Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Reason You Exist

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Leslie Basham: Why do so many people go to such great lengths trying to deny a creator? Here’s what Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: If God is the Creator of all of life, then He is also the Sovereign Ruler over all that He has created, and that includes us.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Lies Women Believe, for Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

Nancy is continuing in a series called "The True Woman Manifesto, Part 1—Foundations." It’s one of many series this year exploring the True Woman Manifesto, which you can read at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Nancy: The True Woman Manifesto, as we’ve said, has three main sections. The first section includes five foundational statements—what we believe. What we believe about God, about man, about sin, about salvation, and about God’s redemptive plan for this world.

And you say, “What does that have to do with being a true woman?” Well, those statements are a backdrop for the rest of the document. They’re foundational. We need to understand these things and agree on these things. If we don’t agree on these things, then we’re going to end up with a whole different set of conclusions and affirmations.

Then we come to the second section which is the affirmation section where we highlight specific areas of truth that are vital for Christian women who desire to honor God with their lives. And then—I started to say the most important. They’re all important. You can’t have one section without the other. But we don’t want to just know what’s true.

We want to come to that final section where we ask the question, “So what?” So all these things are true. What difference does that make in my life? What’s the practical outworking of all of this?

In that last section there are fifteen “therefore we will” statements, statements of consecration and commitment. By God’s grace, by the power of His Holy Spirit, this is what we will do. This is how we will live out what we’ve said we believe. This is how we will live in light of what we believe.

Now today we want to look at the first of those five foundational “we believe” statements. This is a credo, a creed, “I believe.” This is what we stake our lives on, the truth of God’s Word. And the first of those five foundational statements is simply this:

We believe that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and the Creator of life and that all created things exist for His pleasure and to bring Him glory.

And oh Father, as we open our hearts and our minds and our ears, I pray that You’d give us an understanding, You’d give us hearts that say, “Yes Lord. We agree with you about this.” Help us to see the importance of acknowledging You as a sovereign Lord of this universe and as the Lord of our lives. May this truth even this day begin to penetrate and pierce our hearts and make a difference in every aspect of the way that we live. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

In His classic book The Knowledge of the Holy, which if you haven’t read it you must, A. W. Tozer says this sentence, “What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Do you agree with that? It’s true. What we believe about God is foundational to everything else in the rest of our lives.

That’s why this opening statement of the True Woman Manifesto deals with what we believe about God. It affirms two things about God. There are a lot of things we could say about God, but this portion of the manifesto affirms two important things that both have monumental implications—first of all that He is the Creator of all life, which means by implication that we are not the Creator, that we are the created. We are created beings.

And then it affirms that He is the sovereign Lord of the universe. The implication of that is we are not sovereign. We are His subjects.

  • He is the Creator; we are the created.
  • He is the sovereign; we are His subjects.

Scripture affirms over and over and over and over again. Sometime I’d like to just go through and count how many times the fact that God is the Creator. It’s important.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” Genesis 1:1—first verse of the Bible. First verse of the gospel of John: “All things were made through him and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Acts 14:15: “Paul and Barnabas challenged people to turn to the living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”

Now, you’re probably aware that within our culture, particularly within the educational system and on other fronts as well, there is today massive, intense opposition to the concept of creation or God as Creator. And you have to wonder why people are so intent on proving that God did not create all that we see around us.

Well the answer is simple. If God is the Creator of all of life, then He is also the sovereign ruler over all that He has created, and that includes us. If there is a Creator, if God is the Creator, then He is the ruler, the sovereign Lord over our lives.

And if He is not the creator, then we can be our own sovereigns. But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have a Creator God and us be sovereign. That’s why secular men and women who want to rule their own lives have got to try and prove that there is no God who is the Creator.

  • The fact that God is the Creator means that He is the sovereign Lord.
  • The fact that He is the sovereign Lord means that He is God, and we are not.
  • It means that He has absolute right to determine our purpose, our design, and our calling as women.
  • He has the absolute right to determine how we are to function in our relationships, in our homes, in marriage, in this culture.

