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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
2 Kings 18:13–19:37
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Acts 21:14 (CSB): “Since he would not be persuaded, we said no more except, ‘The Lord’s will be done.'”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
“The Lord’s will be done.”
That sounds like the words of a mature, submitted follower of Jesus. But, it may also sound like someone who feels helpless and has developed a touch of a fatalistic, “que sera, sera” attitude (“whatever will be, will be”).
This brings us to a theme in Christian theology that theologians have been arguing about for millennia. Who is really in control? God is infinite in power but does He at least periodically limit Himself in regard to human free will? And how free is man to make his choices?
We can go to either side and if we go too far, it becomes error…
If we believe that God is infinite in power and control (this is true), then we may come to believe that mankind is simply a bunch of robots without free will.
Yet, if we believe that mankind has unfettered free will to do as he/she pleases, then we may relegate Almighty God to the stands where He is helplessly watching human history play out and trying frantically, desperately to keep His will on track.
In reality, the biblical truth is in the middle of these extremes. We have free will and our God is infinite in power and is fully in control over every single event.
So, what are we to make of our Verse for Today? “The Lord’s will be done.” It was uttered by devout Jesus-followers in Caesarea. Were they simply being fatalistic?
They recognized that there was a human dimension to everything that happened and there was a God-dimension. They didn’t try to figure it out. They just worked within their understanding of it.
Specifically, these Jesus-followers were warning Paul that if he proceeded to Jerusalem, he would be jailed and maybe even killed. They tried their best to convince him not to go. But, Paul was dead-set on going to Jerusalem anyway.
So, when they had done all that was humanly possible, they trusted in the Lord for the results.
They weren’t being fatalistic. They had done what they could do and now they were relying upon the Lord’s infinite control over all things.
This is the way we should look at things. We don’t sit back and expect God to do what He is waiting on us to do. And yet, we realize that ultimately we aren’t nearly as in control as we may think we are – we are completely dependent upon our Lord.
So, it’s both. We do our part and God does His part.
I’ll use the following quote to sum up and end this post:
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” – Saint Augustine