Resistance to God’s Sovereignty Never Ends Well
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #585.
Resistance to God’s sovereignty is innate to our fallen nature. So, letting God be God of everything and everyone in our lives is THE work of surrender!
(Martha) Rebekah, our dear friend, is with us and she said something earlier. She said, “Resistance makes you crazy.” Oh that’s brilliant. And then I said, “It’s only when you accept that you really love.” To release the situation to God, that’s all He wants of you. And if He gives you any part in it, you’ll know it. But it’s playing God. And it goes in along with your anxiety. And your anxiety, we’re speaking about worry and so forth. But I can have anxiety for God to move in people’s lives. Does that, do you understand? I can have, I can fret over, “God, these people are suffering” you know. But that’s not where you begin. You begin with surrender to God. So I’m asking Him to find where I resist Him being God and being longsuffering and letting things happen and just because that is His plan. But resistance is unbelief and intensity or greed or our lust to have an answer or a situation completed is control. So there’s two things we have to be rid of. Control, even if it’s in your thoughts – that’s dangerous. And resistance – “I won’t have it” or “I want to control it.” Those two things quench the Spirit. And the thought is, Rebekah verbalized exactly what I felt. She said, “Resistance is unbelief, and if I step out, it will all collapse if I let go.” (Laughing.) And that’s exactly how I feel sometimes. “I have to hold on to this. The boat’ll sink if I just let go of the wheel.” It’s unbelief. So any control is death to me and entanglement. God doesn’t want me to be entangled. He wants me to be involved with Him about situations but not entangled with the wrong or the need or the suffering, whatever.
(Rebekah) It’s Peter on the water. While his focus was on the Lord, he walked on the water. As soon as he became fearful and realized where he was, he started to fall.
(Martha) He saw the storm, and it seemed that the storm had power.
(John) And then it was like he was in this, in the sink, the drain (makes sucking noise) sucked him right in.
(Martha) Yes, but it’s any control and resistance is death to me. Because resistance does make you crazy. It makes your thoughts go outside of truth and reality.
(John) I have the benefit, and whenever you’re ready for it. I have the benefit and what it looks like on the opposite side of accepting the sovereignty of God, so do we want to do it now?
(John) It’s when you embrace sovereignty, His sovereign hand, you embrace Him being God, His Lordship – He embraces you! It becomes an embrace. There is something that is tangible about accepting His sovereignty in a particular situation, that you literally become— You get embraced by it. It is a comforting thing. It is a, it is a hug. Do you understand what I’m saying?
(Martha) I want more.
(John) I know you know it because you’ve experienced it. When you, when you resist His sovereign hand, everything inside of you and about you is strident. And He’s not hugging that (laughs). He’ll grip it, He’ll hold it, but He won’t… He doesn’t… But when you accept it, it’s almost like, I don’t know. As somebody who was raised and kind of ran roughshod in my willfulness, when I had someone take the authority… When someone took the authority and I submitted to the authority, then there was a comfort.
(Martha) You had security.
(John) I had security.
(Martha) And peace, because you knew there was power that you don’t have to have and you didn’t have but there is power in the situation.
(John) Right, and that security felt like an embrace. Do you understand what I’m saying? That it feels like a hug. It feels like you’re secure. It’s not just, “Oh you can tolerate it” and they pat you on the shoulder. God is literally holding you in it. And there’s a, even if it is a painful situation, you feel secure, yeah?
(Martha) Rebekah and I got this morning into Exodus. So come share, Rebekah. There was a situation and someone sent me this verse, Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you, you must be quiet” (laughter). Tell them what the situation is, Rebekah.
(Rebekah) The situation is the Israelites leaving Egypt, fleeing Egypt, and they’re at the Red Sea. And they turn around and the Egyptian army is racing toward them with the chariots. Decided they didn’t want them to leave, they want their slaves back. And now the people are really ticked at Moses, ’cause they say, “Weren’t there enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out to die in the desert? (Laughter) What have you done to us? We’d have been better off as slaves for the Egyptians than to die in the desert.”
(Martha) And that’s resistance. Oh sorry, that was… That’s resistance. Okay, go ahead.
(Rebekah) So he answered the people and this is the Complete Jewish Bible translation. “Stop being so fearful. Remain steady and you will see how Adonai is going to save you. He will do it today. Today you have seen the Egyptians but you will never see them again. Adonai will do battle for you. Just calm yourselves down!” There’s an exclamation point in the translation. “And Adonai asked Moses, ‘Why are you crying to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward!'” Another exclamation (laughter).
