In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. (Ephesians 1:11 NIV)
Then the LORD said to Cain . . . “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? . . . sin is crouching at your door . . . but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7 NIV)
Yesterday we noted that there are circumstances and choices in our lives where God supernaturally intervenes in order to determine the outcome. This is because every detail of His master plan will be fully accomplished.
But that doesn’t mean that God absolutely controls everything. Whether or not you choose vanilla or chocolate ice cream today for dessert will probably not effect God’s master plan for your life. These kinds of choices, (and there are a bunch of them), come under God’s permissive sovereignty. They are in our control and God has made us god over them. Our personal holiness is certainly in this realm, and like Cain, its our choice today whether or not we will sin.
However, even though our free will is free to roam within the wide boundaries of God’s permissive sovereignty, be assured that when a choice or circumstance infringes on God’s master plan for us or others, His controlling sovereignty takes over, and He determines the outcome in spite of us.
Understanding God’s controlling sovereignty can give us peace about our past, courage for our future, and the right perspective on what we cannot, and will not change. Understanding His permissive sovereignty reminds us of our immense responsibility. We are indeed gods (John 10:34-5), so let’s take control of what He has given us control of . . . which is a lot!