United Church of God

You're Not the Boss of Me!

You are here

You're Not the Boss of Me!

MP4 Video - 1080p (1.94 GB)
MP4 Video - 720p (1.17 GB)
MP3 Audio (36.58 MB)


You're Not the Boss of Me!

MP4 Video - 1080p (1.94 GB)
MP4 Video - 720p (1.17 GB)
MP3 Audio (36.58 MB)

At times, my life seems out of control. What’s going on in the world doesn’t help. How can I have confidence when things seem so dire? Is it possible to have hope even when circumstances seem overwhelming? This sermon gives a powerful spiritual perspective by answering the question: “Who is the boss of me?"


[Steve Myers] Have you ever had to deal with a 3-year-old? We parents have to do that once in a while. And as a new grandparent, it's a whole new experience. It's having a conversation with our oldest grandchild, 3 years old, kind of going through what family is all about. Oh, you've got a little brother, Jordy, and you've got your mom and dad, and your little sister, Haley, and kind of going through all these things. And of course, they call me Papa, and then there's Nana, and going through this whole family kind of things. It's like, yes, what's my name, and what's her name, and what's...? It's kind of interesting to see what he would come up with. And then later that same day, after going through those things...Oh, yeah, I don't want to forget the dog, Marty. There's another one. Oh, yeah, there's Marty, our dog. Can't forget how important a pet is as well.

And so later in the day, he started getting into something he shouldn't have been getting into. Then you have to take on the role and say, "Stop. You may not do that." And being the 3-year-old that he was, he looked at me and said, "You're not the boss of me." Really? "Yes, I am the boss of you." And of course, you know what came out next? "Well, I'm the boss of Nana." "No, you are not the boss of Nana." "Weel, I'm the boss of Daddy." No, no. Well, then we start working our way down that, "Well, I'm the boss of Jordy." "No, you're not." And finally, working all the way down, he said, "Well, I'm the boss of Marty." "Okay, you can be the boss of the dog. That's fine. You may be the boss of the dog." And as I thought about that whole conversation of things, after he had to sit in the white chair for a while, it certainly reminds us of a human tendency. And it's not something just 3-year-olds deal with.

If you want to make your way with me over to Daniel 4. Daniel 4 speaks of the greatest empire in the world at that time. It speaks of the Babylonian Empire and its king who was the boss, who was in charge, King Nebuchadnezzar, no equal. But was he really, ultimately, in charge? By the time we get the Chapter 4 this great king had not been sleeping very well. He had troubling nightmares and he couldn't get them out of his mind. He was worried about them, he was terrified. And Daniel, who had helped him understand a frightening dream a little bit earlier, gets called to interpret this dream that he was having. A dream about a fantastic huge tree that was just absolutely beautiful and just was feeding the animals and it was just a wonderful tree. But he couldn't figure it out and why it was so frightening with what was happening in this dream. And down in verse 22 in Daniel 4, Daniel begins to describe what this dream was about when all the other magicians couldn't figure it out.

Daniel 4:22 Daniel says, "This tree is you, O king, who have grown and become strong, for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, your dominion to the end of the earth."

The greatest king, the greatest empire, no doubt he must have taken heart with that. But then there was the nightmare side of things. In that dream, that tree got cut down. And so verse 23 says.

Daniel 4:23 "Chop down that tree and destroy it but leave its stump and roots in the earth bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven. Let him graze with the beasts of the field..."

Oh, it turned all of a sudden here. Now we're not just talking about a tree. Now we're talking about the fact this tree represents not only the kingdom but the man himself.

Daniel 4:24-25 "Let him graze with the beasts of the field until seven times pass over him. This is the interpretation, o, king." "But wait a second, this isn't my interpretation," Daniel says. "This is the decree of the most high which has come upon my Lord the King. They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven and seven times, seven years will pass over you." Why? Why would that be? Well, Daniel doesn't leave that part out. The most important part. He says, "Until you know that the most high rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever he chooses."

