Meditations on God 6

God intuitively and constantly sees the whole of this great and complicated system, and governs every particle and part of it in connection and conformity with the whole. He never suffers one link in this chain to be broken, nor one wheel in this machine to move slower or faster, or in any other direction, than he always intended. He governs all objects from the greatest to the smallest, and all creatures from the highest to the lowest; not as distinct and separate individuals, but as connected and constituent parts of his immense creation. Every dispensation of his universal providence, which is thus systematically administered towards any individual of mankind, may sensibly and deeply affect thousands and millions more. Nathanael Emmons, Instructions to the Afflicted)

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.

While the world focuses on the abilities of self and the religious world worries about the responsibility of man and how we must not take too much away from man and ascribe it to God, the Bible does not worry about that. Neither did Nathanael Emmons in the quote above. What he would have us to see is that God is sovereign over all things at all times and in all ways. We must know that we are not alone and we are not free to operate apart from the great and sovereign plan of God. We must know that we are not free to act in a way that will upset the plan of God and will disrupt anything He has planned to do. While we are free from forces that make us choose, we are not free from the sovereign hand of God at any point and at any time.

It is wiser to think of God’s sovereign hand as in control and as the ultimate reason and purpose behind all things. This is why the Scriptures tell us that He works all things after the counsel of His own will. When the Scriptures tell us that God works all things after the counsel of His will, we can be sure that He is absolutely sovereign over all things. Whether it is subatomic particles or gigantic galaxies and universes, God is sovereign over each and every thing. Absolutely and utterly nothing is beyond His omnipotence and sovereign wisdom. Instead of men thinking that they can come up with wise plans to help God’s kingdom advance, these men should bow in humble submission and cry out how He would have these things to happen. Instead of seeking greatness, men should seek lowliness and brokenness before God who alone can enable them to submit to His sovereign plan.

As Jesus taught us in John 15, we can do nothing apart from Him. This great God that “governs every particle and part of it in connection and conformity with the whole” can alone work in us wisdom and grace that we may indeed do things that are intended to be good and are good. It is God alone who can work all things for His own glory and our good because He has planned all things and orders all things in that way. Everything conforms to each other and His plan in the ultimate sense because that is how perfect wisdom orders all things when He intends all things for the highest good which is His own glory. Each and ever thing (act, word, intent, motive) are all part of His divine plan and each works together as He has designed it and planned it. We may think or feel that He is picking on us by bringing hard things into our lives, but we have no idea the good He has planned for those hard things. He can use those to work great maturity in our lives, but those hard things can also be used in His hands to bring great glory to Himself in ways we are clueless about.

What an encouragement for the believer that we must take hold of. God is indeed sovereign over all the smallest things as well as the greatest things. Everything that happens to me is from His sovereign hand and intended for His glory which is the greatest good that there is and which should be my greatest love. There is nothing that can possibly happen to the believer that is outside of the hand of the sovereign and living God who has an eternal plan for the smallest things. Every event that comes to the believer is brought directly to the believer through the hand of eternal and infinite love, and that is true with the hardest things as well as the good. While God may bring things that are far beyond what my flesh can bear, His grace can give me the strength to bear what His wisdom has planned for His own glory. Every thing that He brings to pass fits with His great scheme and that I am part of that great scheme and that all that is happening to me has a far greater purpose than I can imagine. Oh how this great truth should humble us into the dust and move us to seek the face of the Lord to give us grace to be content in His hands.

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