The email arrived from a student who had taken a course from me at Word of Life Bible Institute. She wrote a very brief note, thanking me for the class and then asking me this question: “What’s your favorite attribute of God?”
That question stumped me for several reasons. On one hand, we know that since God is ultimate perfection, he has no “bad” attributes. He is perfect love, perfect justice, perfect wisdom, perfect holiness, and so on. How do you choose among the attributes of God? And the second thought comes, should we even be thinking of God’s attributes in those terms?
It’s not like asking . . .
What’s your favorite color? (Green)
What’s your favorite food? (Fried okra)
What’s your favorite movie? (The Dirty Dozen)
What’s your favorite football team? (Ole Miss Rebels)
Now those are just personal preferences that could change over time. My food preferences depend on where I am, the time of day, and what I’m hungry for. This morning I ate a blueberry bagel with cream cheese and washed it down with a Diet Pepsi. That was better than fried okra to me. I like the color green but that really goes back to reading “The Wizard of Oz” in grade school. I don’t really know if green is my absolute favorite color or not. I said The Dirty Dozen because it just flashed into my mind. I am, however, solid on the Ole Miss Rebels. That’s a family thing. If you said, “Name your favorite NFL team” thirty-five years ago, I would have said the Dallas Cowboys, but now I would probably say the Chicago Bears or maybe give no answer at all. That’s what I mean when I say that many of my favorite things tend to change over time.
Our preferences change over time
I think you could easily apply that to the attributes of God. There are moments when you cling to God’s mercy as a drowning man clings to a life preserver. At other times you are overwhelmed by a sense of God’s majesty. Still other times God’s holiness exposes your sin and leads you to repentance. Often you will swim in the ocean of God’s love. When evildoers get away with murder, you will find solace in the truth that God is just.
All of this is a long response to a simple question, “What’s your favorite attribute of God?” After going through all of that in my mind, I do at last have an answer for the question. If you push me to the end of my faith and ask me what keeps me strong when all else around me seems to fall apart, I will answer that my faith rests upon the rock-solid truth of the sovereignty of God.
The Undisputed Boss
That means that God is in charge of all things at all times and in every situation. To call God sovereign means that he is the undisputed Boss of the Universe. He knows what he is doing, and he is doing it.
If God is not sovereign, then he is not God.
If God is not sovereign, then who is?
God’s sovereignty is the answer to the biggest question of all: “Who’s in charge here?”
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