Sovereignty vs. Free-Will

 
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Rick



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: Sovereignty vs. Free-Will  Reply with quote

What happens when the sovereignty of God collides with the “free will” of man?  

Let’s take a look at “free will”.  First, recognize that a will can only operate outside of God’s will with His permission.  Why did God allow evil into this world?  Because, He allowed man to have free will.  Why did God allow man free will?  Singer, Tina Turner asks it best, “What’s love got to do with it?” in one of her songs.  The divine answer is “Everything”!  

God’s love is a gift, a gift we receive by faith.  Man was created in the image of God, and was designed to bear and transmit God’s love.  In other words, man is to divine love what copper is to the flow of electricity (a conductor).  

In the Garden of Eden, Satan knew faith was man’s area of vulnerability.  Man’s relationship with God was linked by faith.  In Romans 4:16 Paul says, “…it is of faith, that it might be by grace”.  Faith makes Grace (divine-love) possible.  

Therefore, God allowed Godlessness (sin or evil) for the sake of a loving relationship with man.

How much liberty are we granted?  We make choices all the time, so our liberty seems endless. However, while our choices seem endless, they are categorically singular.  Will I trust in the love that I have for myself, or will I trust in God's love for me?  Will I faithfully serve myself, or will I faithfully serve God?

So, is God sovereign? Absolutely!  Is God’s will sovereign? Absolutely!  Do we make real choices? Absolutely!

One may wonder how we can make real choices outside of God’s will and God’s will remain sovereign.  We only wonder this because we live before God’s judgment.  The finality of God’s judgment will eliminate any question of His sovereignty.  When the “new heaven and the new earth” explode into existence no man will be confused as to its origin.


Last edited by Rick on Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:57 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Steve
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Joined: 15 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lately I've been distracted by free will.  I still pray before meals, I still thank God for His blessings, but it doesn't feel sufficient.  

I know it's easy to get bogged down by things outside of the spiritual realm, but there comes a breaking point and I need to return.  

My question for you, Rick:
Does spiritual connectivity cycle throughout life and is this an ongoing, normal struggle to fall away from God periodically--then return?  Not to the extreme of the prodigal son, but just simply because of distractions that you don't even realize are there in that moment.  Next thing you know, you're a month or two later and realized you haven't given God the time He deserves.  

Or is it as simple as being committed to a daily routine?
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Rick



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

I love your openness and honesty.  

In response to your question, I can only speak through personal experience and those shared within the Bible.

Personally, I have found that my value concepts are not often God's.  I sometimes measure my relationship with God based on my own sense of worthiness.  I tend to be quite juvenile. When I believe I've been a "good boy" I feel close to God.  When I've been a "bad boy" I feel separated from God.  The trouble with this concept is it's based on "I've" (I have).  

God seems primarily concerned with the volume of His grace that we have acquired by faith.  And those most likely to embrace divine grace are the "poor in spirit", "they that mourn", "the meek", "they that hunger and thirst for righteousness", those that are desperate.

So yes, I have found that my walk by faith is in steps of moments.  One moment I am walking by faith, and the next moment I'm walking in my own strength.  One moment I'm sharing the truth, and the next I'm showcasing my spiritual knowledge.  One moment my heart goes out to others, the next I want what I am entitled to.

We, however, are not alone. Paul asks in Romans 7:24 "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?".  


Last edited by Rick on Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steve
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Rick as always.  I do appreciate and value your input as a spiritual mentor of mine.  I think it goes back to prior discussions we've had on here of "dying to self" every day and how easy it is to be distracted by "self."  

Seriously, how bad do we have it?  I'd challenge anyone to ask themselves a question anytime they're feeling like the world is on their shoulders and they don't have time for God...and I'll ask myself this question:

Have I ever been crucified on a cross or stabbed in the side with a roman spear?  

The amount of physical pain of that experience, and the amount of mental/emotional pain of your father and the supreme creator turning away from you will always be worse than anything I'm going through.  Granted, the fate of humanity isn't in my hands and the gift of salvation and eternal life doesn't depend on my death.  

It's just one more piece of evidence that I fall short of God's glory, but never short of God's grace.  It's easy to lose sight of the eternal perspective.  I do lose sight most of the time...but when I take the eternal perspective into account I feel free and feel as though nothing else matters beside God's love and His grace.  

Thanks for offering your thoughts as always.  I hope all is well in these times for you, and I pray that God will continue to bless you and Andrea's souls with peace even though the world offers turbulence and at times, chaos.  

Looking forward to talking soon - Katy and I will be in Springfield on September 12th weekend, so hope to catch up with you all at some point before deer season.
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Rick



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

"I fall short of God's glory, but never short of God's grace"

Wonderfully said!  I picture one falling to their knees, regardless we must fall.

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