There is a plane somewhere in the air right now which will eventually make its way to the Atlanta airport. On that plane is a seat reserved for me and I’ll be planted in it for several hours as I head out on a little ministry jaunt. Flying does not bother me but airports do. I do not like the controlled chaos of busy airports. I do not enjoy passing through international hubs. Most of all, I do not like waiting, boarding, waiting some more to un-board, and then navigating the concourses. If Apple can create an App for teleporting then I will happily pay the 99¢ to download it and be done with airports as getting beamed-up will become my preferred mode of travel. Until then I suppose I will have to deal with airports. By the way, I’m traveling on September 11th and this has raised a little concern with some who care for me. Today I want to share why I am not worried at all about flying on 9/11.
“At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.” – Revelation 4:2
I’m not worried about flying on 9/11 that Someone sitting on the throne in Heaven is my best Friend and also my Savior.
More than once I have been challenged for my unapologetic exalting of the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. When we say that God is sovereign we intend to communicate that He is in absolute control of everything. Everything. If this were not true then whatever He theoretically was not in control of would be greater than He and, consequently, He would cease to be qualified as God. We would also assert that His sovereign control is married to His sovereign care. He is not only in the highest authority, but He also exerts the highest love in all His workings on behalf of His children. He knows what He is doing and His perfect cosmological plan is being accomplished. He sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) as He sits upon His holy and high throne conducting the workings of the ages (Psalm 115:3) according to the pleasure of His own purposes (Ephesians 1:11). Some people struggle with the reality of God’s sovereignty because there is an assumption that He will/should carry out His desires and decrees with our constant comfort in mind. We like to think of God being sovereign in times of healing but not in times of prolonged sickness. When we gain employment we thank Him for His provision but when the pink-slip finds us we might wonder if God was distracted from us when we were let go from our job. God is sovereign when a child is born but does He remain sovereign if that child passes away far too soon (in our estimation)? We are watching the social, spiritual, moral and historical moorings of the USA crumble before our very eyes and some of you are panicking instead of calming yourself under the truth of God’s presence upon His throne working the speck America into the boundless tapestry of His plan for the ages. There will be no America in the eternal state and somewhere along the line this nation fades into nothingness. The robe of God which Isaiah saw in the temple vision was not a Red White & Blue star spangled garment. To which kingdom do we belong and is not Jesus Christ ruling over it from His throne? He is sovereign…even if what we deem most important seems to be less important to Him. No matter what is on our minds, He has bigger things on His infinite mind.
For me it is far easier to remain aware of God’s sovereign care over the “big things” than it is for me to experience that same confidence over “little things”. I can trust God with an international flight on 9/11 but I experience amnesia about His sovereignty when the lady in front of me at the grocery store is sifting through her crumbled coupons to save thirty-three cents on nasal spray. I can lay hands on the terminally ill and earnestly petition God for healing but my own 2 PM Monday headache seems to have the ability to ruin my day. Preaching a masterfully crafted sermon in the power of the Holy Spirit causes me to desperately depend on the sovereign, enthroned King to anoint me… but I don’t always seek that same Sovereign Spirit to help me sacrificially and selflessly love my wife and children. You see, most of us operate under the doctrine of selected sovereignty. By this I mean that we easily trust God with things that do not test our faith or cause us to be stretched. God’s sovereignty becomes a too-deep doctrine for us when it does not seem to practically benefit whatever is causing us fear, frustration or intimidation. We have a natural instinct for things to be fixed, handled, corrected or rectified and assume that God will exercise His sovereign power to make our desires a reality. This is when we learn that sometimes sovereignty is slow. This is when we learn again that we are not sovereign. Hopefully, this is when we learn why we are not sovereign. If we were sovereign we would have the authority while lacking the wisdom and the ability to work all things for the glory of Jesus Christ. We would end up glorifying us.
As that trio of folk-singing prophets, Peter, Paul & Mary harmonized. “I’m leaving on a jet plane.” I do happen to know when I’ll be back again. My sovereign Lord holds me close and won’t ever let me go. You may not be flying so you can omit the reference to the jet plane. I hope you don’t omit the rest of it though. He’s holding you close, saint. He won’t ever let you go. That’s a promise from the Sovereign One who is still sitting on His throne taking care of business like He said He would.. like He always has.
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