Archive for the ‘Sovereignty’ Category

I believe I will start every week by restating these facts about God.
What are the ingredients of sovereignty?

1.1 Ownership

1.2 Authorship

1.3 Control

What is the providence of God?

God’s execution of His plan in your life and in the entire universe!

Sovereignty and providence… if you believe these facts about God, you should sleep well at night.

Have you ever heard the song, “the waiting is the hardest part?”… Well it’s true.

Waiting is disheartening. We start to think that things will never get better.

We start to think nothing will ever change.

We start to wonder if we are making a mistake by waiting, and sometimes spring into action before God wants us to.

The longer we have to wait, the more discouraged we will be.

Joseph was waiting in prison for two years, after doing nothing wrong. He probably thought that he would die in jail.

Why didn’t God step in and perform a miracle for Joseph? Why not set him free in a miraculous way?

Robert J Morgan said, “Miracles do still occur, but God uses them sparingly. Even in the Bible, miracles were not God’s standard operation of procedure… God uses everyday occurrences to steer the Christian man or woman of faith along. Only the mature Christians pay attention to the coincidences, accidents and misfortunes in their life, because they know they are anything but.”

Sometimes we have to wait in uncomfortable circumstances, but the Lord will have His way in the end.

Isaiah 64:4
no eye has seen any God except You,
who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him.

God knows what He is doing. We have to wait on Him.

While in Prison God allowed Joseph to interpret dreams in a miraculous way, but that was the only time joseph saw a miracle. The rest of the time God provided food and clothing for Him in a very average way.

That’s how God works most of the time. Just because you haven’t had a dream, or a great prophetic word, or an outburst of His presence in your life, does not mean that God is not working right now.

He is always working.

Andrew Murray under a daunting circumstance said the following: I am here,
1. by God’s appointment
2. In his keeping
3. Under His training
4. For His time

1. By God’s appointment

We know that Joseph had a divine appointment to be the co-ruler of Egypt with Pharaoh, but he did not know that while He was waiting.

An Alaskan native Rocky McElveen takes people on fishing and hunting tours in Alaska.

Many times these tours are dangerous, and Rocky has had some very close to death experiences.

One time he dropped off some guys and they killed a trophy Moose, and they were ready to be picked up the next day, only there was one problem… the World Trade Center was attacked the next day, and all of the airplanes were grounded.

When a large animal is killed in the wild, it’s scent can be picked up for miles, and the hunters, who had no idea why they were not being picked up, had to wait in the wild with the threat of bears and wolves.

They had no idea why they were waiting, but they had nothing else to do… they had to wait for the plane. It was to far and their packs were to heavy to walk back in, they would have died.

When a pilot finally came to get them they were upset, but they were told that America was attacked by terrorists, and they calmed down a little.

When one of the hunters that was left stranded returned, he came to Rocky and Rocky said, “God is in control, not me. We may not understand the events, but God sees the past, present and future, and He is in charge. We must trust Him.”

If you are waiting for God to show up and He has not yet, He has some good reasons that are probably unknown to you.

2. In his keeping

When Joseph told the cupbearer the good news, he thought he would be fried right away, but he was not, because it was not God’s timing.

Remember the Lord’s hands are never tied. If the circumstances of your life are tied up it’s because He tied them up, It’s by His appointment. -Steve Farrar

If you are waiting for something and it’s been a long time to wait, remember that God is going to keep you, you are His. Everything is done only by His divine appointment,

3. Under His training

If God wants’ us to wait, we need to wait. If we do not wait, we will not learn all that He is trying to teach us.

Waiting is an act of faith

Heb 11:1 now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.

Faith is what separates the men from the boys. -Steve Farrar

The first two kings of Israel were David and Saul.

David had enough faith to wait on the Lord; Saul did not.

When Saul’s army was being overran by his enemies, Saul stopped waiting on God, and took matters into his own hands, which by the way is never a good idea.

