Have you ever desperately wanted something from God, even fasted and prayed for it, and not received it? Maybe you were hoping He would give you a new car or a better paying job, but after years of bargaining, you discover that “naming it and claiming it” doesn’t work the way you had hoped.
During my Christian journey, I have discovered many wonderful truths about God. Each day I realize more and more the depth of His love for me. But it has taken many life lessons for me to understand His sovereignty.
According to the dictionary, to be “sovereign” is “to have supreme power and authority; to be excellent; to have controlling influence.” Man-made definitions fail miserably when used to describe the attributes of God, but you get the point.
Never has His sovereignty been more real to me than when I asked God to heal my brother of cancer and he died, anyway, and a few years later my mother was also diagnosed with the disease. I couldn’t take it. I washed my hands of prayer and went into spiritual meltdown. During moments of desperation, I would cry out to God: “Are You the God who can heal cancer?”
God didn’t immediately answer me, but I felt as though He wanted me to take on the mindset Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had when they were being threatened by King Nebuchadnezzar with being cast in the furnace if they didn’t worship his god: “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king (Dan. 3:17, NKJV, emphasis added).
Whether God would deliver the three Hebrew boys from the inferno was not the point. They took confidence in knowing He could!
Don’t lose heart when God tells you “No,” “Wait” or nothing at all. Rest in the knowledge that He is supreme and is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ever ask or imagine (see Eph. 3:20).
Today my mom is alive and well, testifying about the goodness of God and His healing power. But she didn’t summon God as if He is her personal Santa Claus. She trusted Him as her Savior and Healer, no matter what the response to her prayers might be. That’s what it means to acknowledge His sovereignty: to realize He is in control and always knows what is best.