This posting is going to be a little different. Recently a friend asked me a rather deep spiritual question concerning destiny, free will and the Sovereignty of God. What follows Is his question and my answer
Question- Since God knows our destiny, how do we have the “free will” to make the right choice knowing that our destiny is already decided.
1. God is the creator of all things, including time.
2. As the Creator of time He Himself is not restricted by time. You and I can only see the present, remember the past and wonder about the future. I believe that it can be said that God sees the past, the present, and the future the same as we see the present.
3. Therefore God knows our destiny because He sees it being played out.
4. We have free will in that we are allowed to make our own choices.
5. God is sovereign because He knows what our choices will be and He allows us to make them.
The bottom line is this, The fact that God knows the things we will do does not mean that He forces us to do them.
I don’t know if this answers the question but maybe it will give you something to think about. Here is a passage of scripture that I lean on when I cannot get spiritual issues resolved in my head.
““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
Lord, once there were people who were told by their government how they must worship. They were told who they would serve and what their doctrines would be. But You stirred their hearts and they rose up in defiance of the tyrannical rulers. They bravely risked their lives and sacrificed all they had for religious freedom.
Lord, once again we find ourselves oppressed by a government who would tell us how we must worship, who we will serve and what our doctrines will be. Lord you once stirred the hearts of your people to rise up in defiance of an unjust government, My prayer today is that you will do it again Lord
Lord, this great nation was born when men were stirred to fight for their Independence and freedom. Brave men realized that they were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Lord you stirred the hearts of these brave men to stand up to despotism and demand the right to live in a land of truth, justice and righteousness. Today I beg you Lord, please do it again!
Lord, once you raised up great men to lead this nation. These men were not politicians who could be bought or swayed by vagrant ideologies. No, truly great leaders are valiant statesmen who stand on Biblical principles and refuse to be bought or bullied by ungodly men or entities. Lord you once raised up true leaders to guide this nation, please Lord do it again.
Lord, you once raised up prophetic men who were unafraid to stand before evil and corrupt leaders and proclaim , “Thus says the Lord’. Heavenly Father we once again need a Moses to say, “Let my people go”. Once again we need an Elijah to challenge the false gods and the evil Jezebels of today. Once again we need a Nathan who will stand before the nation’s leaders and say, “be sure you sins will find you out”. Once again we need a Jeremiah who will weep over this broken nation as he boldly proclaims a truth that burns in his bones. Once again we need a man like John the Baptist who will shout loudly, “Repent, because the Kingdom of God is at hand” Lord you raised these men up once, today I beg You please do again.
Lord, in past centuries you stirred the hearts of common people to call out to you and from these stirrings great awakenings were born. During these times of revival, fearless evangelist thundered across this land preaching that you must be born again. They proclaimed the truth of God’s word and did not hesitate to call evil, evil and sin, sin. Lord, we desperately need for You to do it again
Lord, once you made this nation great. But now we wallow in sin. The cesspool of sodomy is forced on us by evil men. Right is called wrong and wrong is called right. Today righteous people are ridiculed and perverted people are celebrated. How long Lord will you strive with wicked men.
Lord, you have told us that we who are your people must humble ourselves and pray, and that if we will turn from our wicked ways, then you will hear from heaven and heal our land.
Lord you once made this nation great; it is my humble prayer that you will please do it again.
There is this thing about God. He is very inconsiderate. Now I don’t say that He is unfair just that He is inconsiderate. God is right to be inconsiderate because His will and His ways are supreme. We can’t understand it but none the less it is true.
I say that God is inconsiderate because our plans, our hopes and our dreams take second place to His. He will have His way and sometimes we suffer broken hearts or bruised egos because our plans are not His plans and our ways are not His ways. We don’t understand it but we must trust Him. God is good and broken hearts or bruised egos are small things to suffer if we want to be in the center of His will.
Some people ask, “Is it safe to follow God”? And I answer “no, it’s not! This very inconsiderate God that I serve has said to His children, “Take up your cross, and follow me. The very idea of a cross speaks of danger. So, no, God is not safe, but safety is entirely overrated anyway.
