Foundations of Faith: God Reigns over Me

crownScripture:  Psalm 103:19, Romans 11:33-36

 Foundations are important.  This morning we come to part 2 of a series on the foundations of faith.  There are four corners of this foundation:  The Bible, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  It’s critical you have a correct understanding of each of these topics, for if you don’t your spiritual foundation is unstable.  Despite the education you may attain, despite the health and prosperity you may possess, despite other good things you experience, you won’t have a solid base for your lives.  Sooner or later your life will begin to lean, crack and eventually fall.  Your foundation is critical.  Our first passage for this morning tells us, “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”  This verse refers to God’s sovereignty.  God’s sovereignty is something about which we don’t hear much nowadays.  It’s a theological word, but a very important one.  In the middle of the word sovereignty is the word “reign.”  To believe in the sovereignty of God means that you acknowledge the reign of God over your life.  It means He is in control, you are not.  Now if God is in charge, then it is important for us to live that way, to think that way, and to feel that way.  Many of us may have learned about the poem “Invictus” by Ernest Henley.  It is a literary classic.  Part of the poem says,

“Out of the black night that covers me
Black is the pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul

“It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.”

Even though these words are popular, if God is sovereign, and He is, then you are not the master of your fate.  You are not the captain of your soul.  According the Bible, God is sovereign over everything and everyone, from the largest galaxy to the smallest atom to you and me.  He controls the angels in heaven, the inhabitants of the earth, including the leaders of the world and the beggars in the street.  In our culture we like to think that we have complete freedom to do our own thing.  To us, nobody is entitled to tell us what to do.  The old Frank Sinatra song, “I did it my way” is our theme.  Sovereignty means God is king.  He calls the shots, He rules and reigns over everyone and everything.  He reigns over events and circumstances.  Nothing happens unless He causes it or He allows it.  No event takes God by surprise.  The Apostle Paul had a firm grasp of God’s sovereignty.  He says in our second passage for this morning, Romans 11:33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”  God reigns over everything and everyone, including you and me.  He does it for at least three reasons.

First, God reigns over me because He knows everything.  God is omniscient.  Omniscient comes from one Latin word, “omni” meaning all and a second Latin word, scienta” meaning “to know.”  Literally the word means all-knowing.  We’ve all met people who believe they know-it-all and don’t.  God really does know it all.  1 John 3:19-20 says, “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”  God’s knowledge isn’t just academic, it is also personal.  He knows you, everything single thing about you.  He knows you better than you know yourself.  I read a story about a prosecuting attorney in a small town.  He was trying a case in court, and he called as his first witness an elderly woman who had lived in the town all her life.  She also happened to be one of the nosiest gossips.  He said to her, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?”  She said, “Yes, I know you Mr. Williams.  “I’ve known you since you were a young boy.”  He smiled in pride until she said, “And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me.  You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people, talk about them behind their backs, and charge more money than you’re owed.  You don’t have the brains to realize you are never going to amount to anything other than a two-bit pusher.  Yes, I know you.”  The lawyer was stunned.  Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked her, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?”  She said, “Yes, I’ve known him since he was a child.  In fact, I used to babysit him for his parents and he has also been a great disappointment.  He is lazy, has a drinking problem, cheated his way through law school, and is single because no woman will have him.  He’s also one of the most crooked lawyers in this state.  Yes, I know him.”  Immediately after she finished making her statement the judge’s gavel came down with a boom.  He said, “Silence!  Both counselors approach the bench.”  When they came near to him, he said to them quietly with fire in his eyes, “If either one of you asks her if she knows me, I’ll jail you both for contempt of court!”  God knows you.  He doesn’t just know the you that you want everyone to see, He knows you.  He knows your good side and your bad side, he knows your light side and your dark side.  God also knows what you think.  He can read your mind as easily as you can read a billboard.  God knows what you are thinking right now, and He even knows what you are going to think before you think it.  God can watch everything and be aware of everything all at the same time.  A country church had a picnic, and had a long table full of food.  At the beginning of the serving line there was a basket of apples with a sign that said, “Only take one apple — God is watching you.” Near the end of the line there was a large plate of chocolate chip cookies.  A small boy had gone through line and scribbled a note beside the plate that said, “Take all the cookies you want – God is watching the apples!”  It doesn’t work that way.  God reigns over me because He knows everything.

Then, God reigns over me because He is everywhere.  Romans 11:36 says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”  Everywhere you go, God is there.  God never really has to go anywhere, because He is already there.  There is no place where God isn’t there.  The theological word is omnipresent.  Omni is the Latin word for all, present means present.  In other words, God is present in all places.  David says in Psalm 139:7-10, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”  An atheist on one occasion was trying to convince a small boy that there is no God.  He said, “Son, if you show me where God is I’ll give you an apple.”  The boy replied quickly, “Mr., if you show where God is not I’ll give you a whole box of apples!”  During VBS a few weeks ago Sir Loin and Sir Praisealot brought super soakers into the sanctuary.  One young boy said afterwards, “They shouldn’t have done that, this is God’s house!”  When we start thinking of this building as the Lord’s house, we depart from what Scripture teaches us.  We also get into a mindset that when we leave this place, we leave God’s presence.  Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,”  The entire earth is the Lord’s house – He is in all of it and it belongs to Him.  If you have followed Jesus to save you from your sin, then you too are God’s house.  God lives in you.  Because God is in all places, we can worship Him anywhere.  We do not have to be in the church building to worship.  The purpose of this facility is not so that we can worship – we can do that anywhere because God is everywhere.  The purpose of this facility is to give us a place to worship together.  We need to be meeting together to worship – God has commanded us to do so.  There are many, many things that Christians do on Sundays that God hasn’t called them to do.  One thing he has called us to do however, is to worship together.  Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  God reigns over me because He is everywhere.

 God reigns over me because He can do anything.  Psalm 103:19 again says, “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”  He has all power – He can do anything.  God also says in Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?  God never runs out of energy, He never tires.  The theological word here is omnipotent.  The first part of the word omni is Latin from “all.”  Potent means powerful.  God has power over nature.  He can stop storms and hold back high water.  Job says to God in Job 30:22, “You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.’  God has power over your circumstances to work them together for His glory and your good.  He will do so if you are a follower of Jesus.  Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’  Most importantly, God has power over sin and death.  1 Corinthians 15:56-57 tells us, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  God has the power to give us new life, and eternal life.  God reigns over me, because He can do anything.

He knows everything, He is everywhere, He can do anything.  What do these things mean for you today?  If you don’t know Jesus, you had better get to know Him.  If you have an opportunity to be on good terms with the boss of the universe, you’d better take it.  If you do know Jesus, because God has complete control, You can have courage.  You face nothing alone, and with God, all things are possible.  You can also have confidence.  Anywhere you go, anything you do, He is with you and He is able.  “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”  That truth will make you or break you – will you choose to be on the Lord’s side, or try to live life on your own?

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