Bill Johnson and Bethel Associate Pastor and Dean of BSSM Dann Farrelly discuss God’s sovereignty and what Bethel Church believes, understands, and teaches regarding the sovereignty of God.

god is in he’s absolutely sovereign and

that he’s in charge of everything but i

don’t credit him with hitler

i don’t i don’t credit him with uh the

disasters that take place

in the earth


so let’s talk about uh god’s sovereignty

and how we understand god’s sovereignty

uh does he control everything is he in

charge of everything but doesn’t control

everything what are some of the ways you

think about that and understand


probably my understanding in this area

uh creates the greatest challenges for


in the body of christ among friends and

i have dear friends that we have

wonderful conversations again but my

approach uh is that is that god doesn’t

control everything he’s in charge of


and uh uh

the way i’d illustrated say well okay

you’re a parent or you’re in charge of

your household but you’re not in control

of everything that happens you know

something additional breaks something

will happen somebody will say something

that was unkind those things aren’t

because of your influence they’re

they’re they’re they just happen because

you have a household of free will so

that’s my approach

is that god is in he’s absolutely

sovereign and that he’s in charge of

everything but i don’t credit him with


i don’t i don’t credit him with uh the

disasters that take place uh in the

earth i don’t i don’t look at these and

go well this is the plan of god who’s

devised wickedness so that his glory

could be seen for me that’s absolute

nonsense and so i look at his at his



in that he work he’s written you and me

into a sovereign plan

and for for example uh god is not


that any should perish

but that all should come to repentance

god is not willing so is it god’s will

for people to perish


are they perishing yes

yeah why because there’s

there’s a wiggle room in there somewhere

yeah where where we have some measure of

influence on the outcome if if for

example we decide let’s just say you and

i represented the entire church we

decide we’re not going to evangelize one


well then there’s a whole bunch of

people that don’t come to know christ

now i have friends who would say well

that was god’s will

that i struggle with i started with that


he has imparted

an understanding of his heart

and to grace to do what what he assigned

us to do and that is to go into all the

world preach the gospel that’s our


and wherever

prayer goes into

a missions effort and then missionaries

go in or evangelists or whatever go into

that effort there’s a harvest of souls

that you don’t get

yeah you know angels are not assigned to

preach the gospel we are

you know jesus could do it better

himself you just show up you know and

preach and angels could do it better i’m


you know that

show up in their magnificence oh of of


they got a lot of static too sometimes

from people like samson’s parents or

chris gideon gave a lot of static to the


but the point is we’ve been given

the assignment so we’ve been somehow

written into that sovereign plan yeah

it’s probably

it is probably an area that’s easiest

to misunderstand

but i can’t ignore it i have to i have

to live responsibly that’s the whole

point is what scripture says you’ve been

we’re supposed to live like we have real

authority and real responsibility that

we’ll be held accountable for so it’s

like that in some ways to

not live like that it’s very uh

unscriptural yeah and to blame it on

god’s sovereignty well it’s just god’s


no yeah no

well and

and like you said he’s he’s transcended

he’s the creator in him we live and move

and have our being so like if he doesn’t

want if he’s not

uh in charge of everything it doesn’t

happen it doesn’t exist so there’s a

level at where he

is ultimately responsible for everything

that exists because he’s the creator yes

but if if he’s created a system where


he’s empowered other beings other than

himself who actually have the ability to

make decisions who’s whose actions

matter on the planet then in some ways

within his sovereignty he’s creating

other people who have the capacity to

make decisions other than he would make

and i think that’s the world view of

scripture you see a lot of powerful


decision makers in the angelic and

demonic realm as well as the human realm

as well and

in in the lord’s sovereignty sometimes

i’ll say to the students he’s so

sovereign he’s decided to be in control

of what he wants to be and not in

control of things he doesn’t want to be

it’s good that’s how

that’s how big he is yeah and yet um

for his

his purposes he’s decided this is the

way like i’m going to actually empower

these beings i’ve created with real

authority they they’re

they matter yeah yeah the level of trust

uh in that is just

incredible in that moment it is and

we’re called co-laborers

you know i mean only the holy spirit in

us the grace of god working in us could

qualify me

to co-labor to work alongside

the lord

it’s it’s a grace one of the words that


when i’m talking about this it’s just

that god’s not omni causal in other

words he’s omnipotent he’s all powerful

and you know

and and um

but he’s not the one who’s causing

everything to happen that his in his um

the beauty of creation he’s

empowered um these these people made in

his image to

to defile the garden or

to abandon the connection you know um

and and our choices are powerful and one

of i think it’s gk chesterson he was

talking about how the lord in some ways


um he’s trying to create people

to destroy evil not by destroying people

so you can’t you can’t destroy evil by

destroying creation but god’s opted to

not do that right but he’s trying to

destroy evil by creating people who know

what it is and

don’t find it interesting

excellent who don’t love it

and who have learned to love


justice and mercy and walk humbly with

the lord and so that’s like for his

purposes um of who we’re becoming

this is the way he’s decided to

to create to give human beings and

angelic beings authority yeah and yeah

to have our

our decisions matter

yeah somehow he is

he is more glorified

by it happening that way

i mean obviously everything we’re

assigned to do he can do better quicker

everything yeah but for some reason it’s

been written into the

into the code that we get to be a part

of what he’s doing on the earth i mean

the whole the whole beginning uh genesis

1 be fruitful multiply subdue the earth

he he he planted

people humanity in an adverse climate

and told them to bring change

and he’s he’s just he’s commissioned us

to represent him well

and now because

earlier i mentioned

jesus modeled what life could be like

with no sin

and completely empowered by the holy

spirit now

because i’ve been forgiven

and the holy spirit is in me it’s

actually possible

to follow the example that jesus said so

i get to now be a co-laborer in living

in purity

and living in

in in kindness affection love for people

living in power we get to co-labor with

him and demonstrate his authority

on the earth and he’s glorified

through that i mean that that brings him


uh in a way that he wouldn’t get

otherwise yeah all becoming like him in

relationship with him

yeah beautiful

and the thing we we

like to remind uh

the folks here often is that this is a

relational journey

it’s it’s not it’s not


it’s it’s uh yeah um

we like outcomes you know like

we got to heaven

i like the outcome the person got healed

i saved enough money to buy the car you

know it’s the outcomes he likes the


he likes he likes the moment that uh i

couldn’t sleep so i got up and prayed

you know he he likes the journey where i

didn’t know what to do so i just poured

over the scripture for insight and what

his heart was his mind was he values the

journey and he rewards me with the