1 Sam 13:6-14
The men of Israel saw that they were in trouble because the troops were in a difficult situation. They hid in caves, thickets, among rocks, and in holes and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul, however, was still at Gilgal, and all his troops were gripped with fear. He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him. So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” Then he offered the burnt offering. Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. So Saul went out to greet him. and Samuel asked, “What have you done? “Saul answered, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn’t come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash. I thought: The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor. So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.” Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command which the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man loyal to Him, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.”

Instead of waiting for Samuel to return (waiting on God) Saul took matters into his own hands, and in turn, lost his kingdom.

The test of God looking for a man after His own heart was a waiting test… I say again, Saul’s test was a waiting test, if he was willing to wait Samuel said that his kingdom would have no end.

Since Saul was not willing to wait, he was demoted.

4. For His time

Psalm 31:15 the course of my life is in Your power…

Remember, He is in control over everything.

His timing will be better than our timing. It always is.

God Bless,

Dan Fogarty.

I believe I will start every week by restating these facts about God.
What are the ingredients of sovereignty?

1.1 Ownership

1.2 Authorship

1.3 Control

What is the providence of God?

God’s execution of His plan in your life and in the entire universe!

Sovereignty and providence… if you believe these facts about God, you should sleep well at night.

How important is hope?

Very important! Without it, no one would go to school in hopes to better themselves, no one would do research in hopes to better their understanding, no one would have any hopes for their future wife (or husband), their careers, their kids, their grandkids.

There would be no dreams without hope.

When we dream something, we have to hope (or believe) it comes true latter.

We cannot see Jesus, we trust in the promise and the hope that He will be back one day…

without hope, there is no faith.

Rom 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Without hope, mans heart would die.

When Hope is gone, life is gone. (God Build, Steve Farrar, p.113)

Prov 13:12a Hope deferred makes the heart sick

The providence of God is greater than all of our understandings.

He uses our broken hopes for His Glory.

Broken hopes are one of the tools of God’s workshop. (God Build, Steve Farrar, p.114)

After being wrongfully imprisoned, Joseph will have his hopes raised, only to be crushed again.

The Cupbearer and the baker are in prison for a while, and Joseph sees one day they look a little upset.

So He asks them why, and they tell him that they have had dreams with no one to interpret them. (Gen 40:1-15) God provides Joseph with instant wisdom to interpret the dreams, and he is 100% accurate.

A cupbearer was a trusted associate, and this was not just any cup bearer; this was pharaohs cupbearer. Joseph had an inside connection, and it gave Joseph hope again because now someone with the power to get him out of jail actually could get him out of jail!

When the cup bearer was summonsed, Joseph must have thought, “THIS IS IT… I’M GONNA GET OUT OF HERE.”

To me, if someone had told me something this important, I think I would remember, but what does the cupbearer do… forgets him.

How could he forget him? I mean Joseph gave the cupbearer hope, he prophesied a good word over him, and he just forgot about Joseph.

Josephs hopes were once again broken.

How could the cupbearer have forgotten? Because… God made him forget. It wasn’t the right time for Joseph to get out.

Later on he would remember at just the right time.

How would he remember? God made him remember.

He makes us forget things and remember things, because he controls the whole universe. He had planned what happened for Joseph before Joseph was even born. He knew a famine would come, and He equipped Joseph to be able to deal with the famine.

He got practice in at Potiphers house, and then again in the jail. God was making him ready to take on the task of saving an entire nation of people.

But of course, Joseph does not see that. He is broken. Three times in his life he had great hopes, now once again, the cupbearer took all the hope he had left.

God uses our broken hopes to help us, but we cannot see it when it is happening.

There is a man named Steve Saint. You may have heard of him, when he was 5, his father and 4 of his friends died attempting to witness to the Waodani tribe. This tribe was known for its savage nature, and they killed everything that crossed their paths.

Now, Saint lives with the families of the same people who speared his father to death. They received Christ after the wives of the dead missionaries picked up the torch and decided that God was going to have the glory.

Of course, saint could be bitter, he could be upset, he could kill some of them, but he doesn’t, instead this is what he said in a book he wrote at age 55.