So this became absolutely essential that Nebuchadnezzar understand that God is the boss of him. God is in charge. He's the one that's in control. And in fact, it wasn't just a lesson for Nebuchadnezzar. If you look back just a little bit to verse 17, at the end of verse 17.

Daniel 4:17 It also tells us, "In order that the living may know that the most high God rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He will."

So this was to be a lesson not only for Nebuchadnezzar, for the entire kingdom, that God is in charge. So that undeniable fact, first and foremost, God's the boss. He's the one in charge. He is the boss of everyone, of everything, and he rules. So when you think of ruling, what comes to your mind? Or the ruler. Maybe authority. Dominion. Power and control may come to mind. He is the highest. He is the ultimate. God is supreme. He is in charge, master. Sovereign. Oftentimes we might hear that word sovereign and it's maybe not one we hear a lot about, but certainly God is sovereign. He is King. He is the highest. He is the greatest. The sovereign means the master, the ultimate, the supreme ruler of all. And so Nebuchadnezzar and all the living should know His will, His way, His rule is absolute and He does what He pleases. And so God is eternal. He's self-existent. He is self-sufficient, all-knowing, everywhere, above all. Nebuchadnezzar had to come to realize that.

Do we? Do we really understand the sovereignty of God? This isn't something that's just an Old Testament thing. The apostle Paul reminded Timothy about this. If you hold your place here in Daniel 4, we'll come back in a moment. 1 Timothy 6 is a section of Scripture where the apostle Paul reminds the young minister Timothy of this very fact. The undeniable truth is God is in charge. He is sovereign. Notice what he reminds Timothy of in 6:15. He reminds Timothy.

1 Timothy 6:15 He says, "He who is the blessed and the only potentate."

That's another synonym for sovereign. The ruler, the king. In fact, he says, "The King of kings and Lord of lords," not just talking about Jesus Christ but ultimately the one who sent Him. We look at the context here. He's talking about the Most High. He's talking about, "God the Father who alone has immortality dwelling in unapproachable light whom no man has seen or can see to whom be honor and everlasting power." In fact, it is so awesome to think about the sovereignty and the absolute supremacy of God, it causes Paul to say, "Amen." Yes, this is fact. This is undeniable. This is absolutely true. No one can argue with that. That's that amen. So be it. No doubt.

And so he emphasizes to Timothy, God can do anything He pleases. He sustains everything. He not only made it, but He sustains it. And He watches over all of these things. And as we understand it, yes, Scripture tells us over and over He created all things, the visible things, the invisible things, every aspect of thrones and dominions and powers and principalities. The book of Colossians tells us that right at the very beginning of that letter in Chapter 1, that all things were created through Him, through Christ, and for Him. by the direction of God the Father. And so that point driven home, not only to Nebuchadnezzar, but we see Paul telling Timothy so that all the living, every one of us may know. And of course, as Paul's telling Timothy, here's how you are doing a good job as a minister of Jesus Christ. You make sure that God's people understand the superiority and the sovereignty of God. It's something that is emphasized over and over and over through God's Word.

In fact, if you go back to ancient Israel for a moment, you head back to 1 Chronicles 29. Interesting section of Scripture here. It's where Israel has finally come into the land. Saul has finished his rule. David is just about to die. They're moving from a tabernacle that had been transported through the wilderness to building a temple. And David has assembled all the things necessary that ultimately Solomon, his son, would build this temple. And as we get to 1 Chronicles 29, here's David giving instructions to the people and to Solomon as well when it comes to building this temple. David was not allowed to do it. Solomon would do it. And in 1 Chronicles 29, he gives those instructions to the people. He reminds them that these are the things that need to be accomplished. He tells Solomon, you've got to do these things as well. And as he comes to the end of 1 Chronicles 29:11, it leads him to call on God and pray. And notice what he says. Here's David at the very end of his life, and what is he emphasizing? By the time we get to the end of the chapter, it tells us David dies. And here he is at the end of his life. And notice what he emphasizes. Not just emphasizing build this temple, not just emphasizing collect all the gold you can so we can have this beautiful monument to God. No, notice what he says.

