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Does God have an individual plan for everyone?

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  • Does God have an individual plan for everyone?

    I’m planning on teaching our Adult Sunday School for the month of July, so 4 - 6 weeks total. Iam contemplating basing it on the book I just finished “Decision Making And The Will Of God” by Garry Friesen.Dr. Friesen makes a compelling argument against the traditionally held view that God has an Individual, Personal Plan for each believers life. His view is that God’s sovereign will and God’s moral will are plainly spelled out in Scripture, but that an individual specific will for your life from God isn’t. Dr. Friesen believes that God does not (as a general rule) have a specific personal will/plan for individuals…at least for most of us. Rather he believes that Christian have the Bible, God’s word…and that it’s sufficient to ascertain God’s will for our life. God's Moral will is what we should use to make decisions since God’s Sovereign will cannot be known ahead of time, and therefore it is useless to worry about. That God will bring about what he will. I actually believe he is on the right path here. However, I think at times God does give us specific direction, but that is the exception rather than the rule. He spends a bit of time countering many “proof texts” that people use for the concept. So, I guess I would like to know what you think? Do you think God has a specific individual plan for your (and everyone else’s) life? If so, what scripture(s) do you think show this to be true?

    If you want to read more about Friesen's view, you can read this article here:

    http://www.gfriesen.net/sections/wil...principles.php


    Last edited by Littlejoe; 06-12-2015, 06:44 PM.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  • #2
    I love this kind of thing, LJ, and before I forget, let me throw one of my goofy analogies out there. It's kind of dated, because most young people never drove a car without power steering, but you can clue them in.

    When you ask God to show you His will for your life, it really helps if you're not "sitting still", but are at least moving in a direction. It's really hard to turn the steering wheel of a car that is not moving - or even if it has power steering, if the engine is off. Get that car moving, however, and it's much easier to steer it.

    I believe God "steers" us as we begin to obey Him. The more we are "in tune" with Him, the easier it is for Him to steer us.

    And I also like to point out that there are three things (in my opinion) that you really don't need to pray about, regarding the Will of God.

    A) Things God has specifically said do NOT do - no need to ask Him if you can
    2) Things God has specifically told us TO do - no need to ask "God, should I love my brothers?"
    III) Things that really don't matter - like what color shirt I should wear or whether I should have my eggs over medium or scrambled.

    That's just some real quick thoughts off the top of my big empty head.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
      I’m planning on teaching our Adult Sunday School for the month of July, so 4 - 6 weeks total. Iam contemplating basing it on the book I just finished “Decision Making And The Will Of God” by Garry Friesen.Dr. Friesen makes a compelling argument against the traditionally held view that God has an Individual, Personal Plan for each believers life. His view is that God’s sovereign will and God’s moral will are plainly spelled out in Scripture, but that an individual specific will for your life from God isn’t. Dr. Friesen believes that God does not (as a general rule) have a specific personal will/plan for individuals…at least for most of us. Rather he believes that Christian have the Bible, God’s word…and that it’s sufficient to ascertain God’s will for our life. God's Moral will is what we should use to make decisions since God’s Sovereign will cannot be known ahead of time, and therefore it is useless to worry about. That God will bring about what he will. I actually believe he is on the right path here. However, I think at times God does give us specific direction, but that is the exception rather than the rule. He spends a bit of time countering many “proof texts” that people use for the concept. So, I guess I would like to know what you think? Do you think God has a specific individual plan for your (and everyone else’s) life? If so, what scripture(s) do you think show this to be true?

      If you want to read more about Friesen's view, you can read this article here:

      http://www.gfriesen.net/sections/wil...principles.php


      I always wondered what people who espouse the traditional view believe God's plan was for infants who died at birth or were aborted.
      Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

      I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

      Comment


      • #4
        I think God has a plan for everyone. But are we listening? Are we following? And I do think that there are a lot of possibilities for different circumstances. If we make a poor choice, then we can get ourselves back on our walk with God and he can continue to help us hammer out the circumstances for us.
        A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
        George Bernard Shaw

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          I love this kind of thing, LJ, and before I forget, let me throw one of my goofy analogies out there. It's kind of dated, because most young people never drove a car without power steering, but you can clue them in.

          When you ask God to show you His will for your life, it really helps if you're not "sitting still", but are at least moving in a direction. It's really hard to turn the steering wheel of a car that is not moving - or even if it has power steering, if the engine is off. Get that car moving, however, and it's much easier to steer it.

          I believe God "steers" us as we begin to obey Him. The more we are "in tune" with Him, the easier it is for Him to steer us.

          And I also like to point out that there are three things (in my opinion) that you really don't need to pray about, regarding the Will of God.

          A) Things God has specifically said do NOT do - no need to ask Him if you can
          2) Things God has specifically told us TO do - no need to ask "God, should I love my brothers?"
          III) Things that really don't matter - like what color shirt I should wear or whether I should have my eggs over medium or scrambled.

