God’s Sovereignty and You
God is not just sovereign over the affairs of this world, He is sovereign over each of our lives. Though we are not robots to His will, and bear responsibility for our own actions, our Lord is sovereign over the affairs of our lives and is at work within us, “both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
There are several passages in Scripture where the analogy of a Potter and the Clay is used to illustrate God’s right to do as He pleases with those whom He has created (Jeremiah 18:1-10; Isaiah 29:16, 45:9, 64:8; Romans 9:19-21). This wonderful analogy helps us understand what God’s sovereignty means for each of us on a personal level.
Before He begins, the Potter already has an idea in mind of what the finished product will be. And so it is with the believer in Christ. Much as a skilled Potter molds the clay with his hands, so God’s sovereignly works out His plan to conform all those predestined by Him, to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29-30). We are His work of art, created in Christ Jesus to manifest His glory (Ephesians 2:10).
The Potter has a wheel upon which he spins the clay. F. B. Meyer, in a sermon on this theme, compared the wheel to life’s circumstances. As varied as they are, they all will be used by God in the reshaping of our character (James 1:2-4). Meyer pointed out how “God has chosen the lot of each as being specially adapted to develop the hidden qualities and idiosyncrasies of the soul He loves.” Romans 8:28 likewise speaks to how God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God. God is sovereign over the circumstances of our lives (Genesis 50:20; Proverbs 16:9; Acts 4:24-28; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
The Potter pounds the clay to release any air bubbles within. Then he uses his fingers to shape us. The potter works the clay, as the wheel goes round and round, sometimes pressing gently, sometimes firmly, always patiently. Just as the Holy Spirit is at work in us through the ministry of the Word and through the trials we face, He is working to transform us from one state of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). Sometimes it’s necessary to go through major alterations for Christ’s likeness to be formed in us. It is helpful to remember when we are hard-pressed that God loves us and knows what’s best for us.
His part is to make something beautiful out of us–to the praise of His glory! Our part is to trust. Implicit in that trust is a yieldedness to the Spirit. F. B. Meyer put it this way, “He who was able to transform the Cross from a badge of shame into the sign of victory and glory must surely be able to take the most hopeless, disreputable, and abandoned lives, and make them bloom with flowers heavy with fragrance and full of blessed promise. Only let Him have a free hand.”
Heavenly Father. How glad and thankful to know You are in charge! And not just in charge of what happens in Your universe, but likewise what happens in the daily affairs of my life. You are with me and care for me in every moment. Praise You for being the preeminent of rulers and that You are worthy of our trust. Not just in what You have planned, but also in Your capacity to fulfill Your purpose. Thank You for your patience with me as You work to make me more like Jesus. Help me to trust You and yield myself. Amen.