Monday, July 12, 2010
Is God "almost" sovereign? Swindoll
By Chuck Swindoll
"Just before Moses died, he spoke these words to God. Read them carefully:
“May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the LORD will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.” So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight.” (Numbers 27:16–19)
I don’t know your circumstances today. I cannot be certain how God intends to use this episode from the life of Moses in your own life. But I do know what it’s like to be a shepherd . . . and so I can imagine some possible scenarios.
It may be that these words fall on a very hungry heart. Or perhaps you have been strengthened and encouraged with the thought that you’re exactly where God wants you to be. Or maybe you’re engaged in the challenging task of finding a man or a woman for a position that carries a huge weight of responsibility . . . and you’ve been reminded that you are dependent on God, more than ever, to locate His “Joshua.” Or perhaps you are that Joshua, and you’ve been asked to accept a responsibility broader than you ever dreamed.
Whatever your circumstances, I want to remind you that our heavenly Father cares about areas of your life that would seem insignificant to a distant deity. I know you’re aware of these things—you’ve preached them often. But may I remind you of what I often remind myself? He’s never too busy to hear your hurts, to wipe away your tears, to whisper words of encouragement, and to put His big shoulder under your load. He’s the God who cares about the details.
As I write these words, I’m praying that our sovereign Lord might be a very personal comfort to you this week. I pray especially for you pastors who are wrestling with loneliness and discouragement. Even though you’re surrounded by people and their admiration, deep inside there’s an ache. Believe me, my friend, God can meet your need as only He can, even as He did in the heart of Moses just a few hours before the great man’s death.
If you’re God’s Joshua, you don’t need to worry that you’ll be forgotten. You needn’t fear that the shadow of your predecessor will eclipse you and your ministry in the years to come. In fact, you don’t need to worry about anything. If you’re God’s Joshua, you’re right where you ought to be.
Remind yourself that He is sovereign. He has everything under His control. He will have His way in His time and for His glory. That includes your life, your position, your past, and your future. Worrying over any of that is a waste. He’s got every detail covered.
Yes, every one.
Think of it this way: there’s no such thing as God being almost sovereign."