SUBMISSION TO OUR SOVEREIGN
Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952)
"Our God is in the heavens: He has done whatever He has pleased" (Psalm 115:3). Being God, He consults no one; yet being omniscient and infinitely holy, He does only that which is good and right. But we are finite creatures; yes, fallen creatures, and sin has darkened our understanding. Therefore we are quite incompetent to gauge or grasp God's ways; and to criticize or murmur against them is the height of impiety and wickedness: "Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it--Why have You made me thus?" (Romans 9:20).
True spirituality and practical godliness consist in yielding ourselves to the sovereign and perfect will of God, bowing submissively unto whatever He lays upon us, seeking grace to do whatever He commands us. Much that God does is displeasing to the flesh, and sin within rises up and rebels. This is the very nature of sin: to oppose God, to be dissatisfied with His appointments. Daily does the Christian need to ask God to lay His cooling and quieting hand upon him. Daily does he need to beg Him to increase his faith, so that his confidence in Him may be so entire that he will not call into question any of His dealings with him; but rather will say with Job, "Though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him" (v. 15). That is the great secret of real and lasting peace of heart. But that is something to which all the unregenerate are total strangers, though they will not acknowledge it, and try hard to conceal it.
A heart which is truly at rest is one that realizes that God (and not the Devil) is on the throne of the universe, directing all things by His unerring wisdom and making all things "work together for good" unto His own people. It is true that even to the Christian many of God's ways are profoundly mysterious: if they were not, there would be no room for the exercise of faith. If the writer or the reader were on the throne and had all power at his disposal, he would order things in this world very different from what they now are. Yes, and that would only manifest what a fool he is. How so? Because Perfect Wisdom is now directing all the concerns of every life and all the affairs of this world as a whole, and therefore the very desire to alter what is, only exhibits our folly.
Faith knows that unerring wisdom is regulating all things; that One too wise to err holds the helm in His hand, and that He "does all things well." Though to sight and sense things seem to be all out of order, though human reason is quite unable to perceive the perfection of God's governmental ways and providential dealings, faith knows that "of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things" (Rom 11:36).
God could put an end to all sin in the world right now did He so please. So to He could save every sinner on earth this moment did He so choose. As to why He does not do so, we cannot tell; nor is it any of our business! Our business is not to mount the bench and pass judgment on the ways and dealings of the Most High: that is what the Devil once sought to do, and it resulted in his eternal undoing. Our business is to be clay in the hands of the Potter; to unmurmingly submit to His holy and sovereign pleasure, to lie passive, and be molded by Him. Our business is to take our place in the dust before the Almighty, and say--Lord, in Your mercy subdue my rebellious will, quiet my restless soul, purify my unbelieving heart. Our business is to delight ourselves in the Lord (Psalm 37:4), and to give thanks "always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:20).
We live in the midst of a rebellious generation who are ever murmuring and complaining at God's appointments: grumbling at His weather, chaffing at His restrictions, belching forth their discontent every time He crosses their wills. Truly, "the poison of asps is under their lips" (Romans 3:13). And my reader, unless we are constantly on our guard, we shall be corrupted by them, learn their evil ways, and acquire their wicked speech. Our safeguard is to have as little to do with them as possible, and to cultivate more and more communion with Him who never murmured, but always delighted in the Father's will.