From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
For centuries, theologians have disagreed about God’s absolute control over everything, others emphasizing our freedom to act on our own. The reason they haven’t agreed is because the Bible teaches both God’s sovereignty and our human responsibility.
This may sound like a contradiction, but the Bible does not contradict itself; rather it says, “The entirety of [God’s] Word is truth” (Psalm 119:160).
It is unlikely that we’ll have a complete understanding of this until we get to Heaven. But until that day, we need to hold firmly to both truths: God is in control of everything, but we’re also responsible for our actions. Why is this important?
The Bible says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:14, NLT).
God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes. This is why prayer is so vital to living the Christian life and making decisions that are according to His will. The Psalmist wrote, “I delight to do Your will” (Psalm 40:8).
Knowing God’s will is the highest of all wisdom. If we’re ignorant of God’s Word, we’ll be ignorant of God’s will. The greatest barrier is that we want to run our own lives. This battle is going on in our hearts between our wills and God’s will.
Just as God gave the first man, Adam, freedom to choose, so He’s given all people this same freedom. We’re not mere puppets. God’s desire is that we will seek His wisdom and obey His instruction. In this way, we can live the abundant life that He promises.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)