Free will vs. predestination is murky water to navigate. Suffice to say, God is outside of the time that He made for us. We’re, however, bound to it. He stands on the roof watching the parade that is our existence pass by. He sees the beginning, middle, end…all of it, even when we’re just a couple blocks into our trek.
We make choices, big and small, everyday that have consequences, good or bad. He knows we make them, but He doesn’t force us to make them. Should we prayerfully consider decisions and listen to Him? Yes. Do we though? Hardly ever. Basically, we’re freely making our own choices by our will (on the ground) while our lives have already been mapped out and predetermined (back at HQ.) Our lives are determined by the choices we make from the options provided.
So, really, it’s kinda both.
I call it Limited Free Will.
God opens and closes doors. There are always at least two open. He doesn’t push us through any of them. We walk in and out of them on our own…and He knows which ones we’re gonna choose because, again…He’s on the roof looking down.
If someone chooses to accept Jesus – Whom is available to all – that person simply – finally – started to listen to the Holy Spirit Who is trying to steer us all in the right direction.
I hear this is similar to Molinism, but I like the sound of “limited free will” better. Also, this is closer to what Arminians think, and further from the Calvinist point of unconditional election, meaning God has fore-ordained who gets to choose Him. Like God only wants some people. What? Needless to say, I don’t play for that team.
Had this thought…
I need to get to my car in the driveway. There are 3 doors that lead out of the house and 8 that don’t. I wouldn’t choose one of the 8 because that doesn’t make sense to unnecessarily prolong my mission just to take the scenic route. I have to choose one of the 3 available that lead out of the house, but which one is up to me. Each route eventually leads me to my car, but some are faster and others are slower. I may get held up with an obstacle or two, or I may make it to the car with no problem. What matters is that I get to my car. Mission, accomplished.
God knows where we’re going – He put us on the path – and His will shall be done. But, since God isn’t in any kinda hurry – being outside of time and all – He allows us to choose the path we want from the selections He put in front of us. If we want to learn something the hard way, like a child often does, He’s gonna let us.
Kids don’t think parents know anything so they typically have to fall on their faces a few times to realize we’re not stupid. Likewise, God’s not responsible for us getting hurt by our own stubborn disobedience to His gracious instruction and guidance.
We can do things the easy way, or the hard way. But, wait…there’s more! Don’t choose “easy” if you don’t know what it means. Since the world is how it is, here are some clearer definitions:
“easy way” = the world’s way, selfish, fleshly, sin
“hard way” = way of Jesus, Christianity, against the grain, selfless, strong dislike of anything sin-like
The right way is the hard way. Ask Jesus.