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As promised earlier here’s my take on the Sovereignty of God. This isn’t so much a comprehensive analysis or any sort of systematic theology of this doctrine as it is a collection of personal anecdotes laced with religious ideas that when they hit me I found to be profound and encouraging, especially in light of my recent post about control.

The other night a couple friends and I were sitting on a porch and talking about our faith walks, God, the Bible, you name it. It was one of those conversations that is made up of tangents that have very little, if any, pattern. It was fun. I’m not sure how, but we got onto the topic of reason, logic, and their role in faith. I shared with them part of my story:

At the end of junior year of high school I had a nasty sinus infection, so I went to the doctor and got some anti-bacterial meds. Turns out, I’m apparently allergic to the stuff they gave me and for three days I was covered from head-to-toe in an incredibly itchy rash. Needless to say, I didn’t want to go to school. While sitting at home, after completing what homework I could, I started checking out the forums of several of my favorite bands, most notably Thrice, and stumbled upon some apologetics…and then some counter-apologetics. Having been raised in a very conservative Christian town with almost 11 years of Christian education under my belt I jumped into the fray sure that I could construct some wonderful argument to prove that Jesus Christ was God.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. What did happen was I realized that I didn’t know what I believed, much less why I believed it. Like I said, I was raised in a Conservative Christian town and hadn’t had much interaction with anyone who didn’t at least pay lip-service to Christianity. This isn’t to say I allowed myself to be spoon-fed whatever doctrine was pushed at me, I always was a cocky, dissenting bastard with a taste for going against the grain and distaste for authority, but for the most part I had always taken it as a given that God exists without any grounds for it. So I did what seemed to be the most logical and productive thing I could think of: I renounced all my beliefs in everything religious except my dogmatic trust in my intellect. I was an atheist for a while, then agnostic, then Christian, then agnostic, and even kicked around Buddhist ideas for a short time in there. Sometime around the early part of Senior year of high school I arrived at Christianity. I’ve had some serious doubts again since I got to college, but for the most part I’ve been a Christian ever since then.

As soon as I said the word, “atheist,” one of my friends caught his breathe. “Whoa. So, what do you think would have happened if you died during that time?” he asked. I took a drag of my cigarette and thought about it for a second. Then I said this:

Can I say I reject the premise of the question? Yes, I was an atheist and an agnostic for a while. I thought Christians were weak minded sheep and saw no reason to believe Jesus was God-incarnate, much less my savior. I spent many nights staring at my ceiling fan spin trying to think of reasons why He was, but I couldn’t come up with something besides wishful thinking. That said, since then I did find reasons and my story and the things I wrote during that time have shaped me. God has also used me to encourage others and used the ideas I pondered during that time to help others who have gone through, or are going through, doubts. So what would have happened if I died? Who cares, God had a plan and part of his plan was for me to not die, despite the fact that I probably should have died…I did a lot of stupid things, including attempting suicide.

God is sovereign. God is in control. It’s not my call for when I live or die, it’s His. I don’t want to get into a debate about predestination, but even the strictest of Free-will advocates will certainly not deny the omnipotence and sovereignty of God. Neither is it deniable that God has at least some level of control over our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I find that incredibly comforting. I don’t have control over my life, and while that drives me nuts sometimes, It’s better that way, and I know it. God, who also happens to be omniscient, does have control over my life. I know that while bad things will bruise and batter me, God will carry me through (He told me so). When I’m kicking, screaming, and running the other way or when I’m following diligently at his heels like an aged dog at the heels of his master, he will always show me the right way to go and even put roadblocks in my way to make sure I don’t go too far off path.

God is sovereign. God is in control.
It’s not my call for when I live or die, it’s His.

the blacksheep sends his love.