God’s Sovereignty and the Role of Prayer
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #585.
When we resist God’s sovereignty in a difficult or painful situation, we also miss the power of prayer that He’s given us. In prayer, we partner with God!
(Martha) Are you the one that said what 1 Samuel 26:9b, what was that? I don’t remember the, what it said.
(Rebekah) When David and one of his men saw Saul sleeping. Saul had been, you know, persecuting David and they saw him sleeping with the army, and one of David’s men wanted to kill him right there. Said, “Let me kill him.” And David said, “Don’t destroy him. Nobody can raise his hand against Adonai’s anointed without becoming guilty. As Adonai lives, Adonai will strike him down. Or the day will come for him to die. Or he will go down to battle and be swept away. Adonai forbid that I should raise my hand against Adonai’s anointed.” Which I never really noticed that part. I always remember the part where the guy who does end up killing Saul tells David, “He’s dead and I killed him.” Because, I think so that he wouldn’t be dragged off by the enemy or something. And David strikes him down. Says it wasn’t his place to do it.
(Martha) Because David understood authority.
(Martha) And sovereignty means that what God ordains, even to choose Saul as the king. Even though he was evil and wanted to murder, he was the anointed. And that is sovereignty. The Bible is full of such stories that prove the reality of God’s sovereignty. And what happens when you resist it. What happens when you will not come under that sovereignty, of His order.
(Rebekah) Oh I have to correct myself. Saul, ah, Saul asked the man to kill him. “He said to me, ‘I’m in agony and I’m going to die but I’m still alive so please stand next to me and kill me.’ So I stood next to him and killed him.” Saul asked him to kill him.
(Martha) Even still…
(Rebekah) And David, David said “How is it that you weren’t afraid to raise your hand to destroy Adonai’s anointed?” David called one of his young men and said, “Go over to him and kill him.”
(John) Even under his direction…
(Martha) Yeah. That proves there’s so much to that. And ah, the Bible is just, it’s full of it. If you see it as it is, you will see the sovereignty of God. His—
(John) It’s impossible not to, you know.
(Martha) Umhmm. If you believe it and read it in that way. But the power that’s come out of it for me is the power of prayer. That, situations that are wrong, God intends us to be involved in HIM, not in the situation. Entangled not with what’s going on but with God’s view and being a pray-er. And solving it by prayer. That’s so powerful. He has given us the power through prayer to correct situations. And to rule wrongs by asking Him to do it. He says, “You be quiet, I will fight for you.”
(Rebekah) I was just saying actually, we – not God, but we – often blame Eve for the fall, because she fell for the serpent’s lie and she took it in, but then she took it to Adam and Adam had a choice. Adam could have chosen God, could have chosen to take what Eve told him to God and ask God.
(John) And Adam was not deceived. Adam just chose.
(Martha) Uh huh, that’s right. Thanks, John, for facing up (laughs).
(John) Well, that’s just the way it is.
(Rebekah) But, you know, we’re each individually responsible for our choice. You know, often it’s like, “Oh, Adam and Eve fell.” They fell individually.
(Martha) But when God dealt with it, He dealt with Adam. Both of them had repercussions that He named but He addressed Adam as responsible for it. Which I’m not saying it’s men, I’m just saying, you named it. Adam was not deceived. And so he had, he didn’t have the, he had the reality and he could have used it to stop it there but… As I’ve always said, “If he hadn’t done it, I would have.”
(Rebekah) The first man, and not the last, to make a decision based on trying to please his wife rather than God (laughter).
(Rebekah) More afraid of the fallout from his wife than… (laughs)
(Martha) And see, what the enemy actually did was to convince Eve that God was not sovereign, and there were no consequences because God was not in control. But there are consequences because He’s sovereign. But he gave her a hint and a suggestion unspoken that God was really not God. ‘Cause He didn’t mean, He never said what He really said.
(John) But you know something, the circumstance that you’re talking about, that you allowed His sovereignty to lead you to the whole deal that, when you did that, you bowed and you surrendered and you waited and you prayed. The situation turned right back around and was a blessing to you. And blessing to, I mean, it was a blessing…
(Martha) Oh it was a marvelous, marvelous outcome. Perfectly marvelous!
(John) It blessed all of us actually.
(Martha) Umhmm. But you helped me. You are the one that helped me. You said, “Martha, you’ve got to let it go. You’ve got to let God do His thing. And you’ve got to let this situation be God’s.” And I did let go. I did.
(John) And then it turned around and it blessed you. It gave you exactly what you would’ve wanted if you, you know… Maybe not exactly how you would’ve scripted it.
(Martha) It was more. It was more wonderful than I would’ve wished for. And I received the revelation that probably has changed my life. I’m asking Him, “Show me where I resist You and quench the Spirit. And show me where I’m interfering with You trying to be and play God.” Where I don’t need to play God, there is One perfectly adequate for every situation, and I’m to partner with Him. And as not, as on the 10th floor looking down, not entangled, not involving myself, not… Even in my thinking. We don’t understand that our thoughts of control are powerful against the Spirit and against people.
(John) It’s because we don’t trust God, right? It’s because we believe that He’s foolish and He won’t do it the right way.
