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Religion

Who Is In Charge

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted February 26, 2014

RELIGION – I have not brushed my teeth in ten days! This is how I tried to begin a jovial conversation with a customer service agent the other week. It all started with a possessed toothbrush. My wife and I starting using a Sonicare toothbrush a few years ago. They run off diesel and rip plague off your teeth and leave your mouth feeling so clean you could eat it. But in the middle of the night one night my whole sink started to shake. Thankfully, it was not another earthquake.

But my toothbrush had randomly cut on by itself and vibrated away in my sink. I wondered if I had just been robbed by a clean mouth bandit! The next few nights repeated this pattern, and then it just died!
 
So I called customer service. I am always nice to customer service; you get more flies with honey than vinegar. My proof of purchase said it was in warranty, but the rep said it was not and I had to file a dispute. So I did. Then I waited and waited for email and nothing came! So I called back to check on the status, but was given the old “run around.”

So I tried to get the guy laughing with my humor, by stating I had not brushed my teeth in ten days, to which he replied that “I recommend you buy another tooth brush and brush twice a day.” I got nowhere. I wanted to speak with his manager, but it was not happening. You see in order to get something done with customer service; you have to get to the next level of employee. You got to get to the person in charge. On a side note, they did send me a new toothbrush and my teeth are sparkling!
 
But my point is that you have got to know who is in charge to get something done. This past Sunday at Antioch we talked about who was in charge. It is God! You see the Bible presents God as sovereign. What does that mean? A. W. Pink says that “To say that God is sovereign is to say that God is God.”

Quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada wrote that “Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control. His sovereignty is absolute. Everything that happens is uniquely ordained by God. Sovereignty is a weighty thing to ascribe to the nature and character of God. Yet if He were not sovereign, He would not be God. The Bible is clear that God is in control of everything that happens.”
 
If I did not believe in the absolute sovereignty of God:
ONE: I would despair of my eternal destiny.  Romans 8:1
TWO: I would be terrified of all suffering, with no confidence that God can turn evil for good and bring me safely through.  Rom. 8:28
THREE: I would live in fear of nature. Psm. 147:15-18
FOUR: I would despair of ever doing anything of a spiritual nature that God requires and commands of me. Philippians 2:12-13
FIVE: I would despair of the politics and politicians in our nation. Proverbs 21:1 
SIX: I would worry about our church continually. Matthew 16:18

You may be saying well, I don’t like the way God does things. In his book “If God is in Charge,” Steve Brown tells the story of a class his associate pastor was teaching in which he said that God is sovereign, God is love, and no matter how bad things get, Christians should praise him. He went on to say that the real test of praise is not when things are going good but when they are going bad.

During the question and answer period, a man raised his hand and said, “I just can’t buy what you say about praising God in the midst of evil and hurt. I don’t believe that when you lose someone you love through death, or you have cancer, or you lose your job, that you ought to praise God.”

I can sympathize with this man. But the associate pastor offered a simple yet profound answer. “What other alternatives do you propose?”

So here it is for us: If God is not sovereign, then who is? If God is not in control, who’s running the show? But the good news is this, our God is in control! Psalms 103:19  The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

So then there become two choices we can make. We can reject God’s sovereignty, which ultimately leads to despair and frustration, or we can bow before him in humble submission, which leads to praise and freedom.

I pray that you do the latter.

Pastor Phillip






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