How God’s sovereignty works with our Free Will
Written by Robert Groover on May 2, 2018
When talking about free will or predestination it can conjure up all kinds of images and debates. One primary questions to answer is: God’s will chose us, does this do away with our free will? When we are discussing God’s sovereignty, we need to realize that in the Christian faith there are three camps.
1st is the ones that believe that humans are nothing more than puppets on a string. We are at the mercy of God to do with us as he pleases. We are robots that are programmed and no thinking is allowed on our part. Nature and nurture have nothing to do with our responses.
2nd God is not in complete control, His knowledge is not unlimited and He has no knowledge of what is about to come. Neither of these positions is completely Biblically based. You can make an argument but you have to take only portions of scripture to do this.
The third is that God is sovereign and is in control of all things. (Matt 6:8; Ps 139:1-4; Col 1:16-17; Dan 4:35). But we are given free will to choose. And God does not violate our free will by choosing us (predestination). He just knows our hearts and how we will go, which path we will take. He uses our choices to change our heart to look to Him because He loves us (1 John 1:19; John 15:16). He doesn’t force His will on us.
A Father that loves us doesn’t make us do things that we do not want. If we spent our whole life seeking isolation from Him, He will grant that. The Nation of Israel the chosen people of God. He chose them from the beginning, but they spent much of their time turning from God. How many times did they have freedom, then turned to slavery, then to the wilderness to claiming the promise land? Oh but not all of it only what they deemed necessary. Time after time Israel had choices and many times chose the path of disobedience away from God. He allowed this disobedience, these free choices; Even though these are His chosen people.
Another example of free will is in Luke about the prodigal son. The son wanted his inheritance so that he could leave and live the good life. He wanted to pursue his desires and live under his rules. This choice, like ours in daily living, has consequences. He soon found he has no money, living in the gutters and filth of the city. He soon came to the realization that he would starve and die if he did not return home.
In both of these, we see the people had free will to choose a path. In deciding this, they face consequences for their choice. God uses these consequences to draw us to Him. He doesn’t force His will on the world but allows us to choose Him.