And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.Colossians 1:17
Tim Keller says, “We can, and should, live our lives and order our memories not only historically but theologically – not simply recollecting what happened, or what we did, but searching out what God was doing. This keeps us from over-honoring ourselves in success, or despairing in struggles.”
When I first started following Jesus in 2005, I was surprised as I took a new look back over my life and contemplated God’s work in pursuing me. As I began to order my memories theologically, as Keller says, I began to see the events, experiences, struggles, and relationships in my life in a new light. I could now understand that chance and my own power were never the guiding forces of my life, but it was in fact always God. He was always there – ever active, ever working – even while I was asleep to his sovereignty.
In Joshua 24, God spoke through Joshua to help Israel order their memories theologically. We see God’s sovereignty on display in this chapter as God recounted all the creating and sustain acts he did on Israel’s behalf:
- “I took your father Abraham … and made his offspring many.” (Vs. 3)
- “I gave him Isaac.” (Vs. 3)
- “And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.” (Vs. 4)
- “I sent Moses and Aaron.” (Vs. 5)
- “I plagued Egypt…” (Vs. 5)
- “I brought your fathers out of Egypt.” (Vs. 6)
- “Your eyes saw what I did in Egypt.” (Vs. 7)
- “I brought you to the land of the Amorites.” (Vs. 8)
- “I gave them into your hand.”(Vs. 8)
- “I destroyed them before you.” (Vs. 8)
- “I delivered you out of [Balak’s] hand.” (Vs. 10)
- “I sent the hornet before you.” (Vs. 12)
- “I gave you a land on which you had not labored.” (Vs. 13)
God is ever active, ever working for our good and his glory.
Things may seem out of control now.
But from creation through Revelation, God is active and directly involved in all redemptive history. He didn’t wind up the world and let it go, unsure of its course and where it might end up. He’s near. He hears. He acts.
There’s nothing sweeter than awakening to the fact that you are held – and our world is held – by a powerful, sovereign, loving God.
So don’t sleep on God’s sovereignty, allowing worry, anxiety, anger, and fear to overtake you.
He is sovereign. And he is good. Even now. Especially now.