This is a tricky topic! We know that God’s sovereignty is absolute. Yet He does sometimes call us off the bench to work with Him in His bigger purposes. The first and best way to ensure you are being called to something important is prayer. There are also some biblical examples we can stand upon. Let’s look at them together. [For some related material on this subject, please read ‘What’s My Calling’ on our blog page.]
Here’s the listening guide for this series, there is no traditional homework for this one:
Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility Listening Guide
In Part One we open with the core scripture for this study, Esther 4:12-16. We love Esther’s final words in this exchange, ‘If I perish, I perish.’ As you open this study with us, pray that God will help us all accomplish that level of faith!
In Part Two Galatians chapter 5 gives us a good barometer for measuring our hearts and our actions. When we move through our faith walk, this is a great place to check in with God. Human responsibility includes being accountable for our actions.
In Part Three we look at 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul reminds us that in our weakness we can still glorify God. Sometimes our human responsibility is to be humble in the light of God’s provision.
Finally, in Part Four we discuss the element of divine sovereignty and human responsibility in every salvation experience. If you pray with us at the end of this broadcast, please let us know here. We want to celebrate with you!
The friends in this study were Sue, Romy, Erin, and Holly.
The conversation in part 4 reminds me of how much I want to control things — just about every thing, and how hard it is for me to yield to God. My natural inclination is to rely on my own human responsibility in just about all areas. While I fully believe in God’s sovereignty, the yielding part, or resting in it, is definitely not my strong suit. I can really relate to the comment about knowing that Jesus is my savior…but am I allowing him to be my Lord?
The pattern usually goes: trying to handle things in my own strength, which produces anxiety and doubt. Then my strength gives out and I reach that place mentioned in the discussion, of “emptying out,” where I throw up my hands, finally letting go of control. Then am I able to see God’s sovereignty at work; my anxiety gives way to peace. It really is an act of submission, the very opposite of control. This is such a hard lesson for me, and such a hard thing to do! I love how Sue points out that by demonstrating our assurance in God’s sovereignty, through submission to Him, we demonstrate our faith, which is a powerful witness.
One thing I’m confident of: I am a work in progress and God is patiently revealing to me just how much I need to yield. He is steadily sanctifying me toward obedience, where I will have His grace and peace. 1 Peter 1:2 – “To those who are elect exiles…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”
I love Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” May God always be glorified!