Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Friday, April 01, 2011 @ 12:00:00 PM - Written by Doug Hignell -

His plan, my plan or our plan? Am I free to have my own plan? Can I change God's plan? Matt Damon and Emily Blunt's latest fast paced movie, The Adjustment Bureau, leads one to ponder the age old argument between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. In the movie, Damon runs up against a predetermined plan for his life overseen by "The Chairman". When Damon meets a girl and falls in love, which is not part of the plan, the Adjustment Bureau works to keep The Chairman's plan in place. Damon, on the other hand, fights to follow his plan, hoping that his plan will eventually win out.

For centuries, humankind has wrestled with these competing notions of how much freedom we really have to determine our own ends. Do our decisions matter or are they somehow scripted for us? Or is it all just up to chance in the end? Can we influence and even change God's plan for our lives?

In reflecting I believe that God's sovereignty and my free will are both true and not necessarily in conflict. God does have a plan for our lives (Ephesians 2:10) but we are free to surrender to that plan or to resist and try to do our own thing. As I reflect on my life I can see where God gently, and sometimes not so gently, intervened and made good come out of even my independent decisions.

Even though I have free will I realize that it is in my best interest to follow His plan. In my best moments it is my desire to choose God's plan, something that is not easy.

As I reflect though, I wonder if we can we modify or change God's plan? I believe so! For example, we believe that our prayers may cause God to intervene in our lives or the lives of others. In other words, to change the plan! The same can be said for positive declarations. Even when we declare "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10) we are asking God to enforce His will in a situation where he may be holding back, i.e. to modify His plan.

Except for one bedroom scene which was not necessary, I would recommend The Adjustment Bureau as a movie that will cause you to reflect on what you believe about "His plan, your plan, or our plan".

Comments
Doug...good thoughts. There is a balance. The extreme sovereignty position or the extreme free will position (losing one's salvation) do not mesh with scripture. One of the problems is that we try to put God into the same box of logic and reasoning as a human. That is our constant struggle in constructing tight theological arguments. I have believed that God certainly has no limitations...he could control us. He does know what we will do (omniscient). But we do choose in little and large things. Putting salvation decisions aside, we can choose to sin and really mess up our lives as believers. Why doesn't He put up an invisible barrier that prevents us from sinning? The whole point of the commands in the NT is that we must choose to obey them. Thus we can choose to not obey them. Regarding God's "master plan" for us. It is there. Can we thwart it? Apparently so...no master plan of God is to have a man destroy his life with alcohol or drugs. Yet even believers to. He will rescue. The one master plan we cannot thwart is our eternal destiny. Our Temporal life is affected...deeply. Thanks for sharing.
Jerry White @ 8:49:00 AM 4/12/2011
HI Doug, I love your comments on the subject of Gods plan or Our plan. In my own life there has been an constant soul searching as to: Am I in God's plan and did I really hear his voice? I do know that God does in scripture share his plan with man and has allowed man to change as it were his mind. I know God has given me many times what I prayed for however it was not packaged the way I would have wanted it to be : ) I continuously work on not my will but thine be done and coming to a place of total surrender. Thanks for sharing this and inviting me to your blog.
Faith @ 8:52:00 AM 4/12/2011
Thank you, Doug, for your gentle perspective on free will. We're falling deeper in love with the true "Chairman," who continues to surprise us with His wisdom and concern for our good. He really is in a good mood! Blessings S
Stephen De Silva @ 9:21:00 AM 4/12/2011

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