So lately I have been thinking about this an awful lot. I guess it kind of goes with my previous blog post as well. I am not sure why I am writing this really. It is just on my mind.¬†
It may seem like a small or subtle change, but for me in ascribing to God absolute sovereignty it is a huge step in ‘understanding’. I think I used to give more credit to the freewill of man in that it was self-determining… that we determined our own will. The thing is… I see the opposite in Scripture. Time after time we see God being the will behind the will. Sometimes people like to think of this as the “permissible” will of God which I think is a good way to think of it as long as they include what it really means in that He ordains, wills, causes, and permits both good and evil.¬†
In Exodus 4:21, The Lord told Moses beforehand that He would harden pharaohs heart… which He did several times. In Exodus 9:34, it says pharaoh sinned yet more and hardened his heart. When David sinned by commanding that a census being taken of the children of Israel the Lord was involved (2 Samuel 24:1) and Satan was involved (1 Chronicles 21:1). Over and over throughout the Bible we see that God is the ultimate cause of good and evil… although “He tempts no man”. In almost every instance God permits, allows, or ordains Satan to carry out the tempting and evil. In the trial of Job, God ordained it and permitted it.. Satan carried it out.
This is what the apostle Paul was dealing with in Romans 9:19 when he says “why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” No one can resist His will… the answer that Paul gives is in verse 20 & 21, verse 21 says “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”
So I guess the conclusion that I come to… or thing that I see that amazes me is how God works through our will. Our will matters in that we make choices that have consequences and we can choose to have saving faith in Jesus Christ if we have been willed to that by God. It is like a parallel of wills… in which God is always the ultimate determining will. I think Phillipians 2:12b,13 nails it down “…as you have always obeyed… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
This also leads me to see how God is involved in the smallest choices in life… even when a sparrow falls to the ground and dies (Matt. 10:29)… it doesn’t happen apart from His will. Romans 9 pretty much started all of this so go read it if you like…¬†
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” -Rom. 11:36