Bullets From The Bible 1-29-18
Jesus knew that the time for His crucifixion was near and it was troubling Him. Jesus took some of His closest disciples and went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He asked His disciples to pray and He went on a little farther to pray on His own. Notice the prayer that He prayed:
Matthew 26:39, "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
The horrible death of a crucifixion is not something that Jesus really wanted to go through and so He prays to God to let that cup pass from Him. In the next few verses He prays two more times for the same thing...yet He always prays that God's will be done.
Have you ever considered that Jesus, the son of God prayed prayers that were not answered? It was the will of God that Jesus would be the sacrifice for man's sin. It was in His eternal plan (Ephesians 1). Yet Jesus as a man still did not want to face that torturous, violent death.
Sometimes when we pray God does not grant our requests. Sometimes the answer is, "no". Yet what we often forget is that God knows best and He has promised that all will work together for good to them that love Him and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8). Have you ever prayed for something, and then years later looking back been thankful that you didn't get what you prayed for? Sometimes we don't know what is best for us. Many times we don't fully understand the will of God. That does not mean we quit praying, but rather that we continue to trust God when He tells us, "No".
I was just going to PM you this, but open discussion can be good. As you and I have discussed, I’m not necessarily very religious anymore, I have my reasons, but these things have been great to read, ponder and reflect. Reading these have made me more religious then I was beforehand, where I was sometimes even hostile towards it.
If I ask a question to you in these going forward just know that I am asking it to learn not to be combative or catch you, but it may Come off as that way sometimes.
Wouldn’t God’s plan interfere with freewill?
I am glad that you are getting something out of the posts. The word of God is powerful and capable of changing our world...the problem is that it isn't often read and even less often followed. I appreciate your questions and am more than happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
You are correct. God's will often does interfere with free will in the aspect that I cannot simply do whatever I want and by aligned with God's will. God's will is always going to be accomplished in the long run regardless of the decisions that I make. The fact that I have free will does not stop God from accomplishing His will. He can use any number of means or ways in which to accomplish His will and I can choose to either be a part of Him accomplishing His will...or I can exercise my own free will and rebel against God.
Esther is a great example of this. The Jews were in captivity and Esther (as a Jew ironically) was queen. Some that hated the Jews got a law passed that would allow for the Jews to be put to death. Mordecai (Esther's uncle/cousin) encouraged Esther to go before the King and plead with him to do the right thing for the Jews. Esther going before the King uninvited would put her life in danger because if he didn't accept her she would be put to death.
Notice what Mordecai told Esther
Esther 4:14, "For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
In other words...the Jews as the people of God were going to be delivered. Esther could choose to either submit to that will, do the right thing, and be a part of it...or rebel against it and be punished by God. In eternity God's will is going to be accomplished. Satan will be destroyed (Revelation 20:7). The kingdom will be handed up to God (1 Corinthians 15:24). The righteous will be rewarded (Romans 2:6-11). Now...we have a choice (freewill). We can either submit to the will of God and be among those who are rewarded...or we can rebel and face eternal punishment. Either way God's will is going to be ultimately accomplished.
Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Prayer is interesting as well. When we pray, we are never going to change God's will. His will does not change (James 1:17). So when we pray we are not asking God to change His will, but rather that He will accomplish His will in a different way. Our God is powerful enough to accomplish His will in any number of ways and sometimes our prayers will be answered "yes"...and God's will still be accomplished! Yet other times...as in the case of Christ's prayer...God's will was going to be accomplished through Christ's death on the cross therefore that "cup" could not pass.
Reading these have made me more religious then I was beforehand
I can say the same thing. Daniel has a way of explaining things that resonates with me.