Sovereign means in total control. This mantra is frequently quoted. “We can only ask God. We are powerless. He is sovereign.”
This can be a giant cop-out. God was sovereign when He created the world (Genesis 1). He turned a huge area of authority over to Adam (man) to control, that is the world and its systems. Adam even had control over the animal kingdom.
Gen 1:26 – dominion means control in this passage.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
God delegated much power to Man
But in Genesis 3 Adam voluntarily turned over the world and its systems to Satan. (I won’t quote the whole thing.) And Satan is still the boss over the world. The whole world, says the Bible, lies in the wicked one.
1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
God did retain authority over the earth. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, (i.e. what the earth produces.) The book of Amos reminds us He is in control of the weather. And He still controls individuals.
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
God’s rule is only delegated to those who are under His direct authority through obedience- the nation of Israel and Christians. God has restored to believers all the authority over the enemy at any one point – raising the dead, casting out devils, healing the sick – the whole shebang.
Luke 9 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.
Naysayers are powerless
Some preachers say that was for former times. Why? Perhaps because they do not have that power? Why should their powerlessness restrain ours? Those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit AND who are obedient to the Word have access to everything God granted in the former generations. To say otherwise is to have
2 Timothy 3:5 a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
For those outside His will and His word – the world and all its terrors of flesh and devil prevail. God is not in control of China or North Korea. He could blast ‘em both off the face of the earth. He still has the power to correct evil, and especially over nations. But the North Korean people “elected” their leader, such as it was, as have so many nations in dire circumstances today.
The power for those who believe
God has given believers (those who believe His word) the authority and subsequent power over all, if they take it and use it. It’s like a check in the bank. If you don’t cash the check, you don’t have the money. Simple. If you do not use the power of god, you might have it but it is of no consequence.
If we say God is Sovereign in order to avoid our responsibility for obedience then shame on us. Jesus said on the cross, It is finished. He means, He has done all the work. Now we pick up the challenge, to complete His work as He has directed.
We can have power over nations
Syria and its nasty genocidal leaders are our responsibility, first in prayer, and then possibly in the natural. Since I don’t work for the President of the USA (and you can forget wimpy NATO or United Nations from ever doing anything)) I can only pray believing God will bring to swift judgment nations which terrorize, exploit and murder their citizens in the streets which is what is happening today across the world.
Simply saying God is sovereign is no cure, and certainly no excuse for obeying the will of God. Period.