I think it fit God’s plan for all five men to die… I don’t think what happened to my dad and his four friends caught God by surprise. Nor do I think God simply allowed it to happen… I have come to the conclusion that God did not look away…He planned it to happen… only God could fashion such an incredible story from such a tragic event… Because my father was allowed to die, many others will have a chance to live… If I could go back and rewrite the script, I would not change a single scene… live is to complex and to short to let amateurs direct the story, I would rather let the Master Storyteller do the writing. . (God Build, Steve Farrar, p.126)

And that’s where we should be folks. We should let God write our story and not try to fix things and help Him out.

We should trust in Jesus and let our hope be in Him.

God Bless,

Dan Fogarty.

I believe I will start every week by restating these facts about God.

What are the ingredients of sovereignty?
1.1 Ownership
1.2 Authorship
1.3 Control

What is the providence of God?
God’s execution of His plan in your life and in the entire universe!

Sovereignty and providence… if you believe these facts about God, you should sleep well at night.

God is in control of everything.

He’s in control of where you live, where you work, who you marry ext.

For example, Martin Luther, the famous reformist who stood for truth when the church was extremely religious and corrupt, often battled depression.

If you do not know about the reformers, here’s a brief background from Wikipedia… (I mean you can trust those guys right?)

The Reformation began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church, by priests who opposed what they perceived as false doctrines and ecclesiastic malpractice—especially the teaching and the sale of indulgences or the abuses thereof, and simony, the selling and buying of clerical offices—that the reformers saw as evidence of the systemic corruption of the Church’s Roman hierarchy, which included the Pope. Both issues were dealt with in an altogether different manner by the Roman Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation.
Martin Luther’s spiritual predecessors included John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, who likewise had attempted to reform the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant Reformation began on 31 October 1517, in Wittenberg, Saxony, where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences to the door of the Castle Church, in Wittenberg.[4] The theses debated and criticized the Church and the Pope, but concentrated upon the selling of indulgences and doctrinal policies about purgatory, particular judgment, Catholic devotion to Mary, Jesus’s Mother, the intercession of and devotion to the saints, most of the sacraments, the mandatory clerical celibacy, including monasticism, and the authority of the Pope.

In short, the church was unbiblical, showing partiality and selling the rights to enter Heaven, holding certain members and dead saints as divine (Mary, the Pope, ext.), teaching about purgatory (which is nowhere in the Bible), and so on. They were corrupt, and something needed to be done.

Luther didn’t exactly pick up the torch; he helped make the torch, others picked it up after him.

Anyways, getting back to his depression.

I can see him being depressed, I mean he was one of the very few people who actually cared what the Bible said, and he was being attacked from every angle by the church.

One day while he was losing this battle against the church, he locked himself in his room for days on end. He would come out and eat and then go right back to his books.

His wife Katie decided she was going to say something in a very bold fashion. She got dressed in all black and walked into Luther’s study.

Luther asked her, “are you going to a funeral?”
Her reply, “no, but since you are acting like God is dead, I thought I would come in and mourn with you.”

God knows you.
He knows who you should marry.
He knows who to use to get you back on the horse.

For the past few years I have been dealing with a small case of PTSD in my own life. After the war, I thought I was going home to life as usual, but things had changed.

Off and on I had nightmares, I would fight fits of rage, strange bursts of feeling helpless, guilt because I survived and some of my friends did not… and so on.

But… God knew that I would feel that way, so he sent me a helper, Crystal.

She’s always there to tell me I’m freaking out over nothing, or to calm me down.
She knows that I take many things to seriously and she keeps me even.

I think God for her all the time, because if I had married a woman who is as serious as I am all the time, I would be in a lot of trouble!

God knew who to place in Luther’s life, He knew one day she would do this act.

She helped him stay focused on the prize.

Soon after (or maybe before), Luther would do something that would make him a marked man. In 1517 he refused to change his position on the teachings of the church. He was given 24 hours to repent, and after the 24 hours this is what he said:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me.”

This is NOT what the Roman Catholic Church wanted to hear, so they escorted him out of the building. Luther was ordered to return in three weeks, where he was sure he would be hanged or burned to death.

Luther was heard saying, “I am finished.”

On his way home, his wagon came under attack.
Luther managed to grab his Greek New Testament, and his Hebrew Bible.
He thought he had three weeks; now his time was up early.

