I believe that God is sovereign. Everything either happens because he wills it or allows it to happen. In some instances, like what I ate for breakfast, God’s sovereignty is almost an afterthought. If he really cared about my breakfast, he’d make a bowl of Crunch Berries appear when I sat down to eat my eggs. Other circumstances, though, definitely make us think more about God’s sovereignty and its role in our lives.
When a family member gets cancer or when a child dies, we’re forced to think a lot about God’s sovereignty. In spite of what we experience, in spite of what God allows to happen, will we still trust in his goodness? Living under God’s sovereignty means living in tension. When we try to break that tension and force God’s will, we end up in a bad place.
When I was in my 20s I had convinced myself that God wanted me to date a girl at church. I convinced myself that it was God’s will that we should be together. So, when she rejected me, I ended up angry with God. If God is sovereign why didn’t he make her date me, which was clearly his will?
That’s the problem with thinking about God’s sovereignty: is what’s happening in our lives something that God is willing into existence or is it something that he’s allowing to happen?
I’ve seen a lot of Christians who feel that Trump’s presidency is the former. They seem fairly convinced that it is God’s will for Trump to be President. I don’t know what God’s will is in this situation, but I’d be wary of declaring any elected official as God’s chosen one.
Just because God allows someone to become a ruler, doesn’t mean that he necessarily approves of the ruler. We only need look at the histories of Judah and Israel to see this truth.
Saul, the first king of Israel before it split in two, wasn’t even a ruler of whom God approved. God handpicked Saul to be the first king of Israel, but eventually Saul’s heart wandered and God’s spirit left him. God allowed Saul to be king but before Saul’s reign ended, God no longer approved of that reign.
Unfortunately, instead of being the exception, Saul was the first in a long line of kings who were allowed to rule even though God didn’t approve of their rule. Of the 22 kings that followed Saul in the southern kingdom, only seven did right in the eyes of the Lord over the course of their entire reign. Of the 19 kings in the northern kingdom, none did right in the eyes of the Lord over the course of their reign.
God’s sovereignty stretches to our elected officials as well. Everyone who was elected this week was elected either because God willed it or because God allowed it. Until we meet God face-to-face, we won’t be certain which elected officials were willed and which were allowed. And until we have that conversation with God, we should be cautious of anointing any elected official as God’s chosen. Instead, we should continue to give our full allegiance and passion to God’s actual Chosen One, living our lives to extend his kingdom and love to everyone.