I am glad that God is so inconsiderate. When God looks at me, He does not consider my unworthiness and He does not consider my sins and failures. When He looks at me, the only thing He considers is the righteous blood of Jesus that was shed to purchase my salvation. I am glad that an inconsiderate God has looked at me and said, come to me and I will give you eternal life. This I know, the eternal life that my inconsiderate God offers is greater than all my hopes and dreams.
Douglas & Deborah Huff From Down Where the Pavement Ends Emailfirstname.lastname@example.org
I saw this in a movie. A man thinks that he knows Batman’s true identity. He goes to the manager of Bruce Wayne’s company and says “Give me a million dollars or I will tell the world the truth about Batman.” In response to his demand he was told. Batman spends his nights beating up bad guys. All the criminals in this town are afraid of Batman. Now, you want to blackmail Batman? Good luck with that.
I tell this story because I was asked how I would respond to a person who is challenging God. A man whom I will call Mr. C is accusing God of committing crimes against humanity. He charges the Lord with malfeasance because of all the evil in the world. Referring to stories from the Old Testament he charges God with genocide. Now, Mr. C is demanding an apology from God and intends to hold Him accountable for His criminal actions.
Well, Mr. C, let’s think about this for a minute. God once drowned almost everyone in the world because their thoughts were evil. He dropped fire on Sodom and Gomorrah because they were perverted. Egypt was inflicted with ten plagues and their firstborn were killed because of idolatry. Later when some of the Israelites rebelled, He caused the earth to open up and swallow them. Throughout the years God has been known to inflict arrogant people with hideous diseases.
And now Mr. C you want to challenge God. You think you can hold Him accountable for what you perceive to be His crimes against humanity! Good luck with that.
Sovereign, that is what My God is. He is sovereign because He created all things, including you. Because He created all things, whatever He does is right. That makes Him righteous. There is no one like God, that makes Him holy. He hates sin, that makes Him a God of justice. People are His greatest treasure, so Jesus died on the cross for their salvation. This proves He is merciful.
The point that I want to make is this. Only a fool will challenge or reject God. In the Bible and throughout history many people have shook their fist at God, and He tolerated none of them. Listen, God is worthy of all honor, glory and praise. Mr. C if you still choose to challenge God, good luck. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
The sun rises and chases away the darkness. The birds sing and fill the air with cheerful songs. Two doves cuddle on a wire reminding me of faithful lovers. Majestic clouds paint a moving portrait that declares the glory of the Lord. In the throne room of Heaven, our God reigns and is impervious to the fools who say He does not exist.
Underneath the sun, the nations rage and plot vainly against our omnipotent Lord. They imagine they can free themselves from His laws. Corrupt and wicked people conspire to do evil things to God’s righteous ones. Sometimes we feel as though we are being chewed up like bread. We wonder does God hear our prayers. Yes, He does hear our prayers. From his throne in heaven, He laughs and ridicules the ones who conspire against Him and His chosen ones. We will prevail because in Heaven our God reigns.
The sunrise emphasizes that God hears our prayer and chases away the darkness. The birds sing a victory song and we know that the battle is the Lords. The cooing of the doves reminds us that Jesus is the lover of our souls. The clouds declare the glory of the King. Our God is a despiser of wickedness and evil people will not stand in His presence. The wicked ones will be filled with terror because God is with His righteous ones. Our salvation is from the Lord of all Creation and forever in Heaven, our God reigns.
I believe that laughter of children is sweet music and the love of a child can put a song in your heart. I believe that the sweat from hard work feels good and the reward of working hard is a good feeling. I believe that reading the Bible while the sun comes up is the best way to start the day. A cup of coffee while talking to God will make the day good to the last drop. The Bible tells us in Romans 15:13 “ The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus said whoever believes in Him will never die and I know this to be true. I also am convinced that whoever does not believe in Jesus has never lived. Belief is a powerful thing. It can imprint on your life unending hope and it can erase from your life debilitating fear. Belief in the Savior has caused crippled men to walk, blind men to see and dead men to live. I believe that God is good and greatly to be praised. I will praise God in all things, good and bad.
God has promised that with a little faith, we can prayerfully move mountains. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, your prayers can bring healing to the sick, salvation to the lost and hope to the hopeless. This is true for all of us who believe in the power of Jesus our Savior. Sometimes in our human frailties, we struggle to believe this. But if we cry out to Jesus, He will help us in our unbelief.
