Wednesday in the Word

God is sovereign. He has supreme power and authority over everything. He is in control.
I am responsible. I am accountable to do those things within my power or control. Can God have supreme power and control and at the same time hold me accountable for what I do? Can these two things work together?

This was the question in our adult Sunday school class this past Sunday. Using Acts 27 as our guide, this is what we found:
Paul was a prisoner on his way to Rome to bring his court case before Caesar. The “lower court” did not allow him a fair trial so he appealed and was hoping for a more just decision (responsibility). On the way, Paul recommended the ship harbor where it was because the conditions were not right for sailing (responsibility). The owner of the ship ignored Paul’s wise advice (sovereignty). The ship was quickly overtaken by a strong storm and was adrift for two weeks (sovereignty). The crew of the ship dumped cargo and did their best to keep the ship from falling apart (responsibility). God revealed to Paul that he (Paul) and all those on the ship (275 other people) would survive and Paul would make it safely to Rome (sovereignty). They spotted an island without any method of navigation (sovereignty) and Paul encouraged them to eat and reminded them of God’s promises (responsibility). The ship hit a sandbar and began breaking apart. Everyone on the ship had to swim to shore (responsibility). When on the beach, a count was taken and everyone had reached land safely (sovereignty).

Can they work together? The answer is, yes.

I offer you the same challenge I gave to the class: This week, make a list with two columns. Label one column Sovereignty and the other Responsibility. In one column list circumstances that are outside of your control. They belong to God’s sovereignty and you can trust Him. In the other column list the things this week that are within your control. God has given you tasks and responsibilities that are important. Do them faithfully.

A prayer: God, thank you for being sovereign over my life. I praise you for knowing all things and working all these together for my good (Rom. 8:28). Help me to be faithful in the good works you have given me to do this week (Eph. 2:10). Amen.