This was a good conversation started on an old blog I posted, so figured I’d move it here…
I was asked an interesting question the other day, so I thought I would share it, and hear your thoughts on it as well. Quoted directly, this is what it said…
“Do you believe in Free Will, Destiny, or both?”
Below are my thoughts…
This is a topic I love discussing. I love it because there are so many different view points or perspectives on this question from so many different people. It all varies from your ‘world view’ or rather, your beliefs.
To start off, I suppose just to directly answer the original question… I believe in both free will and ‘destiny.’ If you care to know why, I’ll tell you….
First, I believe in the one true God; The trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit. This is to clarify where I come from in my view point. If you don’t believe in that, then your view point can change or would be drastically different and very different reasons for believing what you believe. But, that’s what I believe, and that’s where I’m coming from.
I believe God has given us free will. We have the freedom to make our own decision, do what we want, when we want and so on. We have the freedom to pick our jobs, freedom to pick who we’ll be with, freedom to choose where we’ll live, and even freedom to control your thermostat, and so on. We have the freedom to hurt someone or help someone, freedom to love or hate, give or take. We have the freedom to choose what we will or won’t say to people, move where we want, and on and on.
We are not a bunch of Gods toys running around like marionettes on strings. God gave us free will. He gave us the ability to make our own decisions and He gave us the freedom to make our own decisions. He gave Adam and Eve free will. They are the ones that chose to do it wrong. Sin.
Man has free will to commit crimes; Murder, rape, abuse, and so on. We forget this, and some blame God. God didn’t “make” any of this happen. He gave us free will, and we messed it up. We continually mess it up. Every single day man messes it up.
I don’t know that I would choose the word ‘destiny,’ but, since that’s how the question was asked, I will.
I believe God gave us free will but He also has an ultimate plan. There are certain things in this life on this earth that He wants to happen. He has a plan for each of us. He already knows our thoughts, what we’ll choose to do or not do, where we’ll choose to go or not go and so on. It gets kind of tricky at this point, and I don’t want to get into the topic of “pre-destiny” etc… right now.
God is a sovereign God. He is so much bigger than we can really fathom, so we sometimes don’t understand why certain things happen to us, or others. Sometimes, it is not for us to know or it is not for us to be asking. But I digress…
I believe God knows certain things will happen to us in life, so He perhaps guides us a certain direction, so that certain things will happen. Now, keep in mind, I used the word “guide”, not “control.” A better word perhaps, could be that He “leads” us.
We do not have control over other peoples actions and choices. God may want certain things to happen in our life, but others perhaps make the wrong decisions, therefore affecting our outcome that ‘should have been.’
I use those words, ‘should have been’, but want to clarify that too… So as to not get that confused with saying God “messed up” and “oops”, remember I said He is a sovereign God, and even though others or ourselves make wrong decisions, He can still lead us back to the right path ultimately, if we let Him. Otherwise, He’ll bring someone else in to do the job in place of us. The things He wants done, will get done in the end, with or without you.
God has an ‘intended’ purpose in each person’s life. Our decision (free will) and others decisions (free will) affect that ‘intended’ purpose. Ultimately, what God has planned… the Greater Purpose… will happen. How we get there, is up to us usually.
So, that is the short version of what I think really. I didn’t cover a lot of things, but that’s pretty much the synopsis of it. I hope that makes sense, where I am coming from, what I believe, and how I think ‘it all works.’
How about you? What do you believe?
I’ll finish below with a quote I heard today by Ravi Zacharias. He was talking in reference to someone who might know what God wants in their life, or what direction they should go, and yet still asks and asks and asks if they can have something else, or do something different…
“If you are determined in going in a certain direction, if you are bent upon silencing the voice of God in your life, you know what God will do? He’ll step aside and second your motion. If that’s what you really want. Because He cannot violate your Will and still call you free… If I am a free being, He cannot overrule my freedom in the most ultimate sense, and still call me free. He can lure, He can rule, He can plead, He can beg, He can even put the pressure on, but He cannot violate your will and still call you free.”