If God knows the future, does that mean we’re not really in control of - Bible Questions and Answers - Prayer Tents

Question

11. If God knows the future, does that mean we’re not really in control of our lives?
Question asked on March 21, 2021 8:14:52 pm

Answer

If God knows the future, does that mean we're not really in control of our lives?

In short, yes. God is in control, not us. Yet, we have free will to make decisions.

Let me explain.

First, if we think God is a person like us, He would not be considered God. God created all things, including time, and He would not be God if He is not in control of it, such as knowing our future. (Think of anything you ever created and consider the control you had over what you have made.)

Now, let's talk about control. Control sounds like a word for people who seek power. What do people who seek ultimate control do? They would work to remove anyone who may take away their control and become the person who has absolute control. A real-world example may be someone tired of taking orders from a supervisor at work. S/he decides that if s/he starts her/his own company, s/he would be in absolute control. Well, it turns out that when s/he begins her company, s/he would have more customers, or "supervisors," to please. To indeed be in control, s/he would have no serve no one but her/himself. Does that make sense?

In the Bible, can you think of some people who tried to take over anyone who would take away their control? Lucifer comes to mind. In Isaiah 14:12-14, you can see an angel named Lucifer seeking to overcome God so that He would be in absolute control. Then, in a familiar story in Genesis 3, you can see the same effect for Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had everything they ever needed (do you agree?). However, when the serpent came and suggested something that can make them more in control, such as having a greater understanding and knowing good and evil, they went after it.

By desiring control over things means that you wish to be God. It may mean you do not want someone like God over you. One test you can try may be to consider if you like(d) it when your parents tell(told) you what to do.

So, back to your question: are we in control of our lives?
Yes, you can decide to 1) live for yourself or 2) put your trust in God and seek to obey His guidance.

What you see throughout the Scriptures is that God allows us to make decisions on our own. We have the freedom to make decisions if that is what we are after. However, the decision is binary. You can choose to seek your glory and success living according to the world's teachings or let go of your desire for control and seek God to direct your ways. The former probably may seem like it may produce more significant results, but based on God's plans, everyone being obedient to God's call often produces much more than ever imagined. For example, did Moses do more by being the Pharoah's son by leading multi-million/billion dollar/pound projects, or was it more significant to lead millions of Egyptian slaves out to a better land where they can be close with God? Moses, too, had a choice. Abraham had a choice (See Genesis 12). You and I have a choice.

Yet, despite our choices, God is in control (if He didn't, He would not be much of a God, would He?). Let's look at a familiar verse:

John 3:16 (NLT)
16"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Here, the choice we have is to either believe in Jesus or not. All our works and our gain of control do not change our eternal future. The only thing that does is whether we believe in Jesus or not.

So, let me summarize. You asked, "If God knows the future, does that mean we're not really in control of our lives?" God certainly knows our future, and we have the free will to make decisions. However, the future of our lives depends on whether we are willing to let go of that control and seek God's purposes (see Matthew 6:33) or our own.

If you are looking to go after the former, I encourage you to pick up a book I wrote during the pandemic. It is titled "Dependence Prayer: His Provision to Accomplish the Calling He Has for You." I wrote this to encourage people who have been struggling throughout the pandemic to let go of control so that God can do something more significant throughout their lives.

If this leaves you with any further questions, let me know.



Answered by Dr. Sang Sur





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