Ask Pastor John (Piper): Is Knowing God’s Sovereignty Important to My Daily Life? (original source here)
As you know, Pastor John, new listeners are continually coming to the podcast every day, and many of them do not know what lies behind your answers to the questions people send in. For example, your view of God, of Jesus Christ, of the Bible, of the human condition, of the future. We thought it would be helpful now and then to include a podcast about the foundations of everything you say — those deepest convictions that shape the way you think and approach all the many questions about life that we get. So, Pastor John, you have said many times that you believe in the absolute sovereignty of God. That he finally and decisively controls everything, from the farthest galaxy to the smallest subatomic particle, including all the actions of human beings. I think what our listeners would like to hear is not only why you believe that, but mainly, how does this truth make a difference in our daily lives?
Well that’s right. That is precisely one of the foundational, pervasively influential convictions that I have behind everything I do and think. Let me give just one passage of Scripture as to why, and then four really practical ways this makes a difference in our lives.
Dead or Alive
I recently spoke to the new students at Bethlehem College and Seminary. I shared with them what difference it would make in their lives as students as they pursue rigorous studies if they believe in the sovereignty of God. So this is fresh on my front burner.
The text that gives a glimpse into why I believe this is from the book of James:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. (James 4:13–16)
So, there it is. You ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live.” So I conclude that if the Lord doesn’t will for us to live, we die. If he does will, we live. The Lord is absolutely in control of everything that determines our life and our death.
We don’t live a second longer than he wills. We don’t die a second sooner than he wills. I believe this brings amazing stability and strength and courage and boldness and risk-taking into the Christian life if we believe that God is good and sovereign. Continue reading