(Martha) The reality was, that what they didn’t know, that the Egyptians were about to die, and so it was resistance to it and panicking over it was sin of unbelief. Because the Lord had said, “I will fight for you, just be quiet.”
(John) See everything in them was strident. Everything in them was resistant. Everything in them was fear-based, yeah.
(Martha) Umhmm. What you experience, that you described, is there’s no more fear. It’s like when you submit – it’s all about surrender to His sovereignty, belief in His sovereignty – and when you do, what you are given is the security of a child. That another one is in control who can handle it. And so it’s, it’s really crucial to believe in sovereignty otherwise life has no meaning. You can’t see it…
(Rebekah) You have to believe in sovereignty to be able to be a child.
(Martha) Umhmm, that’s true. And what you experience is, as a child of God, your Father comes and gives you His Fatherly embrace.
(John) He embraces you, yeah.
(Martha) That’s beautifully put, but I was looking over— I’m on the 10th floor of a building and the Lord said, “Go look out the window.” And I looked out. It’s rainy and cloudy, but looking down on it, everything is in order. Everything is in its place. And it’s kind of like we have to, when we get under His sovereignty, we can look down on it instead of up at it, over us. It’s like, you can’t see the forest for the trees is what life is like until you get under His hand and under/in your place as under His sovereignty. And then there’s an order that you can see and you can also see what He’s doing and what He’s about so, it’s ah… And then it’s a basic command that I have, I’ve struggled with for many years. “Resist not the evil men do to you.” And in the Altogether Forgiven book I tell a lot about the evil that I met, and a friend of mine said, “How’s the woman still standing?” (laughs) And of course, I didn’t most of the time but, that’s been difficult because that command, I cannot keep in the flesh. I can not possibly do it! And I tried for many years to do it because I knew God was telling me not to resist. I knew. I understood it exactly. I just didn’t know how to do it, and I don’t do it. Christ alone, I came to find out only Christ in me can live not resisting. Christ was so in the Father that He didn’t have to resist. God, God had Him. Even in Gethsemane. So if getting under His sovereignty you can, you suddenly – or slowly – grasp His perspective. And His perspective was, “Me, I’ve already answered your prayers. I’ve already solved your anguish. It’s all done. You just didn’t know that it was answered.” And then it taught me that my job is prayer, not anxiety, not control, not even talk. In this situation, I didn’t give any lessons, I didn’t teach, I didn’t correct, I didn’t do anything. I loved! But I didn’t exert any touch of control over it.
(John) Sometimes a prayer is just the waiting.
(John) Just the stillness.
(Martha) And that is belief. But Rebekah and I had some rich times this morning just going over these things. It’s, really what it is, is that we don’t understand that when Adam and Eve ate the fruit they were saying, “We will be God, thank you very much. We’ll be God. We’ll decide. We’ll know.”
(John) “We can do it better, thank you.”
(Martha) Yeah, umhmm. And so we don’t understand that sin is “I take the place of God.” And I have to come back to the “let Him have the place of God.” And I play God when I am fretting and when I’m trying and when I’m anxious for people to be healed, saved, delivered, whatever. So…
(Rebekah) I was just seeing they also were the first people to screw up the marital relationship. Eve decided to be God and Adam chose to adhere to Eve over God, and it’s a problem in so many relationships.
(Martha) And it was, they chose the flesh and the flesh is the realm of Satan. They chose death and they were banished from the garden.
(John) They chose displacing God, and then they were displaced.
(Martha) Exactly. And that happens to us when we do it. To think I know what should be and when should be… And one time I asked this young man’s forgiveness. I said, “You won’t understand what I’m saying, but I want to ask your forgiveness for wanting Jesus more for you than you want Him.” And I don’t think he did. But I meant, I was pressing! And I should have just let go. I should, I’m amused and kind of laughing because my series on “let” (Let Devotional Series) has convicted me and inspired me (laughs). And I’ve printed out two to put in my Bible because they’re so rich about letting God be God.
Resistance to God’s Sovereignty Never Ends Well – Episode #586 – Shulamite Podcast
“Resistance [to God’s sovereignty] makes you crazy.” Letting God be God of everything and everyone in our lives is THE work of surrender! Resistance to God’s sovereignty is innate to our fallen nature and the price we pay for such fruitless rebellion is high.