Now the concept of a sovereign Lord is not exactly comfortable for us independent Americans. We are into democracy; everybody votes—representation. We had the American Revolution to counter the idea of a sovereign ruler who could tax us without us being represented. But the sovereignty of God is a precious truth and something that not only is true but that we find great blessing as we embrace the fact that He is Lord of all.

Another classic book by A.W. Pink is called The Sovereignty of God. In chapter 1 he asks this question:

What do we mean by the sovereignty of God? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the god-hood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest thou? (Dan. 4:35).

To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations” (Ps. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleases Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the "Only Potentate, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords" (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible.1

Let me give you another quote this time by Pastor John Piper who said in a sermon,

The most fundamental thing we can say about God is that He is sovereign. So that is where I begin. I begin at the bottom, the root, the foundation of all we cherish, all the grace, all the love, all the patience, all the faithfulness, all the forgiveness, all the security and hope and peace and joy. All these things rest on the deep and glorious sovereignty of God. If God is not sovereign, He is not God, and all our hope is dashed.2

Now most of us theologically would agree that God is sovereign. But what are the implications of that? What does that mean? What difference does it make? Here’s one implication. Because there is a sovereign, purposeful God, it means that nothing in all of this universe happens by chance, that everything in this world happens according to a wise, magnificent master design.

Now it’s not hard for us to believe that about the good things that happen in our lives, but it can be challenging to believe that about the tough things that come into our lives. While I was working on this session, I got an email from a friend asking for prayer for their daughter who is fourteen weeks into her second pregnancy and just found out yesterday that she has lost the baby that she was carrying. Less than a year ago that same daughter gave birth to a little girl, and that baby was born with irreversible, permanent brain damage and lived just six days.

Now that’s where the rubber meets the road on this whole thing of sovereignty of God. Is this grieving young woman a victim of cruel chance? Or is her story part of a bigger, gracious, wise design that neither she nor we can see at this moment?

Henry Drummond was a nineteenth century Scottish writer who writes about a children’s book called The Chance World. Here’s what Drummond says about that book:

It described a world in which everything happened by chance. The sun might rise or it might not; or it might appear at any hour, or the moon might come up instead. When children were born they might have one head or a dozen heads, and those heads might not be on their shoulders—there might be no shoulders—but arranged about the limbs.

If one jumped up in the air [in this chance world] it was impossible to predict whether he would ever come back down again. That he came down yesterday was no guarantee that he would do it the second time. . . . Today a child’s body might be so light that it was impossible for it to descend from the chair to the floor; but tomorrow, in attempting the experiment again, the impetus might drive it through a three-story house and dash it to pieces somewhere near the center of the earth.

This chance world . . . would become a lunatic world with a population of lunatics.3

Now here’s the good news: This is not a "chance world." This is my Father’s world. As we read over and over again in the Scripture, heaven rules. Heaven rules. I want to tell you when everything in your world seems to be giving way, seems to be topsy-turvy, seems to be out of control, the fact on which you can stay your heart and your emotions and your mind and your life is this reality that heaven rules, that God is sovereign, that He is on His throne, that He has established laws of nature and sits as King and Ruler over the universe.

The book of Isaiah has this concept over and over and over again about the sovereign Lord. Read through that book and just revel in the encouragement that Isaiah gives to his readers in their day when the whole political system and the whole international system was so seemingly out of control. Again and again and again Isaiah comes back to remind the people that heaven rules, that God is on His throne.

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness (Isa. 40:22–23).

This concept of the sovereignty of God and by implication the fact that we are not God and we are not sovereign but we are His humble subjects, it’s illustrated I think so powerfully in the life of an Old Testament king whose name was Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of Babylon. He was a proud man who thought that he, not God, was sovereign. But God humbled this proud king as He will humble anyone who is proud. God reduced Nebuchadnezzar to insanity, a lunatic, until Nebuchadnezzar could learn what every one of us has to learn, and that is that heaven rules.