However, his kidnapper was his friend the elector of Saxony, Fredrick the Wise. He took Luther to his castle to save his life. Luther was forced to stay at the castle and renamed Knight George. He was depressed because he missed his students and friends, but then he got an idea. Why not translate the Bible into German so the common people could read it!

So he did (translate the bible into German) and to this day the Luther translation is used as the standard German Bible.

Avoiding a horrible death, Luther changed Europe forever giving them the living word in their own common tongue.

This is the providence of God!
When we thing life is over, its just starting.
When we feel like our circumstances have us captive, we can overcome them by the blood of Jesus.

Psalm 139:1-6
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

He knows you all to well, and if you let Him be Lord over your circumstances, eventually you will like the desired outcome, in this life or the next.

Remember,
#1 God Works strangely
#2 God works slowly

God Bless,
Dan Fogarty.

This is what we discussed at the mens group @HarvestChurchCentral Norfolk 7pm on Wednesdays.
I’d love to see you there 🙂

Last week we talked a little bit about the sovereignty of God.

I want to remind you of the doctrines of sovereignty and providence again.

What are the ingredients of sovereignty?
1.1 Ownership
1.2 Authorship
1.3 Control

What is the providence of God?
God’s execution of His plan in your life and in the entire universe!

No matter what, God will have His way. This is reassuring when we are going through trials of various kinds. Sometimes we might think God is not with us, but in the end, we will see that he has always been there.

When going through the trial, it will not make much sense, and that’s ok.

Usually we cannot see what God is doing until the trial is over, and even then sometimes we will not be able to see it. Some things will not make sense until we enter into Heaven.

C.S.Lewis speculated that the first words we utter in Heaven might be, “of course.”

And it has to be this way. If we could figure God out all the way, then He would not be so great. He knows more than me and you! He’s GOD!

Is 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

GOD WILL NOT ALWAYS DO WHAT YOU WANT, but you WILL want it that way in the end.

Usually when something horrible happens we respond in one of two ways.
1. We turn into God
2. We turn away from God

I once knew a girl who said she could not believe in God because she asked for something and did not get it. This is a common thing in the world we live in.
But God does not always give us what we want, and we do not always WANT what we want (or what we think we want!

Look at numbers where Balaam asks if He can curse God’s own people.
Balaam is approached by a tribe of God’s own enemies. Israel was about to attack them, and they were worried. But, they thought they had a trick up there sleeves. They had a plan to pay off a priest of the Lord, and to have Israel cursed. By the way, this is a ridiculous plan…

So the gentile king of the Moabites Balak sends for the priest of the Lord Balaam and asks him to curse Israel. Balaam says, “let me sleep on it, so I can hear from the Lord as to what to do.

Numbers 22:9-12
God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, ‘Behold, a people (the Israelites) has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me… (but) God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”

Now, you gotta get this… He didn’t say I refuse to go because I want to do the Lord’s will. He didn’t say that the Lord was against them, and because of that so am I. He said, “GOD WON”T LET ME GO.”

If you read into the story more you’ll see that eventually Balaam found a way to curse the people of Israel.

Rev 2:14
I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality

He also died a crappy death by the hand of the Israelites in Numbers 31.
IF… if he had done the Lord’s will, I am sure he would have preferred the outcome much better.

Trials are good for us!

James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

God puts us through a time or season where we can develop as a Christian. I do not know any hardcore Christians who do not have a crazy story to share about there life. The trials they went through strengthened them, and they are blessed now because of them.

Theologian Benjamin B. Warfield was on his honeymoon with his wife at 25 when she was struck by lightning. She was paralyzed for the rest of her life. For almost 40 years he took care of her. He ever arraigned his schedule so that he was never gone for more than a few hours. They never got to travel like he wanted, but he never gave up on God. This is a few parts from a very long quote about the sovereignty of God by Warfield.
Take any occurrence that happens great or small, the fall of an empire or the fall of a sparrow which our Lord tells us never happens “without the Father” … God is assuredly aware of everything that happens in the universe. There are no dark corners in which the all seeing eye cannot pierce… Did our Father not speak of the sparrows to teach us this?… there was nothing to require Him to make this universe-or any other universe-except for His own pleasure; and there is nothing to compel Him to allow anything which he does not wish to happen, to occur in the universe which He has made for his own good pleasure… He does not stand hopelessly by, while they (horrible things) occur against His wish… and knowing that we are satisfied.

