I’m amazed at the number of movies and television shows today that focus on the subject of destiny versus free will. Time travel is commonplace, visions and prophecies of the future becoming mainstream, and the idea of manipulating the fate of the human race seems to have captivated the attention of our society. Just last night I saw a preview for some new television series, and the premise was summed up by one snippet of dialogue. “Is it destiny or free will? It’s both.”
Time travel has populated our most beloved stories for generations. The idea of changing the past, of re-writing a history filled with mistakes, is an alluring one. But with this concept comes an important fallacy in thinking that we are the ones who can control our destiny. That we can change the future or re-write the past. I think this stems from the deep legitimate longing to know that we are secure. To know that our future holds promise and blessing. To know, for certain, that our failings have been overlooked.
But when we do this, indulge in fantasies of changing timelines, escaping pain, and un-doing things we know we wrong or misguided, we cut the Creator out of our equation for success. We don’t control the sovereign will of God. When we pray, we usually pray for specifics, like, please heal my mother. Please protect my brother. Please help my neighbor find a job. God honors this, but many times we as intercessors do not know what the will of the Lord is, because we can’t see the bigger picture of His plan. The only prayer that gives a prayer warrior complete confidence, therefore, is one that acknowledges God’s sovereign will above all else, praises Him for his majesty, and asks that His name be magnified and His kingdom expanded, whatever the outcome.
It’s hard to separate what we want from what we know is best. We really don’t want our family to suffer. We really don’t want to experience physical or emotional pain. These feelings, born of love and the desire to protect, are honoring to God. But we have to realize that suffering, tragedy, and loss are also required in the process of bringing Christ’s kingdom home. His name must be magnified, and if more people see His light through the loss of our loved one, then we are not in a position to question the will and ways of God. He alone knows the future impact of this event.
We know that a picture is worth a thousand words. The suffering of the innocent and the testimony of God’s strength through adversity paints a moving portrait of Christ manifest in us. Our suffering does make a difference. People are drawn to the majesty of Christ through our pain.
Part of the acceptance of His will is letting go of our desire to fix our mistakes. God redeems our screw-ups on His own time, using His methods, according to the glory of His kingdom. We need to give him the freedom to do that, by letting go of our past, emotionally and intellectually.
So is it free will? Yes. Is it destiny? Yes. How can we reconcile these two seemingly opposing ideas? We must submit to the fact that God is God, and we are not.Read More...