Freewill. That’s a hard thing to explain in a Christian life. We have been given freewill, that’s part of the uniqueness of being human, a feature that God purposely put in us. But freewill means that we can choose to do what we want, when we want, how we want…and potentially live with the consequences, good or bad.
This could mean though, that we subconsciously tend to think of God as an errand boy. A force that picks up the pieces behind us and deals with how we have decided life should go. We often get confused about God’s roll in our minds and hearts and how his influence in our daily lives actually leads us to decisions and choices that without his direction we would not have come to. Because this just wouldn’t be true ‘freewill’ would it?
The bible says that God directs our paths, that we might make our own plans, but that it is his plans that ultimately come to pass (Proverbs 16:9). God is in control of every single little detail in every single little persons life. He has set out the times for us, Acts 17:26 says, the exact places where we will live. He’s not piecing the puzzle of our choices together in order to clean up a mess in our wake, he’s directing our every step and thought in order to bring us to a specific place. A place where we acknowledge him with everything we do, a place where we realize that without him we can do nothing, a place where we give him all the glory…a place where we have relationship with him.
We need to be careful about how we think about freewill. The world teaches us that we are entitled to freewill, that it is our right. But (a) we aren’t actually entitled to anything and (b) true freewill is following the path that God is setting out for us and knowing that the best choice is to follow his direction.
When I was running from God people would often ask me about my hometown and at the end of my reply I would always, without exception, add “But I’ll never move back”. And every single time these words would come out of my mouth, a little voice in the back of my mind would whisper “God’s going to make you move back”. God was working in my life, directing my path, allowing me to make certain decisions that would lead me to know that he was the only satisfaction I would find…he was gently directing my steps back towards his throne. It didn’t matter what plans I made for myself, he was putting desires in my heart and setting my feet in a certain path in order to bring me back home.
I lay in bed one night and God called my name. He asked me, once again, to pick up his word and start reading again. And so I did, but I told him, point blank, I would only read one verse a day. That’s all I had time for. But God knew, he knew that once I picked up that bible he would flood into me and I wouldn’t be able to stop reading after just one verse. He knew that he would put a hunger in me, such a strong desire for him, that it wouldn’t be quenched with just one verse.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
You can make your plans, tell God how it’s going to go, but God already knows. He has lead you to that spot, he’s allowed and placed everything in your life to lead you to every decision you’ll ever make. And once you stop fighting him, once you allow him to take your hand and lead you in his way, you will see that it’s so much better than trying to forge your way through the mess of life.
There’s two ways to get what you want. Either push your way towards your goals and fight your way to the top or allow God to take control, lead you and have the peace of mind that whatever happens is in his hands. Either way, in the end, you’re going to end up just where God wants you. You might as well just surrender your life to him, it’s so much more simple.
A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?