Psalm 18:25-26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.”
There is an eternal debate among theologians as to whether God’s sovereignty includes taking the ability of man to choose his/her destiny away from them. In other words, is it God who moves individuals to do what they do or do people make their own choice apart from God’s intervention?
It seems clear to me that the answer is “both”.
God decides to act on behalf of His great name at His own discretion and moves in the lives of individuals. However, He also acts in response to the actions of people. We can argue all day long as to whether or not God empowers people to make their decisions, but the truth is that the Bible says in Hebrews 3:14-15:
“For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’”
We live in the age of grace which is provided by Jesus Christ. This means that we are no longer under the curse of the law which must be continually appeased through continual sacrifice and atonement (of a temporary nature). Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins once and for all, the debt has been paid in full and we are able to live alongside Jesus as righteous sons and daughters if we respond to His revelation. If we accept the free gift of God, which is Jesus Christ, then we begin our journey with God as His tools for sharing that gift. We do not live the same as we used to, but we embrace the fruits of the Spirit and ignore the desires of our daily temporal anxieties. As we forget about our need to fit into this world and be consoled by the pleasures of it, we are to simultaneously embrace the eternal principles (Beatitudes–Matthew 5) that grant us a deep connection with our savior, Jesus!
As we respond to God by acting like God, He proves His character to us by showing just how wonderful it is to be like Him. He gives us peace and comfort as we act selflessly and without arrogance. When we replicate the character of God by submitting to something greater than ourselves, God’s Spirit is active and is known. Conversely, when we act selfishly, we know of God, but we fail to taste the goodness of the fruits of the Spirit which is a reward in and of itself. If we live selfishly we are not content, we are concerned with what we are to be getting. However, if we are walking by the Spirit, we are filled already because as Psalms 18:25-26 explains, God has shown Himself to us in that moment and we have need of nothing else.