Big Idea: What you do matters!
When I consider big questions about faith, God, and the world, I often find myself wondering about the idea of sovereignty – God’s power and authority, and to what extent it is absolute. Believing in God means believing in a divine being who is above all, and in some respects must be separate and unique from creation. Because of this, it makes sense to define God by His sovereignty, and is why many suggest that His power and authority must be what makes Him God. Further, this idea of sovereignty – “God is in control” – is comfortable, because it lets us step back and say, “God has this. It doesn’t matter what I do.”
But this idea only provides comfort to the extent that things go well and line up with our expectations of goodness and greatness in the world. When things go badly (and they do, for all of us, in one way or another) we are left facing an uncomfortable idea. We must reconcile the cognitive dissonance of a God who is in control, yet allowed or caused something bad to happen. We are then left in the position of doubting God’s goodness or sovereignty, or we simply look the other way, choosing not to think about the issue until it’s resolved and things are good again.
Perhaps there is a better way. Rather than defining God by His sovereignty, we must define Him by His love – perfect, transformative, interactive love. His other attributes flow out from this love, including His power. So, if we imagine God’s sovereignty as interactive, then we don’t have to explain the bad things that happen as a deficiency in God’s love or power. God’s power and working in the world depends on human action – which is incredibly empowering, but also removes our ability to sit back and do nothing. We are required to act for God’s sovereignty to be fully realized on earth.