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- Jacob Ninan
Those who misunderstand the sovereignty of God think that whatever happens is God's will. For one thing, if it were so, why would Jesus teach us to pray that God's will would be done on earth as it is in heaven? We need to pray that because a lot of what happens on earth is not God's will at all. When wicked people do things that hurt others or exploit them, that's not God's will. God's will for us, or in other words His desire for us, is always for our good (Je.29:11). But what happens in many cases is not for our good, even though God will cause even those to work out something good for us in the end (Ro.8:28,29). Sometimes we suffer because of our own sin, sometimes when others sin against us, and sometimes because of the general consequences of sin in the world in which we live. It is ridiculous to put the blame for all that on God!
Those who believe that whatever actually happens happened because it was God's will confuse His will with His permission. Because God has created us people with a limited amount of free will, He permits us to make bad choices, and when we do that we suffer the consequences. He doesn't want us to make those choices, and that's why He warns us, tries to instruct us and help us to walk in the right way. But when we make those bad choices we can't blame God! But some do! I have read about a mother who drowned her small children in a state of drunkenness and then blamed God for not stopping her!
If we foolishly believe that everything is God's will, we resign ourselves to all that happens, and don't try to correct or change things, especially what we need to do to get out of those situations or to prevent things like that happening again. What a tragedy that because of this foolish thinking some people passively go though sufferings that need to be dealt with aggressively and think that they are glorifying God! Wives who are being abused put up with that meekly, couples who face problems in marriage try to accept that situation, parents whose children go astray simply pray for them without dealing with them, etc. Satan has managed to fool us, and at the same time make us think it's all God's will!
Our free will loads us with responsibility. God has also given us abilities, knowledge and wisdom to decide what we need to do from our side when we face problems. How foolish it is to imagine that all problems are God's will for us, and then just go on praying that God should do something about it, while we sit meekly doing nothing from our side! We even misquote the Bible to say that we don't need to do anything but stand still and see the salvation of God (Ex.14:13,14). This is not a universal instruction for all situations but just for that special occasion. Think of how Israel had to fight with their swords and kill their enemies once they reached the Promised Land!
God works for us, but He also wants us to work with Him, doing what He wants us to do. But we need to act (Php.2:12,13).