Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why Worship This God?

The reason I believe in God and worship him is because he is before all things, he created all things, he upholds all things, he is above all things, he knows all things, he accomplishes all things, he rules over all things, and he is in control of all things. That’s the reason I believe him and have given my entire life to him in faith and in trust that he is superior to all the other truth-claims in the world. He is not just another “-ism” out there to be considered. He is infinite and eternal, over-all and worthy above all. I worship him because he is sovereign.

Within the salad bar of the world’s religions, we haven’t simply come up with a nice little system that takes a little bit from here and a little from there. God is not just one option among many. I worship a God who from a natural and limited earthly perspective; has made outrageous, ridiculous, exclusive, “narrow” claims about himself. He insists that he, and he alone, is to be worshiped.

Just think about what God says of himself:

He is before all things; all things hold together in him. He was there before the mountains were born, he brought forth the earth, he is the Alpha and Omega, and he alone is immortal. 
(Ps. 90:2; Col. 1:17; 1 Tim. 6:16; Rev. 1:8)

He created all things, both in heaven and on earth, both visible and invisible.
(Gen. 1:1; John 1:3; Col. 1:16)

He upholds all things, sustaining everything, holding it together by his Word.
(Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3)

He is above all things, specifically so that people in China, the U.S., South America, and everywhere, may know him. (Isa. 45:5-12; Eph. 4:6)

He knows all things. He isn’t a limited God. God knows everything completely before it happens. (Ps. 139:4, 6; Isa. 46:10)

He can do all things. Nothing is too difficult for him! Nothing—not anything—is impossible with him. (Jer. 32:27; Luke 1:37)

He accomplishes all things. He orchestrates and determines what he is going to do in your life, in my life, in the president’s life, in war-torn countries with rebellious rulers—everywhere! Whatever he plans in this world and for this universe, he does. (Isa. 14:24; 46:10; Eph. 1:11)

He rules over all things. This is what sovereignty is. All strength and power are in his hands.
(1 Chron. 29:11-12; Dan. 4:34-35)

He is in control of all things. Whenever the economy goes sour, or whenever earthly kings rage out of control, God is in control. When Satan wants to mess with your life, he has to ask God’s permission. (Job 4:2; Rom. 8:28)

If you want specific examples of what exactly is under God’s control, take a look at the following verses:

Earthly kings (Prov. 21:1; Rev. 19:16)
Human events (Ps. 33:9-11; Dan. 2:7)
Good angels (Col. 1:15-16; Rev. 4:8)
Satan and fallen angels (Job 1:6; Eph. 1:21; Phil. 2:10)
Human decisions (Acts 2:23; 13:48; Rom 8:29-30; Eph. 1:11)

God makes numerous claims about himself in the Bible that many other religious systems don’t even attempt to rival. When he claims his sovereignty, he is pointing to himself as the ultimate source of all power, authority, and everything that exists.

sovereign—adj. 1: above or superior to all others; chief; greatest; supreme 2: supreme in power, rank, or authority 3: of or holding the position of ruler; royal; reigning 4: independent of all others 5: excellent; outstanding - n. 1: a person who possesses sovereign authority or power; specifically, a monarch or ruler.

When I think of sovereignty, the phrase I like best is that “God is in control.” That’s such a comfort. When a loved one lies in a hospital bed, God is in control. When we think of our most difficult times with a child, God is in control. When a close friend is in ICU, God is in control. When the economy—national or personal—is on a slide, God is in control. Nothing will enter your life that God does not either decree or allow. And nothing will ever enter your life that, if you are willing to trust in him, he cannot work out for your good.

That’s what it means to be sovereign. Because God is sovereign, he is without equal: the King of kings, the Lord of lords, without limitation in any way. He is the only absolutely free being in the universe.

I love A. W. Tozer’s explanation of sovereignty in his book The Knowledge of the Holy:

Quick Definition - God’s sovereignty is the attribute by which He rules His entire creation, and to be sovereign God must be all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely free. The reasons are these: Were there even one datum of knowledge, however small, unknown to God, His rule would break down at that point. To be Lord over all creation, He must possess all knowledge. And were God lacking one infinitesimal modicum of power, that lack would end His reign and undo His kingdom; that one stray atom of power would belong to someone else and God would be a limited ruler and hence not sovereign. Furthermore, His sovereignty requires that He be absolutely free, which means simply that He must be free to do whatever He wills to do anywhere at any time to carry out His eternal purpose in every single detail without interference. Were He less than free, He must be less than sovereign.

When you bow your head to pray—when you’re in a jam and you need to ask God for something—are you aware of who you’re talking to? The one to whom you pray has power over the entire universe, over every single atom, and yet he is infinitely loving and he cares about you. That’s who you’re talking to. That’s why we worship him.

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