Does God really work through divine intervention? My short answer is, no. As my husband would say, “God doesn’t have to ‘intervene’ because He’s always ‘vening.’” There may be some silliness to that sentence, but there is also such truth. God is often portrayed as some super-spiritual, mystical being that occasionally throws a human a bone. However, that is an inaccurate depiction of the character of God.
God does not occasionally jump into our lives when He is bored, or desperately needed. He has been engaged in our lives since the beginning of time. God does not have to intervene, because He is, by nature, sovereign — having supreme authority and control over the world. When we view God as sovereign, we don’t need to ask if He really works through divine intervention since this question would be misleading. Instead, we should ask, “How does God’s sovereign nature reveal divine intervention?”
What Does the Bible Really Say about Divine Intervention?
The Bible speaks of divine intervention from beginning to end. There is not a page of the Bible that doesn’t boast of the glory of God, the goodness of God, and the divine work of God. God created the universe and humans, not only initiating our existence but involving Himself in the smallest details of our lives. God, by nature, is sovereign over all His creation, and we are simply clay in the potter’s hands (Isaiah 64:8).
God’s Sovereign Nature Reveals Divine Intervention
The biblical view of God’s sovereign nature means that He has supreme authority and that all things are under His control. As Christians, we serve a God that never slumbers — He is always working towards His own glory (Psalm 121:4). He is not small and finite as we are. The God of the Bible is our protector, provider, and personal intercessor.
God is not lazy, looking down at humans amused by our choices (Isaiah 28:40), but is intimately involved in all aspects of our lives. He knows the very number of hairs on our head and has knit each one of us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). He is sovereign — all-powerful, all-knowing, and determines each of our steps.
His sovereign nature is at work all throughout Scripture, but let’s look at five ways we see it play out in our own lives:
1. God is sovereign over our pain and suffering. When heartache hits, God is our greatest comforter (Psalm 34:18). Suffering on this earth will not last, as He has promised to wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). In the midst of our pain, He takes what is intended for evil and turns it into good (Genesis 50:20). He allows our testing (1 Peter 1:6-7) and is just in all He does (The book of Job). “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
2. God is sovereign over all our victories (Joshua 6). He is the one who gives us breath and life, just as He is our ultimate source of joy (Psalm 5:11). All good gifts come from Him (James 1:17), and there is not a single blessing that does not have His fingerprints upon it (Philippians 2:13; Genesis 16-21).
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20).
3. God is sovereign over our calling. He directs our steps and weaves together the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11-13). God is ultimately in control of our jobs, our homes, our living, and our mission (Acts 9:1-31). He does not neglect us in His plans or leave us to our own devices. He is intricately involved in bringing us where He wants when He wants (The Book of Jonah).
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
4. God is sovereign over our futures. In Christ, we have escaped a world of sin, and become partakers of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Because of this, we do not have to fear the future, or experience anxiety in the unknown. God is watching over us (Psalm 23), establishing each of our steps (Proverbs 16:9). In God’s sovereign power, we can walk into our futures knowing that He has granted to us all wisdom and godliness through His Son (2 Peter 1:3).
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:11-12).
5. God is sovereign over sin. God did not allow sin to enter the world to leave us in brokenness and shame (Genesis 3). He has been sovereign over our sin since the very beginning and continues to be sovereign over it as He has once and for all taken the penalty for our sin on the cross.
God had ultimate power and authority over David’s sin as he committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11-12), over Job’s sin as he wrestled with doubts of God’s justice (Job 42), and over Judas’ sin as he betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26-28). There is no sin too great for Him to forgive, and there is no sin that reaches outside of His grasp.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
The Cross Revels in Divine Intervention
As Christians, we cannot wonder if God really works through divine intervention but, instead, look at life through the lens of the gospel. We must see how God created us as beautiful eternal beings who became marked by sin and in a need of a savior. We must see that the whole story
of our universe — of the Bible — is the ultimate work of God’s divine intervention and plan. The work of the cross is not a one-time exception in our world. The work of the cross revels in the very divine nature of who God is. Christ’s life, death, and resurrection are the very reason we are here — the very reason we have oxygen in our lungs, and blood beating through our hearts.
Jesus took our guilt and shame and nailed it to the cross with Himself defeating, sin, Satan, and shame once and for all. Three days later, He rose from the grave defeating death and gifting us with His eternal presence. Because of Christ, we no longer have to tire or fear. We no longer have to beat ourselves up or give into shame.
We are no longer marked by sin, and separated from God’s presence because belief in the gospel provides a right relationship with God. We are now forever loved, forever forgiven, and forever graced by His presence and fullness of joy. The cross beautifully reveals God’s sovereign plan to restore His people and reconcile them to Himself. The only thing we have to do is respond in faith to the gospel.
How Do We Respond to God’s Sovereign Nature?
First, we respond to God’s sovereignty by giving God all the glory. The chief end of man is to know God intimately and make Him fully known in our lives. Every breath of fresh air we take is an act of God’s sovereignty as He holds the whole world in His hands (Psalm 95:3-6). Therefore, we respond to God through the praise and thanksgiving of all that we have and all that we are, giving God all the glory (Psalm 145).
Second, we respond with unceasing prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) — seeking God in each move we make, thanking Him with every step, and generously asking for His wisdom (James 1:5). His sovereign nature doesn’t allow for apathetic, lukewarm Christians who slough-off their God-given purpose.
His sovereignty propels us to glorify Him through the work that He has called each of us to do (Ephesians 2:10): To make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit — a call for all disciples of Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20), to proclaim His excellencies, His glory, and His grace over and over again (1 Peter 2:9-10), and to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, seeking the benefit of others over ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).
Lastly, we respond to God’s sovereignty, knowing that in all things we can be fully satisfied in the very nature of who God is (Psalm 73:26). Despite our circumstances, suffering, trials, and joys, we can be content in all things no matter what is happening around us (Philippians 4:11-13).
We may not fully understand what He’s doing, but we can always trust that He does all things for our good and His glory — for the good of those who are called according to His purpose.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
Throughout our lives, there may be times where we wonder why God has placed us in such circumstances. We may question His existence, or experience suffering beyond what we can even imagine. However, we must keep in mind that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
At times, it may feel as if the music of our lives has stopped; or as if only a few keys on the piano are coming together — but the reality is, that God is always conducting a 10,000-plus instrument orchestra on our behalf. He is always initiating, engaging, adjusting, and personally playing the music that makes our souls come alive.
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Stephanie Englehart is a Seattle native, church planter’s wife, mama, and lover of all things coffee, the great outdoors, and fine (easy to make) food. Stephanie is passionate about allowing God to use her honest thoughts and confessions to bring gospel application to life. You can read more of what she writes on the Ever Sing blog at stephaniemenglehart.com or follow her on Instagram: @stephaniemenglehart.