God Does All That He Pleases

God Does All That He Pleases

Children rarely do as they please. What they do is dependent on their parents and other parental figures in their lives. Teenagers have more ability to do as they please but are still limited by teachers and parents. Adults are limited by their bosses and family. The very rich and powerful are limited by the law and even those that can influence the law are controlled by their health and ultimately death. The truth is that we as humans can never truly do as we please all the time. We are not sovereign over our lives because sovereignty is at least measured by the ability to do as we please.

God is sovereign and we know this in part by Psalm 115:3, “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” The key word in this verse as it relates to the sovereignty of God is the word all. There is no limit to what God does. He does all that He pleases and is never frustrated by something not happening. No matter how much power a person has on earth, it can never be said that they do all that they please.

The truth of God’s sovereignty and the effect it has on our lives can be discussed in many ways and it has filled countless books over the centuries. While there are many wonderful ways to reflect on this attribute of God, we will briefly look at three results of God’s sovereignty.

God is Happy

This may be an unusual way of thinking about God, but since He does everything, He pleases, He is happy. In our lives, our plans get changed all the time. Big plans like going on a vacation can change because of a downturn in the economy. Small plans like watching a particular show can change by the power going out. We do not control the economy or the power, so our plans get changed, and we get frustrated. And when we are frustrated, we are not happy.

Since God is happy, this means that we can enjoy God all the time. John Piper puts it this way:

Can you imagine what it would be like if the God who ruled the world were not happy? What if God were given to grumbling and pouting and depression like some Jack-and-the-beanstalk giant in the sky? What if God were frustrated and despondent and gloomy and dismal and discontented and dejected? Could we join David and say, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)? [1]

God and Satan are Not Equals

Since God always does what He pleases, it affirms that He is sovereign over Satan as well. Some believe that God and Satan have the same power and are in a battle of equals and that the plans God has to accomplish things can be hindered by Satan. Since God does all that He pleases, we know this cannot be true.

We can see this all over Scripture (e.g., Genesis 50:20, Acts 2:23); however, the clearest example of this may be seen in the book of Job. In Job it is true that Satan carries out the tragedies against Job, but Satan is only allowed to do what God allows him to do (Job 1:12, 2:6). It should be comfort for us to know there is nothing that God has planned that will not come to pass because Satan does not want it to happen. As Martin Luther said, “even the devil is God’s devil.”


The third result of God’s sovereignty for us should be praise. In the world, we are very quick to praise those who are powerful and seem to do what they want. Politicians, wealthy business owners and leaders of prestigious universities are put on pedestals and are looked up to for the power they have. As we have seen, though, even these people cannot do as they please all the time even if they want to.

We should glorify God as it says in the beginning of the same Psalm, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness (Psalm 115:1)!” The Psalm goes on to say that the idols of the world have no power to save or deliver. It refers to the physical idols the nations made at the time the Psalm was written, but today it can refer to the people we idolize for their power. Ultimately, they have no power to do as they please all the time.

Instead, the Psalm reminds us that only God is worthy of praise because only God does all that he pleases and encourages us to praise God because, “He will bless those who fear the LORD, both the small and the great (Psalm 115:13).”

Let us affirm that God does all that He pleases and praise Him for His sovereignty.

  1. John Piper, Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2011), 32 ↩︎