I cannot think of someone who has a better grasp on God’s sovereignty, than one who has experienced a devastating loss, and still remains in the Lord’s army.

I have never personally meet someone with more of a reason to disown God than my own mother. She is always sick and in the hospital. If you didn’t know any better, you would think she is at least 75, but she’s only 55. She has Chronic Arthritis that ripped through her whole body, destroying everything in its way. She only weights about 88 pounds, so she cannot have any form of surgery to help her health. She has stomach conditions that do not allow her to eat much, and every time she starts to make a recovery, she slips back into ill health.

In spite of all this, I have never once heard her blame God for her condition.
I have never heard her say, “why me.”

When she talks about the situation, she says, ‘if the Lord wills, I would like to be well again so I can get a part time job.”……

She wants to get better, so she can go to work, to help the family financially!

In all of these, the person(s) involved did not want what happened or what’s happening to continue, but at some point, they bowed down to the Lord in submission, and learned life-long lessons.

God loves us, and all He does, He does because He loves us!

Rom 8:28a
we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.

Remember this; the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
The devil does not take away, the Lord does.

Thomas Watson wrote, “whatever the affliction, it is the Lord who sends it.”

Psalm 88:7
Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

Matt 5:45
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust

Don’t give up on God in the storms of life.

Most people do not give up on God in the good times, but in the storms of life. It seems that when tragedies come one of two things happen.
1. We turn into God
2. We turn away from God

Remember, God sends the waves, but He sends them for our good. And in that we rejoice.

God Bless.

Here’s what we talked about on Nov 29 @Harvestchurchcentral Norfolk 7pm mens group
I’d love for you to join us next week ☺

I believe I will start every week by restating these facts about God.

What are the ingredients of sovereignty?
1.1 Ownership
1.2 Authorship
1.3 Control

What is the providence of God?
God’s execution of His plan in your life and in the entire universe!

Sovereignty and providence… if you believe these facts about God, you should sleep well at night.

This means that He is going to have His way whether you like it or not. But, what if He doesn’t do what you want when you want?

What if something devastating happened to you?

Would you blame God, or curse Him?
Would you trust Him, or would you try to figure this thing out yourself?
Would you lean on Him, or lean on yourself?

One thing I have noticed is this; when you need to be leaning on God, the devil tries his best then to distract you.

It seems almost impossible to open your bible and read when your trying not to think about that loved one dying. And even when you get it open, your still thinking about your circumstances, just blankly flipping through the pages.

Every time you go to pray, you pray for a minute or two, and then you start to think about your situation.

Am I ever going to get over this?
Why is this happening to me?
Where are you God?

Life can be very hard, and its not always easy to lean on God, but trust me when I say that you need to lean on Him even more in the hard times… perhaps even let Him carry you!

Prov 3:5-7a
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes;

Psalm 50:15
“call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Nahum 1:7
The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.

But what will happen if you don’t believe and trust in the Lord for your deliverance from the situation? Maybe nothing will happen…

James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Now let me say this,
being concerned and believing is not doubting.
Having a question is not doubting.
Doubting is doubting!

When our loan was not going to happen on the 25th of February when The Lord told me it would, I was concerned about the matter, but I believed in God and when I started to doubt I stood on His promises. Guess what happened… The mortgage broker called and said that we were all good, something a few hours ago he said was impossible.

Furthermore, if you do not have faith that Jesus can do what He says, he may not do what He wants to do in your life.

Mark 6:2-6
on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands?3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. 
And he went about among the villages teaching.

Like the song says, You gotta have faith!

Heb 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is knowing God and trusting in His sovereignty and providence to carry you through any situation. Sure there could be hard times ahead, but if you realize that God has the whole thing under control, you will get through it allot easier.

God Bless