Do My Actions Affect God’s Plans?

2 Chronicles 30:1–12

The God of the universe is not our moving buddy. We do not grab one end of the sofa while God holds the other end. In this lab, John Piper unpacks the truth that none of our actions ultimately affects who God is or his sovereign purposes.

Principle for Bible Reading


Authors often give us reasons for why someone did a certain action or why we should do a certain action. They typically give the action statement first (e.g. I went to the store/you should go to the store), then a conjunction or connecting word (in this case, usually so that, in order that, or simply that), and finally the reason for the action or the purpose statement.

For more information on the action/purpose relationship.

Couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the Lord [action], the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that [purpose] he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.” (2 Chronicles 30:6)

This example illustrates the command (action) for Israel to return to the Lord. Why? So that (purpose) God may turn again and act on behalf of the remnant.

Study Questions

  1. What do you think the relationship is between God’s sovereignty and our responsibility? How might this affect our prayer life?
  2. What is the relationship between the two in 2 Chronicles 30:1–12?
  3. How can the truth that God is sovereign bolster your prayer life this week?