1 Chronicles 29:11 He says, "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty, for all that is in heaven and earth is yours. This is the Kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head over all."

God is sovereign. He is supreme. And David recognized his greatness. It wasn't that David was such an amazing ruler, a man after God's own...that made all the difference...No, what made the difference? God's supremacy, His authority, God being in David, working through him and leading him. And David makes this point that takes it a step farther. Not only is God in control, not only did David say, God's the boss of me, he says, since God made all and since God owns all, He has the right to rule. He has the right to rule. That's what God taught Nebuchadnezzar during that life-altering experience that he had with that nightmare. In fact, let's notice that.

If you held your place there back in Daniel, head back to Daniel 4 and notice verse 34. We pick up that story that that nightmare, that dream, comes true exactly the way that Daniel interpreted it. Nebuchadnezzar becomes like an animal. and he's out there seven years, basically lost his mind. He had the heart of an animal. Some translations say the mind of an animal. Didn't have the mind of a man. And at the end of that seven years?

Daniel 4:34 Here's Nebuchadnezzar speaking, "At the end of the time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven and my understanding returned to me. And I blessed..." Who? "Most High." Wait a second, just before, he said, "Hey, I did all this. Look at this fantastic kingdom of mine. I am so great. I am so powerful. I am so wonderful. Oh, he forgot about that interpretation of the dream. Now he's recognized, "I bless the Most High and praise and honored Him who lives forever. His dominion is an everlasting dominion."

Wait, what about that comment that he had made a little bit earlier? He thought that this was all his doing. If you look back to verse 30.

Daniel 4:30 The king spoke saying, "Is this not great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power?"

 Suddenly that's all changed. Now he's recognizing it's the Most High God that brought all this about. His dominion is the one. His kingdom, His honor says it's from generation to generation. Nebuchadnezzar gets it. God has the right to rule.

Daniel 4:35 It says, "All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth."

Yeah, that all the living may know, all the living may know. No one can restrain Him or say to Him, what have you done? No, can't do that. And so down to verse 37.

Daniel 4:37 Nebuchadnezzar, he says, "I praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, all his ways are justice, and whose walk and pride he's able to put down."

Think Nebuchadnezzar got the lesson? You think he learned that lesson? He recognized, at least he speaks those words, nothing's outside of the scope of God's reign and rule and sovereignty, and all the living proclaiming this to everyone. He's saying everyone, the living must know that the Most High God rules.

And so it begs the question for each of us, do we really understand the sovereignty of God? Do we really understand His mastery? Do we really understand His supreme nature overall? I'd say, yeah, I get it. Well, until something happened, I didn't like that. God, why did you allow that? I can't understand why this is happening. And that's where our human nature then gets in the way, because it resists the reign and the rule of God. And so we might not understand, and we might even get upset, we might even take it to the extent of blaming God for difficult circumstances, for a trial we might be going through, a difficulty we're experiencing. We're like the little one. We're like them thinking, well, I know what's best. You're not the boss of me. I know what's best for myself. I can decide what. And we think we know. We think we know. We don't think, you know, when we're teenagers, our parents know best. Are you kidding me? That couldn't be. No way. Well, sometimes we're all like teenagers when we understand the sovereignty of God's reign and rule in the wrong way.

Life is full of problems. It's full of pressures. It's full of challenges. And yet Scripture is absolutely clear. And sometimes we forget when those things begin to happen, and they are difficult to understand, why would He allow me to go through this or to suffer these things? Well, it should emphasize the point. Not only is God in charge, not only does He have the right to rule, but He's in control of everything. That's the good and the difficult, the bad, every circumstance, every situation, every event. Somehow God looking the other way when things happen...whoa, I didn't know that was going to happen. Wow, that caught me off guard. Is God ever in that kind of a frame of mind? Never. Never. The lesson here that Nebuchadnezzar had to learn, that all of us as the living should learn, that God's sovereignty means that He either directly causes things to happen or consciously allows them. He permits everything that happens, not only in human history, not only in governments, but everything that happens in all human history. Yeah, that includes my life too. He knows. He understands.

