If God is all knowing, then would God know, for example, that Hilter was going to be an evil man before he was born? Why would God create Hilter (a perfect being at birth) knowing that he would grow up to become evil? God gave us a choice, but how can we have choice if He already knows what a person will do during their life on earth? It seems everything is already mapped out. It would seem that there are no surprises for God if He is all knowing. He would already know which of His children will come to Him and who will not.
Do you want to know if everything is already determined for our life by God? Some teach that God has already planned everything in our lives. Others say that is not true. What follows explains that God has not determined everything in our lives.
God Did Not Plan Our Sins
Another proof that God has not planned or determined everything in our life is that He did not plan our sins. The message of James 1:13-15 says that God cannot be tempted and He does not tempt us. When we sin, we are completely responsible.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:13-15 (NASB)
This means it is not true that God has your life all planned out. God has not planned out every detail of our life. The evil we do is our choice.
Since the first man Adam sinned, each person who is born into this world has inherited Adam’s sin nature. We are all born as sinners. He knows what kind of person we are from our birth. We are evil people – sinners.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5 (NASB)
Each of us has a unique character or bent to our personality at birth. But it needs to change because it is crooked. Proverbs 22:6 is a very familiar passage to many. It tells us each child is born into this world with an unique personality or character that needs to be changed.
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
The actual Hebrew rendering is not usually given in the English. But it is important to understand this often misunderstood passage. It sounds like broken English, but here it is:
Train a youth upon the mouth of his way and when old will not turn away from.
The Hebrew text of Proverbs 22:6 should actually say, “Train a youth upon the mouth of his way . . .” The idea is of a youth starting at the beginning of the “mouth of a road” – the start of the road of life. When a child is born into this world, he or she has a personality bent. Part of that bent is evil. Part of that bent includes sinful attitudes, sinful preferences, and sinful desires that if not changed could result in an unpleasant personality. It seems best to understand the passage to say that if a child’s character or bent is left unchanged, that is how he/she will turn out when older. We are sinners from birth, and each of us needs to be changed. God is not responsible. God did not plan for us to be evil. We can blame Adam.
Is Everything Already Determined?
The Bible teaches that God is all knowing. He knows everything that has happened from the beginning of time and will happen to the end of time. God has planned some of the events in our life, but it is not true God has your life planned out in every detail. That is revealed in James 4:2-3.
. . . You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. (NASB) James 4:2-3
The passage simply says that God will not give us some things because we have not asked for them. Everything in this life is not planned. We can change some things by asking in prayer.
Hezekiah’s Life Was Not Completed Planned
An excellent example of James 4:2-3 is what God did for King Hezekiah. Isaiah 38:1 states that the prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah that he was going to die after becoming mortally ill. Here is Isaiah 38:1-6. Notice what the king did.
In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city.”’ Isaiah 38:1-6 (NASB)
What did the king do? He prayed. He asked God to remember his godly behavior. He was pleading for longer life. What did God do? God granted the king fifteen more years of life because he prayed.
Not every decision and event in our lives is planned by God. Yet He does make some of the decisions for us. He works directly on us through our circumstances. If God did not direct us or help us, our lives would be worse than they are.
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Psalm 127:1-2 (NASB)
Mysteriously, God helps us and enables us in life. He uses our parents, our education, the success on our jobs, and our spouses and children, for example. I have been amazed in my own life with some the events that God has brought my way. He has brought great joy into my life and better blessings than I have even imagined. I have brought Him grief. I thank God that He is in control of my life and that I am not alone. I regret my sins and the disappointments that I have caused Him. I do not want to be independent of Him. Independence is a mark of a non-Christian and of a proud Christian who loves himself or herself more than God (Matthew 22:36-37).
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