Musings on Sovereignty 6

The late deservedly celebrated Dr. Young, though he affected great opposition to some of the doctrines called Calvinistic, was yet compelled, by the force of truth, to acknowledge that “there is not a fly but has had infinite wisdom concerned not only in its structure, but in its destination.” Nor did the late learned and excellent Bishop Hopkins go a jot too far in asserting as follows: “A sparrow, whose price is but mean, two of them valued at a farthing (which some make to be the tenth part of a Roman penny, and was certainly one of their least coins), and whose life, therefore, is but contemptible, and whose flight seems giddy and at random; yet it falls not to the ground, neither lights anywhere, without your Father. His all-wise Providence hath before appointed what bough it shall pitch on, what grains it shall pick up, where it shall lodge, and where it shall build; on what it shall live, and where it shall die.” Our Savior adds, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. God keeps an account even of that stringy excrescence. Do you see a thousand little motes and atoms wondering up and down in a sun-beam? It is God that so peoples it, and He guides their innumerable and irregular strayings. Not a dust flies in a beaten road but God raiseth it, conducts its uncertain motion, and, by His particular care, conveys it to the certain place He had before appointed for it; nor shall the most fierce and tempestuous wind hurry it any further. Nothing comes to pass but God hath His ends in it, and will certainly make His own ends out of it. Though the world seems to run at random, and affairs to be huddled together in blind confusion, and rude disorder, yet, God sees and knows the concatenation of all causes and effects, and so governs them that He makes a perfect harmony out of all those seeming jarrings and discords. It is most necessary that we should have our hearts well established in the firm and unwavering belief of this truth, that whatsoever comes to pass, be it good or evil, we may look up to the hand and disposal of all, to God. In respect of God, there is nothing causal nor contingent in the world. Augustus Toplady

The natural eye of man sees things as happening according to luck or perhaps a series of random events. The natural eye of man does not see anything but confusion in terms of the acts and events of men in the world. The natural eye cannot see anything but what happens and the natural mind cannot behold the sovereign hand of God working all things according to His purposes. The natural man has no ability to behold the sovereign hand of God in the small events, though he may understand something when large “natural” disasters strike. The spiritual man, that is, the one with the eye of faith, is able to “see” the hand of God working in these events.

We know that unpleasant things befall most if not all of men. The natural man thinks that it is bad luck or perhaps that God has it out for him, but the spiritual man (though it may take a while) knows that God is in control and nothing can happen to him apart from God’s will. The spiritual man will eventually come to the point where his heart will submit to that sovereignty as God works His softening work in the heart of that person. When we fight events and happenings in our hearts, what we are really fighting is God’s right to rule over us and to do with us as He pleases. The spiritual man understands this at some point, but the natural man ridicules spiritual things.

Every effect has a cause or perhaps a series of causes. The natural man thinks of these things as random, but every single cause and effect is governed by God and is the outworking of His plan which is a beautiful harmony of effects and causes. The wisdom of men cannot see this at all, but that is not because the wisdom of God is less than that of men, but it is because men cannot rise to the level of God’s wisdom. His ways are not only higher, they are a lot higher. The quicker that the heart learns this principle the quicker the heart learns what God is doing to humble it and break it from self.

The heart must learn to rest in this great truth as a basic fact or it will be wavering all over the place. Regardless of what happens in the world or to each individual soul, regardless of what “comes to pass, be it good or evil, we may look up to the hand and disposal of all, to God.” While this is absurd and even crazy in the thinking of the natural man, this is what brings the spiritual man great comfort and abiding peace. God does not behold the world as if there are causes and effects that do not flow from Him, but instead there is nothing caused and nothing is truly contingent other than Himself. This is God’s world and He reigns and rules all things in accordance with His eternal plan. Oh how delicious this is to the soul that is taught of God to bow and know that if the Lord did it, then it is for a holy and good reason.

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