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This quote from…

February 3, 2008

Horatius Bonar dropped into my bedridden state this week, and I thought not only did it nail me to the wall in the battle of my will, but also that it was a sweet encouragement and picture of what I desire to desire.

If I admit that God’s Will regulates the great movements of the universe I must admit that it equally regulates the small. It must do this, for the great depend upon the small. The minutest movement of my will is regulated by the will of God. And in this I rejoice. Woe is me if it be not so. If I shrink from so unlimited control and guidance, it is plain that I dislike the idea of being wholly at the disposal of God. I am wishing to be in part at my own disposal. I am ambitious of regulating the lesser movements of my will, while I give up the greater to His control. And thus it comes out that I wish to be a god to myself. I do not like the thought of God having all the disposal of my destiny. If He gets His will, I am afraid that I shall not get mine. It comes out, moreover, that the God about whose love I was so fond of speaking, is a God to whom I cannot trust myself implicitly for eternity. Yes, this is the real truth. Man’s dislike at God’s sovereignty arises from his suspicion of God’s heart. And yet the men in our day, who deny this absolute sovereignty, are the very men who profess to rejoice in the love of God, who speak of that love as if there were nothing else in God but love. The more I understand of the character of God, as revealed in Scripture, the more shall I see that He must be sovereign, and the more shall I rejoice from my inmost heart that He is so.

The copy of this quote that I have includes that bolded statement so I copied it here the same way. I do not remember how I came by this quote, though I suspect I read it off of a blog and liked it so much that I printed it out. The day has come to read it without smugness but pricked heart.

It’s a powerful statement: “Man’s dislike at God’s sovereignty arises from his suspicion of God’s heart.” I certainly like choosing my way, deciding my way, and then having my way. Scripturally though, which is where truth rests, God has always described people who choose self over Him as: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5) Four verses later God describes why, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (17:9)

Since my heart is deceitful, I will choose deceitful ways. God’s heart though is infinitely holy and righteous, and He works in holy and righteous ways. Doesn’t it seem that one knowing these things about her own heart and God’s heart would choose God’s heart and ways?

It made me think of Romans 8:28, a favorite verse to remember in affliction, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The Biblical promise that God works all things out for the good of those whom He loves is fact upon fact upon fact. However, the hammer on nail point is that the one whom He loves does not define the good. He or she can certainly give great suggestions of “good, ” in sobbing prayer and desperate yearning. But only God has the authority to both define the “good” and cause the “good” to work.

Bonar, you had it right. Only by the truth that I can understand the character of God as revealed in Scripture will I see that He must be sovereign, and that I shall rejoice from my inmost heart that He is so.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2008 5:47 am

    “If I admit that God’s Will regulates the great movements of the universe I must admit that it equally regulates the small.”

    This is the foundation of my commitment to my family, my business decisions, my . . . everything. Relative to . . . anything, my world is so small. I can identify with this so much.

  2. February 4, 2008 10:00 pm

    And, this is why I love you.

  3. February 5, 2008 2:58 am

    I passed on an “Excellent” award to you today. 🙂

    “If He gets His will, I am afraid that I shall not get mine.” That’s too often what it comes down to for me, even though I know His will is better.

  4. February 5, 2008 2:37 pm

    Oh, wow, well said.

  5. February 6, 2008 3:55 am

    Excellent, excellent quote. “I do not like the thought of God having all the disposal of my destiny. If He gets His will, I am afraid that I shall not get mine.” That is such the core issue in the human heart; we are determined to have our way, and incredibly, we expect God to cooperate with us.

    “The more I understand of the character of God, as revealed in Scripture, the more shall I see that He must be sovereign, and the more shall I rejoice from my inmost heart that He is so.”

    May that be the prayer of my heart in an ever-increasing way!

  6. March 8, 2008 1:35 pm

    I have been away from “blog reading” for awhile. But I am so thankful to come back and read this, (trying to catch up).

    All I can say is Wow… and thank you for sharing it.

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