Let me read just one passage from Daniel 4 where Nebuchadnezzar at the end of this experience gives his testimony. He makes a declaration, a manifesto, about what he now believes about the sovereignty of God. He says, "At the end of the days," that is years that he lived as a madman, because he had lost all his reason. And you do become like a mad person if you forsake the concept of the sovereignty of God.

He said, “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me” (Dan. 4:34). Now let me just stop there. That’s how you get your reason back. In a world that seems to have gone crazy and sometimes you think you’re going crazy, sometimes I think I really am going crazy, how do you get your reason back? How do you get your bearings? How do you start to make sense of this nonsense world?

You lift your eyes to heaven and that’s when you realize this is no-chance world. "I lifted my eyes to heaven . . . and I blessed the Most High.” There it is—the sovereignty of God. What are we to do? Question Him? No. Bless Him? Yes.

I blessed the most high. I praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation (v. 34).

You’ll see that statement throughout the book of Daniel. “His dominion is an everlasting dominion. His kingdom endures from generation to generation.” Those words spoken in Daniel 4 by a man who thought that he had the ultimate dominion and kingdom. But he learned that his dominion, his kingdom were temporal, that only God the Most High has an eternal, everlasting dominion and kingdom.

He goes on to say,

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and [God] does according to his will among the hosts of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (v. 35).

You see, we don’t have the right. We don’t have the ability to stay the hand of God, to stop the hand of God, to challenge, to question His reasoning, His decisions, His will. He is Lord. He is sovereign. He is most high.

Now here’s another implication of the sovereignty of God. Because there is a sovereign, purposeful God, that means that our lives are not meaningless specks in a chance world. Rather, our lives are part of a grand design, and they have purpose and significance. As the sovereign Lord and the Creator of life, God is the one who defines our reason for existing.

He is the one who determines what is our purpose in this world. It’s the ownership principle. He made us. He owns us. He’s sovereign over us. And he determines what is our purpose and our significance in this world. That which was created by Him was created for Him. And that’s what our purpose is.

As this first statement of the True Woman Manifesto affirms, "We believe that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and the creator of life and that all created things exist for His pleasure and to bring Him glory." You see this theme as our created purpose, created by Him and for Him, through all the Scripture.

First Corinthians 8:6: “There is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.” Created by Him; created for Him.

Colossians 1:16: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

Now as you listen to that verse, think about the fact that you were created through Him and for Him. But when it talks about all thrones and dominions and rulers and authorities, do you realize they were all created by Him and for His purposes?

You say, “Including wicked kings?” Yes. “Including wicked leaders of nations or businesses or industries?” Yes. They were created by God and for Him whether they realize and acknowledge it or not.

Romans 11:36: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

That’s why we were created. We exist to bring Him glory. That is God’s goal in this world that all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. And our lives exist to fulfill God’s purpose here on this earth. That is to bring Him glory. That gives our life significance and purpose and meaning.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,” Revelation says, “to receive glory and power and honor, for you created all things, and for your pleasure they exist and were created (4:11).

Ephesians 1: “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” (vv. 11–12).

Ladies, we need to remind ourselves of this every morning before we get out of bed and every night before we go to sleep and all throughout the day, that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe. He is the Creator of life, and we are created beings who are His subjects; and that we exist for His pleasure and to bring Him glory.

That needs to be the grid through which we evaluate everything that happens in our day, everything that happens in my life. Not just, “Does this bring me pleasure?” but “Does this bring God pleasure?” Not, “Does this make me look good?” but “Does this make God look good?”

If the glory of God is our supreme passion, that defines our goals, our objectives, how we spend our time, everything about us. It’s all about Him and not about us.

In fact, I found myself not too long ago journaling about this very thought when I was in the middle of a circumstance that was sending me into a tizzy. I had to sit down and do what I tell other women to do, and that is counsel your heart according to the truth of God’s Word. Because if we don’t counsel our hearts according to the truth of God’s Word:

  • We lose our bearings.
  • We get emotionally out of control.
  • We get mentally out of control.
  • We get discombobulated.
  • We start to live as if this were a chance world.

