sovereign: possessed of supreme power; unlimited in extent.

“. . . until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men” (Daniel 4:32)

Sovereign. Not a word we use much today, but in the above verse from the book of Daniel, it spoke volumes. Before modern times, people had a better grasp of the term I think. Jog back a couple of centuries and remember that most every political boundary was governed by a king. If you lived in a kingdom, you understood the power and authority of the king. It was undisputed. The king (or queen for that matter) could, quite literally, do whatever he/she wanted to do, anytime they chose to do it. Absolute power and control – No questions asked (at least not out loud!) But today, we are accustomed to having our ‘rights’ protected (a good thing most of the time). So, as adults, we are a bit unfamiliar with someone having any type of complete and total control over our lives. And yet, that is what “sovereign” implies.

When it comes to the sovereignty of God, I think most of us run back and forth between two schools of thought:

1 – God is good, but not totally sovereign.

2 – God is sovereign, but not totally good.

In the first camp we find those who believe that although God is mostly “good” in nature, He is limited in power. The belief is that even though He created the universe, He then set it in motion and it now runs its own course. He may know what will happen in our futures, but He is basically limited in His ability to affect change. He is wise, He means well, He loves us, but creation is now just out of His hands.

In the second group are those who believe that God is all powerful but not completely good. He is seen as mostly indifferent concerning the details of our lives. He is completely able to do any and all things, but seems unwilling. He carries a big stick while waiting for His subjects to stumble – subjects who fear Him and do their best to fly under the radar.

Which is truth? Neither! God is both sovereign AND good!

His power is absolute, total, unlimited, unrestricted, fixed, infallible, precise, undeniable, unquestionable, total – sovereign. He is able to move any mountain, correct any situation, change any decision, touch any life.

He is also absolutely good, merciful, faithful, just, holy, true, loving, peaceful, patient, generous, forgiving and completely willing.

Consider this: A small child toddles innocently into a street where an oncoming semi can’t see him. Mom runs to the rescue and in the nick of time, saves her son. His safety is secure again and all is well. Except for one thing. Now Junior is angry at Mom. In order to rescue him in time, she scooped him up quickly from the street and hurt his arm a bit. Mom is mean! For no reason at all, she’s hurt his innocent little arm. All of this time he thought she was so loving, and sweet and protective, but it turns out she’s just mean and uncaring, and unloving and indifferent to his pain. And to make matters worse, she offers no explanation! He’s considering not trusting her anymore!

Now we all know that it wouldn’t do Mom any good to try to explain to Junior that she did what was necessary to save his life – because she loves him. She could spend the rest of the day trying to explain the dynamics of standing in the path of an oncoming vehicle to him, but she doesn’t because his limited understanding can not grasp it. Instead, she holds him, sheds tears of relief, and ignores the fact that he is angry with her. “One day . . .” she thinks, “One day, he’ll understand my great love for him.” And for now, it is enough for her. She endures his anger and confusion, because she knows – better than he – the danger and the risks. She sees what he can not see . . . yet.

I suppose because we’re “all grown up” it’s a little difficult to believe that we don’t always know what’s best for us. When God doesn’t allow something in our lives that we want so desperately, or when He allows situations that are difficult, it seems logical to distrust His motives.
After all, if He CAN do it, then why doesn’t he? Because He knows better.

If He is able to deliver me from ________, then why doesn’t He? Because He’s working out a plan.

If He does love me, then why doesn’t he remove all difficulty? Because He loves me.

If there is a reason behind the madness, why doesn’t He explain? Because He knows.

And because He has a plan. And because His plan involves training us in righteousness and holiness and faith. And because He knows of what we are truly made and what really needs to happen in the secret place of our hearts . . .

“. . . until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men” (Daniel 4:32)

And because He is truly, both sovereign and good.


6 Responses to “Sovereign”

  1. lori Says:

    I’ll tell you, EVERYTHING that is coming to me these days is all about trusting God….and HIS plan….scott is trying to figure out ‘what’ to do with his job and all of these messages, God’s way of saying…just wait, I have a plan…
    you wrote this for me, didn’t you!!

    God is GOOD, ALL the time….
    I felt the SAME way about that quote on my blog yesterday….It stopped me and caused me to reallllllly think….I LOVE when God does that!
    hugs to you!!

  2. Kelly Says:

    Great post! You have ministered to my heart.

  3. Linda at 2nd cup Says:

    Darnelle, this is so spot-on, speaking directly and succinctly to the issues of waiting on God or experiencing his silence as a “holy silence,” as I have heard it called recently. When I read the two camps of belief about his sovereignty and goodness, something inside me shouted, “That’s it!” In the beginning of this year, I was experiencing a lot of anxiety the second I woke up in the morning, really before I even had time to have a coherent thought, I was stressed. I began to say over and over, “But God is sovereign,” no matter what my mind threw up for me to worry about. Now when that I happens, and I will also remind myself, “and He is good.” Thanks so much for the encouragement.

  4. Kelley @ Aroma of Joy Says:

    I am a new visitor to your blog and I really enjoyed this post. I have been in a study of Romans this year and have learned a lot about God’s sovereignty and His love. It is difficult to wrap our minds around but you have really stated it well! Thanks for adding clarity!


  5. Stephanie Says:

    Good stuff my friend!
    Keep it coming.

  6. Kysha Says:


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