In fact, that point is emphasized back in Ephesians 1. If you turn with me over to the beginning of the book of Ephesians, here Paul is writing to God's church in Ephesus. Right at the very beginning of this letter, it's interesting how he emphasizes the rulership of God. And Paul does this in every one of his letters. He always recognizes that fact, recognizing God the Father and Jesus Christ at the beginning of all of his letters. And he talks about His sovereignty, His rule, His grace, His peace, His love. He mentions those things in all of his letters. And here he is, once again, at the beginning of Ephesians 1:11, he makes this very strong point.

Ephesians 1:11 He 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."

Well, God's involved in a few things, God's involved in some things. Well, maybe some things get by...no, nothing gets by God. No, He has a plan and He has a purpose and there are certain things that have been predetermined that we ultimately have to be like Jesus Christ if we're going to be in the kingdom. That is absolute. And there are certain things that have been determined that God is going to give an inheritance to those he gives the gift of eternal life. He will do that. But it doesn't even stop there. Here the point is made. He works all things, everything according to His will. You compare that to what happened in Nebuchadnezzar, yes, civilizations rise and fall. Great leaders of nations have come and gone and reigned and ruled, been dethroned. Yeah, Daniel talks a lot about that. Was any of that ever done to God's surprise? No. No. All the while, God says, "I've been in control, even when it comes to the difficulties, even adversity." Isaiah 45 even tells us the calamities, the calamities that happen in our world, maybe even in our life, the difficulties and the challenges and the trials, and yeah, we may even call them calamities, they don't get by...God knows He's in charge. He is absolutely supreme over all. And it speaks to the fact Nebuchadnezzar had to learn the hard way.

Are we hard-headed? Do we have to learn that same way? Hopefully we don't. Hopefully we can learn from others' experience. When you consider that it came down to the fact, Nebuchadnezzar, you're not in charge, and you have to recognize that. And because God is sovereign, it reminds us we have no right to question or argue or even be overly concerned about what God has allowed to happen in our life. Boy, but God, I don't know why you're allowed...This is ridiculous. How could you? You know I want to please you. You know I care about you. You know I'm trying to do my best. But why? Why does this happen? If you really cared, would you let me go through these difficult things? But you see, the lesson...God's in charge. He's in control of everything and He has the right to rule. And so because of that, it has to help us to recognize and come before God in trust and faith. And there's a number of aspects that God wants us to take to the bank when it comes to recognizing God rules. He is Most High and rules not only in the kingdoms of men, but He rules my kingdom. He rules me. And if He is in charge and I recognize that and I submit to Him, that means I need to trust God in every situation, in every situation I face.

And where is it in here where God has promised me, I'll never allow you to go through difficulties? I'll never allow you to suffer. I'll never allow difficulties or trial. Not there, is it? In fact, there's places in the Bible that tell us we're called to suffering, that there will be difficulties. And if that's the case, God has allowed these, or maybe purposely has allowed situations to come into our lives. And they're not surprising to him. Does that happen? I mean, God, I came out to the garage, you know I'm in a hurry today, I got a lot on my plate. I'm serving you, trying to do your pleasure, how in the world can have a flat tire? You know this is an important meeting. I can't get there. Kind of a dumb thing, but it happens. All right. God know I had a flat tire, know I was in a hurry, know I had some things in mind? Okay, kind of a little...not really a trial, more of like an inconvenience.

