For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
In any discussion regarding the sovereignty of God, people often settle on one of two extremes. Either God is in absolute control of everything, or He is in control of nothing. It is helpful to understand that God exercises two kinds of sovereignty over our lives: controlling and permissive. Controlling sovereignty is revealed in the fact that God alone decided when, where, and if we were born (Acts 17:26). We see such sovereignty in a verse like, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13; cf. Proverbs 21:1). In other words, there are things that God has planned to do through us, even in spite of us.
Paul, the man who penned such words, had certainly experienced the controlling sovereignty of God. At the very beginning of his Christian life, God told him precisely what he was going to do for Him (Acts 9:15-16; 26:14-18). We see the same controlling sovereignty working itself out in the life of Joshua, Moses, David, and Peter. No matter what sin and detours these men experienced, their specific, God- ordained task on earth was accomplished.
The controlling sovereignty of God, expressed in Ephesians 2:10 above, reminds us that no matter what else may happen in our lives, there are at least some parts of His master plan that He has determined to uniquely accomplish through us. How much of our lives God controls in this manner is often a mystery, and probably differs between us, but the Christian need not doubt that there is a circle of things that they are destined to do for God that nothing will prevent.