(Martha) “He won’t do it, I have to do it.” And that’s the old man. That will always be there in the flesh. It will always be unbelief. But if we understood – and it’s tested all of life, I believe it’s tested every, every path is tested as to whether you believe He is God or not. It’s what you said in the beginning. The hug from God, that His sovereignty’s in place and I’m secure. He can and He will and He does and He has! All those things we see in His— In how it plays out, His sovereignty is proven and defended. Just like Israel standing before the Red Sea, as Rebekah said. Moses was vindicated when (laughing), yeah, yeah, yak yak yak. Oh me! But His sovereignty is so huge and so big. And we talked, we talked also about the prayer, “All things work together for good to those who love God and according to His purpose.” So, that is true for those who love Him and who are living for His purpose. He is, He’s in control. You looking very thoughtful.
(John) I just know how I just made a mess. Whenever I’m the orchestrator and the conductor of my own existence, I literally am gonna make a mess. I’m literally gonna make a train wreck. And it’s gonna be awful. And I’m literally trying to pull it off the tracks. “Ok, I want you off the tracks.” And sovereignty is that track and it is, it’s very secure, it’s very, you know.
(Rebekah) But He can even use your mess.
(John) Oh He has to because that’s all I have!
(Rebekah) He can sovereignly…
(Martha) That’s how sovereign He is, isn’t it?
(John) He has to because that’s all He has. He has our mess. He has our train wreck and He has to, you know. And it’s not like, even tomorrow I’m not gonna, you know…
(Martha) And I believe His sovereignty is a boundary for each individual and that you can go way off, but there’s a limit.
(Martha) And when you hit that limit, God pulls you back in. But He’s sovereign over— The freedom He gives you is under His sovereignty even. Does that make…?
(John) Yeah that’s, that’s frightening to me. I don’t, I don’t want that much control, you know. That’s horrifying, ’cause do I think that I’ll run right in the center of that bubble that He has, the sovereign bubble? Well no, I’m gonna run on the edge of that bubble. You know, if you give me the parameter, I’m gonna go all the way to the edge of the parameter.
(Martha) But you won’t be allowed to go beyond it. There will be a place, and it’s a long place. He lets you go a lot of distance ’cause you’re free to do that but if He’s, if He’s chosen you, then He sovereignly will get you where He wants you to be. Thank God for His sovereignty! It’s so beautiful and wonderful and powerful.
(John) It’s His fathering.
(John) It is Him being Father.
(Martha) Umhmm. And so many things we think we didn’t have as a child, such as a present father, were God’s sovereign plan and order to produce in you and me and Rebekah what He wants us to become. For instance, I didn’t have a mother from the age of like 10 or 12. My mother died when I was 14. I have a mothering heart because I didn’t have that for so many years. She never saw my children born. She never met my husband. And that is a huge hole in me that God fills by letting me mother. The kind of mother she was. And so there’s purpose in it, in all of it. And if you, and I’ve seen in one person’s life that they had a very, not an absent father – that might have been a little bit better – but a very damaging father, and a very, that made that person withdraw from the father. And I’ve seen that God reserved that person to very much, the story is going to be the Fatherhood of God for that person. Because God was jealous. We don’t understand God’s jealousy. You want me to go off on that? (laughs)
(John) Sure, yeah that’d be great.
(Martha) He is, He is a jealous God! And I’ve told about my friend who woke up in the night and heard an audible voice say to her, “What is My name?” And she went, “I don’t know.” He said, “My name is Jealous.” And it is. It’s not a characteristic. It is a name; it is an identity. And thank God He is because it is His jealousy for us that is our protection when we’re foolish. But I’m saying that God is, every deficit in our childhood is an inborn hole waiting for God to fill with His— Himself. And so when it took me a long time to let, to accept my mother was gone and I had no mother. Took me years, but when I came to the end of it, He said to me, “I am your father/mother/sister/brother and husband. I am every relationship.” And there are many things, I think, that I would be different if my mother had lived. I would not, I would not be the same person if she had lived. And He decided what kind of person I would be. Sovereignly.
(John) And He sovereignly chose what would make that person. He chose where He was gonna put the thumb in that clay as it was spinning.
(Martha) Yes! Exactly, on the Potter’s wheel. Great. So everything is wonderful and there is— He’s tried to teach me and I’ve been poor at learning it but He’s tried to teach me. I think there is no problem. There is no problem. There are situations that need His sovereignty. There are things in our lives that we feel have damaged us, but there is no problem. And that is hard to believe because we have this drive in us to control. And it will be tested unendingly. Every, and what God tests about His sovereignty is our unbelief. He exposes our unbelief in His power, His willingness – “Can you help, if You are willing, Jesus?” “If I’m willing, yes. I’ll do it now.” – His power, His willingness, His involvement, His hearing us. And the other thing we don’t understand and it constitutes a paradox is that He will give us free will to refuse His will, and He will let us have the consequences of that. That’s how free we are in God. It is our choice and if it is our choice then we must exercise that choice toward Him. But it’s frighteningly true that He will give us the freedom we want from Him and away from Him. If that’s what we want. That’s why prayer is so important. That’s why prayer is the calling. Prayer is the power. Prayer is the solution. Ask God to do it!
God’s Sovereignty and the Role of Prayer – Episode #587 – Shulamite Podcast
Seeing and receiving the sovereignty of God over every situation and relationship in life is an ongoing surrender for every believer. But when we resist God’s sovereignty in a difficult or painful situation, we also miss the power of prayer that He’s given us!