We get glimpses of Heaven through Scripture and our hearts long for our home with the Lord. Deep in our spirits, we know that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). We know that “all God’s angels worship him” (Hebrews 1:6). Living creatures in Heaven proclaim, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). The 24 elders fall down and lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (v. 11).
We understand “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10, 11). Even Satan and his demons must answer to the Father and the Son.
God Rules Over Us
Our heavenly Father lovingly knit us together in a unique way. He gave us the right to choose whether or not to belong to his kingdom. He is patient and gives us time to choose, knowing our choice affects our eternal life. He does not rule by tyranny or fear but with love. Our Lord wants the best for us. It is his desire to share his kingdom with us for all eternity.
Our sins once separated us from him, so he made a way for us to have full rights as children and heirs. As we accept God’s loving gift of free citizenship in his kingdom through Jesus Christ, we bow down in humble reverence before our king. He is the King of kings. He reigns with mercy, love, and peace. Let’s remember Jesus Christ,
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:6-11).
Someday every knee will bow in recognition of the lordship of Jesus Christ and the sovereignty of God. God has given us more than enough evidence to recognize his rule. We have been given the opportunity to submit to his powerful rule and tender mercy through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. Still, no matter what choice we make, God rules.
Eva Juliuson is a freelance writer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
“Sweet Will of God”
My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
‘Lord, let in me Thy will be done.’
I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown,
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.
Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul a prisoned bird set free.
Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer;
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.
—Leila N. Morris
Will you choose to submit?
As you consider God’s glory, majesty, and sovereignty, meditate on the words of the hymn below, or another praise song of your choosing.
Make these words of submission your prayer if
you are willing to allow God to rule your life.