Sometimes I look at those things like a trial and they're actually not, they're just life, it just happens, right? Things wear out, no doubt about that. But it also speaks to the big problems, you know, that undiagnosed illness, that health challenge. Yeah, those things. Can I trust God even in those situations? He is in charge, he's told us, in every circumstance. And he promises as Lord of the universe, it's not just good luck going through those things, not at all. He's promised to be right there. He's promised to strengthen us. He's promised to keep us and guide us and protect us when we submit and recognize that sovereignty over us. There's a wonderful passage in Isaiah 41 that reassures us of that very fact. Yes, even in the most difficult of circumstances, even the flat tire, the terminal illness, God's even there?

Well, Isaiah 41:10, notice what God says. He says to all of us, all the living. Isaiah 41:10, What a great reminder. Do I really trust God in every circumstance, in every situation in my life?

Isaiah 41:10, it says, "Fear not." This is God speaking, "I am with you. Be not dismayed, I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Every circumstance, every instance? Yeah, He's saying, with my help, turn to me, trust me, have confidence in my promises to you. He doesn't say I'm going to take it away. He says he's going to strengthen us. He's going to help us. Yes, and that means sometimes he will. Sometimes he'll miraculously remove things. Amazing. Only a true sovereign can do that. But He does promise, if that doesn't happen, that situation doesn't have to overwhelm us, even if it seems like it will, even if it feels like it might. He says, "No, I promise this." I promise this. And so we can move to trust God even in the most difficult of circumstances and in the good times as well because God's in charge. And if we really recognize God's in charge, I think we can trust God with our children. We can trust God with our grandchildren. Well, boy, kids get into all kinds of messes. Can we really? Well, that's part of recognizing the sovereignty of God, even in those difficult circumstances. Let's reassure ourselves.

Psalm 112, very beginning of this Psalm. It's a beautiful song and such a reassuring one. When we recognize the emphasis on faith and trust and confidence, not in our own abilities, but the fact that God has promised. He's promised, I'm with you, don't be dismayed. Trust me. Have confidence in me. You can have confidence even when your family's in disarray. Even the little ones. Psalm 112, right at the very beginning, verse 1.

Psalm 112:1 "Praise the Lord, blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in his commandments."

All right, that's something we've got to make sure we're in a right relationship with God. We love God. We're striving to obey him. We're striving to do His will. We're keeping His commandments. As a result, he says there are blessings that flow from loving God.

Psalm 112:2 It says, "This individual who loves God," it says, "his descendants will be mighty on the earth. The generation of the upright will be blessed."

Sometimes we just think in physical terms. I don't think it's limited to that at all. But it's reassuring because I don't think there's anything more important to a parent or a grandparent than their children, especially if they get off the path. They make the wrong choices. They don't do the right things. They're not here. Where are they? What are they doing? What are they thinking? That worries us. We worry about our kids and it doesn't matter how old they are. We worry about our grandchildren. They're so little, who's going to watch over them and protect them? God, will you really lead them to salvation? Will you really open their minds to your plan? Do you really have their well-being...? You know what they're doing. They don't seem to care a bit about you. What's going on? Is there anything more important to parents, grandparents? And yet here, God encourages us. He says, no matter what they're doing, no matter what they're going through, God says, I've got hold of the situation. I'm in control. I see what's happening. And so our part? That no matter what they're going through, remember that God's got everything in His hand. And as we keep looking to Him, as we strive to follow Him, we keep praying, we keep trusting Him, we know we can take assurance in that very fact. We can trust God. God, you've got them in your hand. You know what's happening. It's out of my control, but it's not out of your control. You love them. You love them more than I do. You have their best interests at heart. And so help me to recognize you're the best hands that they could possibly be in because you are sovereign, you are in control.

