Russell and Duenes

What Is Your Free Will To God?

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God is sovereign in converting people to Christ. It’s interesting to me to hear Christians pray that God will “influence” someone or “work on” their hearts, but somehow we’re uncomfortable with the idea that God would actually take over a person’s heart to the point of conversion, because that might impinge on their “free will.” But my question is always, why is it OK for God to get into their hearts and work on them a little, but not OK for God to get in there and go the whole way? If God alters a person’s motivations, inclinations or thinking at all, hasn’t He impinged on their autonomous free will already? Why not rather pray, as St. Paul prays for the Jews, that God would save the other person. As John Piper says, “Save ’em, God!”

That’s what God does with Saul of Tarsus. Saul was on his merry way to Damascus when God struck him down with blindness and told him what would happen next. God speaks to a man named Ananias and tells him to go to Saul and give him a message from God. Ananias is afraid, but God reassures him that Saul is “a chosen instrument of mine.” God had sovereignly decided that Saul would convert and carry out God’s special purpose, and God had not consulted Saul’s free will.

Not only does God save Saul, but He saves him for the purpose of preaching the gospel, and that is what Saul begins to do immediately upon his conversion. Thus, God’s will is effectual in Saul’s life. When God chooses a man or woman for His purposes, those purposes get accomplished. And we can trust that this is true in our lives, even if we may not know God’s purposes, or though those purposes may involve pain and affliction. We may implore God in His sovereignty to have His way with us. As the hymn says, “Change my heart, O God, make it ever true; change my heart, O God, may I be like You.”



Written by Michael Duenes

May 19, 2015 at 4:38 am

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