I believe that my sins are great but God’s forgiveness is greater. I believe that when I fall my Jesus will be there to pick me up. In my weakness, I often stumble but I have this certain assurance that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I know that I am righteous, but only because of the shed blood of Jesus. So for this reason I have firmly planted my feet on the Rock of my salvation. This salvation is found only in Jesus Christ the Son of God. HE is the One in whom I believe.
Jesus asked His disciples this question, “Who do men say that I am?” His followers replied by telling Him about the many different opinions people had about Him. He then asked, “But who do you say that I am?” It was Peter, the bold one, who spoke up and said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus told Peter, “Peter you are blessed, you know this because you listen to God and not man.”
From religion to religion today, there are many different opinions about who Jesus is. Unfortunately, this is also true inside most mainstream Christian churches. Whether in Baptist, Methodist or any other denomination, from pew to pew you will find that people have different thoughts about who Jesus is. This has come about because so many preachers are writing sermons to please men instead of delivering messages that are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The truth about Jesus is not found in the social and prosperity gospels that false prophets preach. The truth about Jesus was seen when He took a basin of water and washed the feet of His disciples. The truth about Jesus was revealed when they nailed Him to the cross and He said to the man with the hammer, “ I forgive you”. The truth about Jesus saturates an empty tomb because He is not there, He is risen and now He sits at the right hand of the Father. The ultimate truth about Jesus was given to us when we were commanded to “Take up your cross and follow Him.”
Who is Jesus to you? Do you know him as the only begotten Son of God. Do you recognize Him as the second person of the Holy Trinity? Do you believe that He is the only hope of salvation? Who is Jesus? He is the one who can take your addiction and toss it as far away as the East is from the west. He is the one who can wash away your sin, and then toss the dirty wash water into the sea of forgetfulness. He is the maker of all things, the Savior of all men and the giver of all life. That is who my Jesus is.
Since my porch is facing to the southeast, I am able to watch the motion picture that is the rising sun and wakening day. This morning I am watching a doe and her two babies as they feed on the remnants of my garden. From the woods I hear chattering squirrels and all around me is the unmatched music of God’s orchestra.
This devotion is an audio podcast. Please click the link below to listen.
When storms approach, I am always reminded of my God’s might and power. We often stand trembling as storms bear down upon us. We know that they can do great damage, but we can do nothing to turn or stop their fury. However, I know that God is in control. I am convinced that He traces the path of the tempest with His finger. As the thunder rolls, I am reminded of the promise and warning that our God is marching on.
God specializes in nothing special. That which is ordinary is His specialty. You might think God would specialize in the extraordinary and would deal only with superiority. After all, the Bible tells us that God, “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think?
Yes, He is an omnipotent God with unimaginable power and ability. He is the God who spoke the universe into existence and directed light to come from darkness. He is superior to all things because He is The Maker of all things. He is the grand and glorious God, who specializes in nothing special.
Think about the ordinary things that throughout history God has used. For example, look at God’s greatest treasure, mankind. God formed man from a handful of ordinary dirt. Later He told Moses to use a simple staff to divide the Red Sea. And later still a plain shepherd boy named David would use an ordinary rock to kill a loud mouth giant. Even Jesus, our Savior was born in a cow shed and His first bed was a feed trough. Jesus then called twelve ordinary men to be the ones who would saturate the world with an extraordinary Gospel. You see God really does specialize in nothing special.
So, what does all this mean to us? Well, I think it is time to stop waiting on the doctors of divinity and professors of preaching to deliver revival. And don’t expect the mega-churches and tv preachers to bring about a great awakening. The Bible tells us “That not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” Because, “God gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases their strength.” He reveals His supernatural power by using ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Here lies the strength of God. He can use stone cutters and carpenters to hammer out Satan’s influence. He will employ truck drivers and mailmen to deliver the gospel and farmers and sewing machine operators to sow seeds of hope. Meanwhile crane operators and Godly parents are raising up a new generation of evangelists. You see it does not matter who you are, where you are or what you are doing, God has a special calling for you. Maybe you are nothing special, but you are just what God wants, because He specializes in using nothing special for His glory.
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. “I Corinthians 1:26-28”