And so we can trust God even in that situation with our families. And of course, probably reminds us, boy, it's hard to do those things. It's hard to keep looking to you, God, in every situation. I get so distracted. I get off base and I don't put you first always in my life and I need to do that. Certainly that's the case, but in this whole aspect of the sovereignty of God, His mastery, His superiority, because He is in charge, we can also trust Him to lead and guide us. We can trust God in that. You've been in those situations. You ever been there? It's like, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do. It's beside me to even begin to figure this out. I remember a circumstance when we had three teenagers at home, and it's a challenge for any parent. And I remember after an evening of trying to sort things out, my wife and I just fell back on the couch. What are we gonna do? What are we going to do? It was beyond that. We didn't know. We couldn't figure it out ourselves. And we get into those kinds of situations. I don't know what to do, God. But you see, God does.

In fact, if you're still there in the Psalms, go over to Psalm 32. Psalm 32 reminds us of that very fact. We can trust God to lead us, to guide us, to direct our thinking, to help us in every situation. Maybe it's not with the solution, but maybe it's with a mindset that we can be at peace, that God will, God will sort things out. Psalm 32, notice verse 8. Psalm 32:8, here speaking on behalf of God.

Psalm 32:8 God says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with my eye."

Yeah, God's got his eyes on us. Nothing gets away from him. He knows when we're challenged. He knows when we're difficult. He knows when we're having struggles parenting. He knows when we're having difficulties with our job. He knows when we're having trials and difficulties in our relationships. He gets it. We look to Him, we submit to Him, we trust Him, and He says, I'm here. I got this. I got this. In fact, just over a couple pages in Psalm 37, notice verse 23. Psalm 37:23 certainly recognizes that very fact. Life has its ups and downs, that doesn't get beyond God.

Psalm 37:23-24 We're told, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in his way, though he fall..." Fall back on the couch and hide because I don't know what to do. "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down." God doesn't say, "Well, good luck with that one. I don't know what you're going to do." No, God doesn't do that. No, "he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."

So imagine that. God's got His eyes on us. He's holding us in His hands. He's right there with us. And so, yeah, many times, many times we may not know even, God, what do You want me to do? What should I do? What do You want me to do next? What the future holds, God? Well, God even knows that. God knows what is best. And the promise here is he will lead us. And sometimes the challenge, he even wants to lead and guide me more than I want to be guided. Because sometimes that thing of, yeah, you're not the boss of me, still comes up. Still comes up, I want to do it, or this is what I know. Even more than I want the guidance, God wants to lead and guide and direct our steps.

And so as we do that, here He's promised each of us personally. Every one of His children, every one, he has His eye on us and He holds us. And so we looked at him, even though we're called to suffer, we're called to a challenging walk. We were never promised an easy life, this Christian walk. You know, Christ himself said, "It's a narrow road. There are going to be difficulties." But the fact that someone hurts us deeply, and they're supposed to be a member of the Church, can I have a different perspective to trust God and help me to deal with that issue, to solve a relationship problem, and to come to forgive? And even when there's a conflict, can I look to God and trust Him that He will bring peace, help me to be a peacemaker? Can I have that perspective? And even when I'm down and I'm discouraged and I don't know what to do, do I turn to him? Do I ask him to guide and lead? Help me to trust even in a situation that seems like, I don't know, God, can I trust you to work with me and lead me and guide me? You let this happen. But God says, yes, you can. Even in the most difficult situations, even when the temptations lure us, we can look to God and claim His power over sin and look to Him and learn to love and learn to change and learn to grow. He promises to be there.

Something that is so powerful, found over in Philippians 2, no matter the circumstance...Notice what Philippians 2 reminds us about because, yeah, when we're hurt, when we're discouraged, when we're down, when we're tempted, when we're mistreated, when we're going through trials and difficulties, where is our trust and dependency? You know, the good old American way is pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get back out there. How's that work as a Christian? Not very good. Not very good. Here's the important point here in verse 13 of Philippians 2.