That’s why we need to sit down and remind ourselves, speak to ourselves and tell ourselves the truth. Here’s what I told myself as I wrote it in my journal not too long ago.

If I fixate on how all this affects me—my comforts, my desires, my fulfillment, my security, my need—then I have made "self, me," an idol. This is not about me. It is about denying self and crowning Christ as Lord and seeking His glory and pleasure above all else.

And you know, as I began to speak that truth to myself, I found the peace of God, the settledness, the stability coming and taking over what had been this kind of eruption going on within my emotions and my mind. This is a stabilizing truth. This is what keeps us sane. It is knowing it’s not a chance world of lunatics; that it’s a world that lives under the sovereign hand and control of God almighty.

And so what do we do? We worship Him as the sovereign Lord. We give Him honor and glory and praise. How well are you fulfilling His purpose for your life?

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been confronting us with a simple yet powerful truth. God is the Creator. Acknowledging that fact will have a huge affect on your life. that’s why the True Woman Manifesto begins with “God is Creator.”

We’re in a series called The True Woman Manifesto, Part 1—Foundations. It’s one of many series we’ll be devoting to the Manifesto through the spring and summer here on Revive Our Hearts. The reason you’re able to hear this teaching each weekday is because listeners believe in what God is doing at Revive Our Hearts, and they want to help make the program possible.

Nancy: Leslie, I am so, so grateful for this group of Ministry Partners. If you are listening right now and you are one of those partners, I want you to know how grateful I am for you and the way that God has used you to help this ministry reach the hearts of women throughout the United States and around the world. Thank you so much for partnering with us!

These individuals are part of a special group of listeners that we call our Monthly Partner Team. Those partners help Revive Our Hearts have a consistant income flow when general donations can go up and down, seasonally, or whatever. Monthly Partners commit to supporting the ministry $30 or more each month. Some can do $30 a month, some $50, some $100, $200. But each one of those partners is an important part of the Revive Our Hearts family. 

Our Monthly Partners, because they have a heart for this ministry, they pray for it. The share the resources of this ministry with others around them. This month we’re asking the Lord to raise up several hundred more Monthly Partners. You may have listened to this program for years; you may have supported it from time to time in the past, and now you'd like to step up and go further in your partnership with us.

When you become a partner this month, we’d like to send you as special bonus package. It includes two copies of my newly released, updated and expanded book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. Even if you have read this book before, about 30 percent of it is new content, and all of it has been through significant updating and revision.

We’re sending you two copies of Lies Women Believe so that you can share this message with another woman who would benefit from it. And you’ll also receive two study guides that go with the book and two bookmarks that list the truths that set us free, and you’ll get my teaching on lies and the truth on CD. There are more benefits to being a Monthly Partner as well—because this really is a partnership. You support this ministry, and we support you in your walk with the Lord and your outreach to others. To get more details on those benefits, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. I hope you'll be one of those several hundred new Monthly Partners that we’re asking the Lord to provide between now and the end of April.

Again, the web address to contact us about becoming a Monthly Partner is ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can call us at 1–800–569–5959. Thank you so much for your prayers, your encouragement, for your support as Revive Our Hearts helps women live out the beauty of the gospel!

Leslie: Today Nancy described God as the creator. Tomorrow, we’ll explore why He created male and female. Join us again next time, for Revive Our Hearts. 

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you discover greater freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

1 A. W. Tozer. The Radical Cross. Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread Publishers, 2005. p. 11.

2 A. W. Pink. The Sovereignty of God. Chapter one. Quote given at: http://www.theopedia.com/Sovereignty_of_God

3 Henry Drummond. Natural Law in the Spiritual World. #1908: The Chance World, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations. Paul Lee Tan. Rockville, MD: Assurance Publishers, 1979. p. 487.

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