Pastor Mark Jeske
You and I live in a world of dual causality, i.e., things happen both by human agency and by God’s direct working. Did you pass a tough exam because you prepared so thoroughly or because God blessed you? Answer: Yes. Did your business have a good year because you worked so hard or because God blessed you? Answer: Yes. Did you date carefully and thoughtfully and come up with a good spouse, or did God give him or her to you? Answer: Yes.
God encourages our initiatives, wants us to feel personally responsible for our lives, entrusts us with his resources, and gives us a lot of leeway in how we manage things. But—he always reserves for himself the last word: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Does that sound a little confusing? Maybe. But it’s also really cool.
God’s great ambition for you is not to control you or act as the grand puppeteer of your life. He has created you with the intent that you should become a miniature version of himself—with a value system aligned with his, a passion for his mission and agenda, a love for people, and the ability to make right choices on your own. But he also loves you enough to reserve the right to intervene here and there to guide events to the conclusion he wants.
Perfect. We win both ways.
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