Philippians 2:13 It tells us, "It is God who works in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

And so God's called us to this way of life. He's opened our minds to His truth. That wasn't our doing. We know no one can come to Christ unless the Father draws him. Christ said no one can come to the Father but by me. Yeah, that's not our doing. It's God who did that work and then continues to work in us. And whether it's discouragement, whether it's hurt, whether it's sin, or temptation, or suffering, God's working in us. It's His will, and He helps us with what we need to do so that it will work for His good pleasure.

And so are we really seeking to obey God in every situation? Are we really striving in this life that we've been called to, to put to death sin and walk in the Spirit? That's our calling. Yeah, it's work. It can be a challenge. But we got this. We can do this because God is the one at work in us. And we recognize that when we submit to God's Holy Spirit within us, what's He promised? He says, "I will lead and guide you. I will accomplish my good pleasure." And so we don't live this life on our own strength. We don't live it by our own authority. In fact, it only happens by God's strength, by recognizing His sovereignty in our life, knowing, trusting, having faith that even in the most difficult weaknesses, He's in charge. He knows. He's in control and He will because He's promised. God is not a liar. God has promised to guide and lead us. That can't slow Him down. That won't stop Him from doing and fulfilling His righteous Word.

Now, of course, we know that doesn't mean, ah, sit back, God, you got it. Don't have to worry about anything now, you're in control. Well, wait a second. Be careful. No, it doesn't mean that. We know that. But it does mean we run to the one who is in charge. That means we order our life according to His way. That means we obey and we keep His commandments. And when we are out of line, we better get down on our knees and we better repent and we better go before Him and beg His forgiveness to apply the sacrifice of Christ to us so that we can be justified and we can be acquitted of our sins and we can be in a right relationship with God. Yes, we can trust Him even to take those sins away and forgive us, remove them so we are never accountable for those past sins ever again. What an awesome blessing. God is in control even of removing our sins as far as east is from west. Yes, He expects that of us, and He's given us the power to do it by His Holy Spirit, and He is the one who's working in us that will, that want to do His good pleasure. And that means we've got to be actively doing that. And so ultimately we can because He's in charge. He's in charge.

In fact, that really takes it a step further. Because when we recognize He's in charge, it changes our relationships. As we heard in the special music, we're to love and we're to express that love. We can love and we can forgive because God is in charge. There's such a great example of that in the story that we find in Genesis 50. Not going to go through the whole story because you're familiar with it. You know this particular story. It's the story of Joseph and his brothers. Remember Joseph. What happened to Joseph? I had all these visions, all these dreams that he was going to be doing some great things, and his brothers got jealous, and what did they do? Sold him into slavery. Sold him right from under the family, right from under dad, and he ends up down in Egypt in jail, in jail. They wanted him out. "Get out of here. We don't want to see you anymore. We'll take care of your aspirations." And so he goes through unbelievable trials and difficulties, really at the top and then suddenly in jail for years, years and years, until finally, finally becomes an advisor to the king. And during one of the most difficult famines, his brothers have to come to Egypt in order to get food to eat. And then the whole story comes out. Wow, you're actually Joseph. You're the one we thought was long dead.

It's interesting, what does Joseph do when his brothers are standing before him, totally guilty of the crimes that they committed? Does he say, all right, God's in charge, and finally I get to get you guys back? Finally justice. Yeah, that would be human nature, wouldn't it? But here in verse 20, it's a whole different perspective because Joseph recognized God was always in charge, even when he was in the pit, even though they never did tell him he did these miraculous things, even though he was accused of things he never did. Joseph comes to the conclusion, the Most High God rules. Notice what he says in verse 20.

Genesis 50:20-21 "'As for you, brothers, you meant evil against me. But God meant it for good in order to bring it about as it is this day to save many alive, many people alive. Now, therefore, don't be afraid. I'm not going to kill you.’ He says, ‘I will provide for you and your little ones.' And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them."

