This Monday we came together to talk about something quite extraordinary: the matter of God’s predestination versus man’s free will–although, as I would soon come to learn, the two need not necessarily be in opposition to one another.
We started off looking at a couple of verses in Exodus which, in places, shows Pharoah hardening his heart, but in other places shows God hardening Pharoah’s heart. This got us all (or at least me) very confused, until it was explained that just because God wants/ordains something for us doesn’t mean that we can’t want/desire the same thing for ourselves too. Which is to say, our free choice doesn’t necessarily have to differ from what God has planned for us.
An analogy which I really liked was the picture of a doorway. On one side, the head of the doorframe has inscribed: Whosoever will, let him come. Once you walk through, i.e once you’ve made a decision to come to the Lord out of your own volition and choice, you turn around and see on the other side of the doorframe: Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.
I think the difficulty comes when we try to understand God’s predestination – it’s like a toddler trying to understand cell biology. The best way you can explain it is in pictures and analogies, and hope that in the future when this child grows up he’ll come to the full knowledge. In the same way, we need more of God’s light and revelation to fully comprehend what his predestination is like. May we continue to endeavor to grow and mature in God and come to the full knowledge of the truth 🙂