Scripture: Acts 2:
22 "People of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, [d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Observation: Our free will does not negate the fact that God has a plan and knows what lies ahead for us.
Application: We all have been given a gift of free will. We make our own choices, God doesn’t force himself on us, he doesn’t force us to follow Him, or worship Him, or obey. Just as Jesus had a choice when it came to facing the cross we also have a choice in accepting the sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins. Jesus said
Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
He could have chosen not to finish, He could have walked away, but The Father knew what The Son would do, and it was part of His deliberate plan.
God has a deliberate plan for mankind, and He knows what the outcome of our history will be. Even though we have free will choices to make, He knows what they will be, and his plan is to make even the bad things that happen in life work out for the good.
That doesn’t mean that things which are not part of God’s will don’t happen. Bad things happen that God doesn’t want to happen. But they happen, and although God knows about them before hand and has made provision for them so that they do not disrupt His plan, doesn’t mean that He desired for them to happen.
Did God WANT Jesus to suffer and die on the cross? No – I don’t think it was God’s Will for His Son to die. It wasn’t God’s will for many people to die before their time. But still, even though it wasn’t part of His will, it was part of His deliberate plan. There is a subtle difference that I think we often get confused about.
Let me give you an parable like example. Let’s say that because of the difficult financial climate that we are currently in you realize that your job is in danger. You decide that it would be smart to set aside a savings account in case you have to find a new job. So for several months you put away every dollar that you can and build up enough savings to carry you through for a little while. Then one day it happens, your boss comes in and tells you that they are going to have to let you go because business is so slow. You immediately start looking for work and find a new job a month later. Because of your savings you were able to still take care of your obligations.
Now it was not your desire that you lose your job, you didn’t want it to happen, it was not part of your WILL. But you knew that it might happen, and made it part of your deliberate PLAN to prepare for it.
In a much greater way, God knows that things which are not part of His WILL must happen, and therefore He has made provisions for those bad things a part of His deliberate PLAN. It’s Not God’s WILL that any should perish, so the provision of Christ was made a part of His PLAN. I hope you have taken advantage of the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as your Lord and Savior.
Prayer: Omnipotent God,
Thank you for providing salvation through Jesus Christ Your Son. Help me to follow your WILL for my life, and to recognize Your PLAN as it unfolds even through the difficulties that I may face.