And so we bless those who curse us because even though they mean it for harm, God can work it for good. We can honor and do good, even those who spitefully use us, because God's in...if God wasn't in control, boy, that would be crazy to love your enemies. That would be ridiculous, almost impossible. That would be...But God strengthens. God watches. No matter what anyone else does to us, God can mean it for good. And because we know this, that brought Joseph to the fact that he could forgive even those who had sinned against him. Not easy to do, but to ask for the strength in the mind to look to God. And when we do, He promises to help us, which definitely speaks to the amazing point that when we recognize God's in charge, we can trust the fact that He's working all things for good. Everything that's happening in our life, He can work for good, just like He did in Joseph's life. But yeah, that's hard to see sometimes. That's a difficult thing when something's painful and it's challenging and it's hurtful. God, you can even work those things for good? That's His promise. And He doesn't hedge on that promise at all. The apostle Paul emphasizes that promise in Romans 8:28. Let's notice it.

Romans 8:28, "Because God is in charge, we can trust that He's working all things, all things for good."

Romans 8:28, Paul just lays it on the line here, and he reminds God's people in Rome, verse 28, Romans 8. You can only imagine the struggles that they went through, this time under Nero, who had persecuted Christians, burned them, lit up his gardens with them, kicked them all over the place. Here, notice the promise.

Romans 8:28 "We know all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Well, we have been called according to his purpose. And not only that, someday all will have an opportunity to be called according to His purpose. Sometime in the future it's going to make sense. People have an opportunity to...We have that opportunity now. I mean, in the meantime, in the meantime. Well, everything's not good right now. Everything isn't seemingly working out, God, the way that you say right here. But in the meantime, God says, "Trust me. Trust me. I'm over it all. I'm in control of all things." And it says, "I will work all that you're going through, no matter the challenge that you're facing, for your good," and ultimately, for His glory.

And so when we're challenged with different situations, we recognize God knows exactly what we need. He's calling us. Are we ready to answer? Yeah, we better pick up the phone. Don't silence that call, right? And we better answer because, yeah, He's not going to challenge us more than we're able. That's what He's telling us. He's not going to give us one ounce more than we can bear with His help. That's the key because He knows exactly what we need to be like Christ, to put on Christ, to have the mind of Christ. So not a single thing will happen to us that he won't give us, the strength and the mercy, and even His grace, His favor so that we can handle it. And so we can thank God that He's with us, that He's protecting us, that He's keeping us, and that he will work it, no matter how dark or drear or disappointing it may be, He's going to work this for good. I know it, and I can trust that very fact because he's promised it. In fact, look at the verse just a little bit down the line, verse 37. In all the difficulties and all the challenges of life, all the circumstances that we face, we're told in verse 37.

Romans 8:37 "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." More than conquerors. We're told, "I'm persuaded neither death or life."

Yeah, not even death. Because ultimately, who has authority over death? God is sovereign. God is King over life and death. And so we're told, "Life, death, angels or...no power, nothing present, nothing to come, no height, nor depth, or other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." That's the ultimate perspective. He's ultimate and He is in control. He is the Most High God. And so we pray and we stay close to Him. We stay close to the Most High God who we know and we can remind ourselves, wow, He's the one that multiplied the loaves and fishes. How does that happen? He opened a blind man's eyes from birth. Who does that? How in the world do you get a coin in a fish's mouth? How's that happen? How does a donkey talk? Are you kidding me? And how does a dead man come back to life? He's sovereign. He has amazingly good plans and He plans to abundantly bless us. And he's doing that right now.

And so when we answer the question, who is the boss of me? Yeah, we don't want to be like Nebuchadnezzar. We recognize the one with unlimited power, unrivaled majesty, the ultimate one eternal God. And we can trust in His complete control in every situation. And we can celebrate as we recognize His sovereignty. And that's inherently linked to His goodness and His love and His mercy and His compassion and His faithfulness and His holiness. And the result? When we submit to Him and follow Him, and obey Him, and keep His commandments, and are repentant before Him, we will find true security, true confidence, comfort, faithfulness, and true peace. Because we recognize we are perfectly safe knowing God is in charge.