[b]A Sovereign Ruler[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
"Our Father Who art in heaven," (Matt.6:9) reminds us that the One we are praying to is One Who is Sovereign and Almighty, ruling in the heavens. Even in the Old Testament, God sought to impress His sovereignty upon His people. He told them, "Relax and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth" (Psa.46:10 - NASB margin). He rules over all the earth as Supreme Sovereign and that's why we can relax! Perhaps the greatest truth that the Church needs to recognize in this day is the truth of the sovereignty of God and the total authority of Jesus Christ over all nations and powers.
Consider something that has taken place in the lifetime of many of us. We all know that one of Israel's greatest enemies today is Soviet Russia. Russia would be delighted if Israel could be wiped out of existence. Yet in May 1948, when Great Britain failed to keep its promise to the Jews to give them the land of Palestine, it was the Russian vote in favour of Israel that enabled the United Nations to accept the establishment of the state of Israel. Of course, Russia's aim was to get the British out of Palestine. But nevertheless, it goes to show how God in His sovereignty, could use even an atheistic nation to fulfil His word and help bring the Jews back to their land, when a so-called `Christian' nation backed out on its promise.
God is on the throne and He is in total control of the affairs of the world. It is only as our faith is rooted and grounded on this truth that our hearts can be at rest, no matter what may happen around us in the days to come. The Bible tells us to pray for the government (1 Tim. 2:1,2). It's no use doing that unless we believe that our prayers are going to change existing situations. I, for one, wouldn't waste my time praying for those in authority, if I didn't believe that God was sovereign enough to influence government decisions and even voting patterns at election- time, in answer to prayer. We have prayed for our country in past days and seen that our prayers have brought miraculous results - for the furtherance of God's purposes in our land!
"The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever He wishes" (Prov. 21:1). God can make the greatest ruler in the world change his decisions, if we pray. If the Prime Minister of India were your father, what a difference that would make in your attitude to problems and difficulties that you face in your life. If your landlord threatens you, or your boss makes life difficult for you, or somebody is unjust towards you, or you need something done urgently, would you have any worries? No. You'd just have to ring up your Dad and ask him to solve your problem. Isn't the Lord greater than the Prime Minister of India ?
What do we do then when we face some problem in our life? Do we say, "Well, I'll just tell my heavenly Father about it. He rules the universe, and He can surely sort out this problem"? Or do we say, "I wish I knew some influential cabinet minister or Police Officer, who can help me now"? Which is our first reaction? Many Christians are atheists when it comes to the practical matters of daily life. They talk about faith in God in the meetings and even in their homes. But when it comes to earthly matters, they are full of fear and anxiety just like any atheist.
There has never been as much fear as in our day. Jesus said that in the last days men's hearts would faint from fear wondering what was going to happen next (Luke 21:26). But it is at just such a time, that we are exhorted to lift up our heads fearlessly and to look for Christ's return (Luke 21:28).
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon