Submitting As We Serve

He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:35)

Those are the words of a powerful king—the richest, most powerful man in the world at the time—and he is describing God’s sovereignty soon after his encounter with humility. Nebuchadnezzar had built an empire and conquered much of the ancient world. His word became law for millions of people. He could do virtually anything he desired. He answered to no man, no political party, no constituency, no institution. After the Lord worked him over, however, the earthly king who ruled over kings discovered a power greater than his own. The greatest sovereign on earth realized he was a helpless creature before the sovereign King of heaven.

What is true of Nebuchadnezzar and all kings who followed in his footsteps remains true today. Politicians, kings, tyrants, dictators, presidents, managers, supervisors, pastors, elders, deacons—leaders small and great—all must recognize that they are subject to the ultimate sovereignty of God. Whether rulers like it or not, accept it or live in rebellion, regardless, God will ultimately have His way. A position of privilege, power, or authority demands wise, humble stewardship. Because God gave you the gift of autonomy—a degree of latitude in making decisions—you may choose to challenge His authority or attempt to resist His sovereign will, but I’ve got news for you—God has never met His match. He will win. He will have His way. So if you face a high-stress day and submitting to your sovereign Lord doesn’t seem all that proactive or productive, take my advice: do it anyway. You’ll be glad later. Maybe sooner.

Whenever you submit, whenever you place yourself under the sovereign God’s authority, seek His will, and discover His way, you make yourself His ally. As the sages of Israel wrote many centuries ago,

All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the LORD weighs the motives.
Commit your works to the LORD
And your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:2–3)

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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