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demonstration of Sovereignty

The afternoon sun shone brightly and a light breeze stirred the air as Micah hopped on his bike and peddled down the driveway.  The beauty of the day begged all kids to play outside, but playing wasn’t on Micah’s mind as he headed down the sidewalk and rounded the corner of the block. Peddling passed the hedge of bushes in front of the green house, his eyes eagerly scanned front yard of the following house for any sign of his congenial Grandpa John. Turning his bike into the familiar driveway, he continued searching the sheltered yard until a movement on the weathered front porch caught his eye.  Squinting past the sunlight into the shade of the porch, he made out the familiar figure relaxing on a padded deck chair enjoying a glass of sweet tea. “There you are, Grandpa!” he exclaimed, bringing his bike to a skidding stop in front of the porch.

“Why, hello there, Micah,” came the cheerful answer, “How are you doing this fine day?”

“Oh, I’m fine, thanks,” Micah replied in a rush, “but I was wondering if you could tell me what sovereignty is?”

“Well, now!  That’s a hefty topic this time in the afternoon,” smiled Grandpa. “But I suppose I could try.  What kind of sovereignty are we talking about? God’s sovereignty?”

“I think so,” answered Micah. “I heard some people at church talking about it and it sounded real important, but I didn’t understand it.  So, can you explain it to me?”

“I’ll do my best, but it might take a little while because it’s a big topic.  You sure you can handle it?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye. Micah eagerly nodded his head as his grandpa smiled at him from the porch.  “Well then, come on up here, and make yourself comfortable.”

Grandpa filled an extra glass with sweet tea as Micah clambered onto the porch and worked on pulling a chair closer to the table. While Micah arranged his seat and settled into it, Grandpa John quietly gazed over his yard, thoughtfully rubbing his chin.  Finally, after Micah made himself comfortable and was enjoying a refreshing drink from the sweet tea, he turned to his young grandson and said, “So, Micah, you want to know about God’s sovereignty?”

“Uh-huh,” nodded Micah, setting his glass down.

“Well, a short answer is the sovereignty of God means He has supreme power and authority.  That means He can accomplish His every purpose regardless of who opposes Him. Does that make sense?”

“Umm, not really,” replied Micah, shaking his head.

Grandpa grinned, “No, I don’t suppose it does.  Well, let’s take it one piece at a time. Who does God have to listen to and obey?  Who has more power than God?”

Micah wrinkled his brow in confusion, “Uh, I don’t know.  Nobody, right?”

“That’s right,” nodded Grandpa. “Nobody is greater than God, and there is no one who orders Him around.  He is above all. That’s what God’s supreme power and authority means. Make sense so far?”

Micah nodded, putting on his most intelligent look.

Grandpa continued, “Ok, so God has all power and can accomplish His every purpose.  What is a purpose?”

Frowning slightly, Micah guessed, “Umm, the opposite of on accident?”

Grandpa chuckled, “Sort of, but a little different.  When someone has a purpose in mind, it means they have a specific intent or goal they are planning to accomplish.”

Micah thoughtfully rested his forehead on his finger for a moment, then looked up with bright eyes, “So, it’s something they intend to do on purpose.”

“I guess you could say that,” agreed Grandpa with a smile.  “Now, sometimes people intend to do something, but it turns out they aren’t able do it because somebody else won’t let them.  For example, was ever a time when you were planning to go play with a friend, but then your mom or dad said that you had to stay home?” Micah nodded.  “So, in that situation, you had a purpose (to play with your friend) but soon found you didn’t have the power to do what you intended. But God doesn’t have anyone over Him.  If He decided to go to someplace, there is no one who could order Him to stop. You follow me?”

“I think so,” said Micah, slowly, “So, sovereignty means God can do whatever He wants because there is nobody who is stronger than Him who can tell Him what to do.”

“Exactly so,” affirmed Grandpa.  “God is sovereign.” He took a sip from his iced tea, giving Micah time to process their conversation. Then he asked, “Does that all make sense to you?”

“Umm, I guess so,” shrugged Micah as he picked up his glass of iced tea, “If it’s so easy to understand, then why were they making such a big deal about it at church?”

“Well, Micah, most people agree that God is sovereign, but they tend to argue about how God uses His sovereignty.”

“What do you mean?” asked Micah.

“It’s like this, see.  Suppose you were all powerful.  What would you do if you had something special you wanted to do, and some guy did his best to stop you?”

Grinning, Micah answered, “I’d just shove him out of my way and do whatever I wanted to do.”

Grandpa nodded, “I think I would probably do the same thing.  But tell me this: is that what God does, being that He is all powerful?”

Micah gazed into his glass as he thought about the question.  Finally, he looked up and replied, “I’m not sure. But, if He doesn’t do that then how does He get done what He wants to get done?”