Does the Bible Say God is Sovereign Over All?
Growing up I constantly heard statements like “God is in control” and “God is sovereign”. I didn’t even question the validity of these statements. Of course God is sovereign, He’s GOD, right?
But the truth is, God is not sovereign in the sense that He’s controlling everything that goes on. Think about it – if God was in total control, how could He possibly be as good as the Bible says He is? All it takes is one look around the world to see that everything going on is not good.
The question about whether or not God is sovereign (in the sense that everything is under His control) is explained in the Bible. God does not control every little thing that happens on earth. God has given dominion on this earth to mankind, and thereby limited His own control of things on the earth.
Please don’t misunderstand me, if anything is written in the Bible, you can bet your life on the fact that it will come to pass. God’s Word is the ultimate and final authority.
There are certain events concerning the end times and ultimate fate of the earth that God absolutely does control because He has spoken them. They are more sure than the sunrise. But the day to day circumstances that occur in people’s life are not being directly controlled by God. God has given us a free will and the authority to make our own decisions. He will not violate our free will. He does not control us.
God is sovereign in the sense that no one is more powerful than Him. No one is telling Him what to do. He is completely sovereign in that way. But God is not sovereign in the sense that He is controlling everything that goes on down here.
If God is Not in Control, Who Is?
I don’t want you to just believe what I am saying without seeing it for yourself in the Word of God. In fact, I don’t want you to believe anything from anyone without seeing it for yourself in the Word of God! There are no true revelations or true wisdom that differ from what’s written in the Bible.
God is not in control of every little thing because He has chosen to give authority and dominion on this earth to mankind. He did this when He created Adam, the first human.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
Do you see in this verse where God gave dominion of the earth to humanity? When God says something, it is absolute. He can’t go back on His Word like we do sometimes. In fact, He exalted His Word above His own Name.
I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Psalm 138:2
The entire university is held together by the integrity of God’s Word. Basically, if His Word was ever not true, everything would disintegrate, and God would cease being God. It’s completely impossible.
who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3
When God says something, it becomes an absolute truth. There is creative power in the words of God. When God says something, it is. And when He handed dominion on this earth over to mankind, He won’t go back on it.
This is why God had to become a man to right everything that was wrong on the earth. He couldn’t just swoop in as God and fix everything because He had limited Himself by His own Word. Mankind had dominion on this earth, so a man had to fix it.
Praise God for His infinite wisdom in sending Jesus as a man on this earth to redeem mankind and restore all that had been lost.
If God is Good, Why is There So Much Evil in the World?
Humans are the ones that “control” things on the earth by their words and choices. Humans are the ones with the dominion and authority over the earth, given to them by God.
What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, Psalm 8:4-6
Spirits can operate on the earth only as they are given permission by a person. And many humans unfortunately are dominated and influenced by Satan, the evil one.
This is the reason there is so much evil in the world. The earth has been given to mankind, and we determine what is going on here.
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men. Psalm 115:16
This is the reason it is so important that we, as believers, fulfill the ministry of reconciliation that the Lord has given us. We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)!
As people receive salvation and submit their lives to the Lord Jesus, He is able to operate through them. That’s one less person being controlled by the evil one.
God is very much alive and active on the earth because He is working through His children! Every time you pray, every time you speak the Word of God, you are allowing God to operate in your life and in the world around you.
As you surrender to Him, you give Him permission to be active in your life and in the lives of those you pray for. God’s goodness and righteousness can begin to operate in this fallen world and drive out the evil through you!