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.