What does the sovereignty of God mean?

Ephesians 1:11 says, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” This verse tells us that God looked down through the corridors of time, saw the choices we made, and decided beforehand (predestined) how He would use us and orchestrate the events around us so that He could allow us to be part of His will in the lives of others.

God does not pick and choose who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell or who will accept Christ and who will reject Christ. These are decisions left up to us. In His sovereignty, He gives us freedom of choice so that we can truly love Him. If He made us choose, that would result in forced love, which is a contradiction in terms. Forced love is not true love, which is why Scripture says, “For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

God does not pick people and make them do evil. He saw (across time) their choices, and orchestrated things around those choices to fulfill His purposes. As with Jesus, God used Herod and Pilate, Gentiles, and Jews, to place Christ on the cross for our salvation. “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done” (Acts 4:27-28).

The sovereignty of God is not only miraculous but also gives us the peace to know that when we are not in control, He is. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).