          That's just some real quick thoughts off the top of my big empty head.
          You know, its really sad that I can think of some experiences where I was taught that I had to even pray about what to eat or where. Maybe it sounds like I have a chip on my shoulder but growing up with the don't think just believe has often left me really confused on some subjects. Including aspects of God's plan for life
          A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
          George Bernard Shaw

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
            You know, its really sad that I can think of some experiences where I was taught that I had to even pray about what to eat or where. Maybe it sounds like I have a chip on my shoulder but growing up with the don't think just believe has often left me really confused on some subjects. Including aspects of God's plan for life
            You were taught that God micromanaged your life? One would not want a micromanaging Elohim(God) to exist. Or even just an elohim(powerful entity). That would be terrifying.
            If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
              You were taught that God micromanaged your life?
              I was taught it, but not by scripture..

              One would not want a micromanaging Elohim(God) to exist.
              Soooo glad that God's existence does not depend on what we want or do not want...

              Or even just an elohim(powerful entity). That would be terrifying.
              Only if we are disobedient and disrespectful to him...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                I was taught it, but not by scripture..



                Soooo glad that God's existence does not depend on what we want or do not want...



                Only if we are disobedient and disrespectful to him...
                Really? Here's my exchange with JPH where we discussed the cons of a micromanaging elohim.
                me: Would a hypothetical micromanaging elohim be annoying? Is it okay that I think such a being would be annoying? Why would anyone want a micromanaging elohim? They wouldn't let you do anything for yourself.
                jph:
                Not just annoying, I'd say downright threatening. I think the crybabies don't really want that, they're just making excuses.
                me: Why downright threatening? I'm not talking God powerful. Just angel or superman level power. Though even that could be dangerous. I would think a benevolent elohim would know to not micromanage us and know doing that would cause harm. .Huh, the things one can learn from fiction! I guess the crybabies didn't think about the implications.
                jph: Maybe you've heard the saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely? A micromanaging God could only be one who didn't make a good universe to run on its own. That would be a God who could be corrupted. You got it precisely right when saying a benevolent elohim would know better.

                Why do you believe God is a micromanager? What do you think a micromanager is?

                You do realize I am a Christian, correct? If God really was a micromanaging idiot like you think, I wouldn't have been able to type this. Only a foolish elohim would micromanage humans. God is not foolish.
                Last edited by Christianbookworm; 06-13-2015, 03:27 PM.
                If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                Comment


                • #9
                  CBW, he's not arguing with you. He's stating what he was taught at one point.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                    CBW, he's not arguing with you. He's stating what he was taught at one point.
                    The next two comments implied that he agreed. I don't know if he was referring to God, or a micromanaging elohim.
                    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                      Really? Here's my exchange with JPH where we discussed the cons of a micromanaging elohim.
                      me: Would a hypothetical micromanaging elohim be annoying? Is it okay that I think such a being would be annoying? Why would anyone want a micromanaging elohim? They wouldn't let you do anything for yourself.
                      jph:
                      Not just annoying, I'd say downright threatening. I think the crybabies don't really want that, they're just making excuses.
                      me: Why downright threatening? I'm not talking God powerful. Just angel or superman level power. Though even that could be dangerous. I would think a benevolent elohim would know to not micromanage us and know doing that would cause harm. .Huh, the things one can learn from fiction! I guess the crybabies didn't think about the implications.
                      jph: Maybe you've heard the saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely? A micromanaging God could only be one who didn't make a good universe to run on its own. That would be a God who could be corrupted. You got it precisely right when saying a benevolent elohim would know better.

                      Why do you believe God is a micromanager? What do you think a micromanager is?

                      You do realize I am a Christian, correct? If God really was a micromanaging idiot like you think, I wouldn't have been able to type this. Only a foolish elohim would micromanage humans. God is not foolish.
                      What do you think human history would be like if a God of love, grace and mercy was in the business of micromanaging.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        I love this kind of thing, LJ, and before I forget, let me throw one of my goofy analogies out there. It's kind of dated, because most young people never drove a car without power steering, but you can clue them in.

                        When you ask God to show you His will for your life, it really helps if you're not "sitting still", but are at least moving in a direction. It's really hard to turn the steering wheel of a car that is not moving - or even if it has power steering, if the engine is off. Get that car moving, however, and it's much easier to steer it.

                        I believe God "steers" us as we begin to obey Him. The more we are "in tune" with Him, the easier it is for Him to steer us.
                        Ok, but do you think that God has a "perfect plan" for us that we need to be trying to figure out? Or is it a "general" guidance kind of thing?

                        And I also like to point out that there are three things (in my opinion) that you really don't need to pray about, regarding the Will of God.

                        A) Things God has specifically said do NOT do - no need to ask Him if you can
                        2) Things God has specifically told us TO do - no need to ask "God, should I love my brothers?"
                        Agreed! These would fall under God's Moral Will that's already documented in Scripture.
                        III) Things that really don't matter - like what color shirt I should wear or whether I should have my eggs over medium or scrambled.

                        That's just some real quick thoughts off the top of my big empty head.
                        And how do you know if it's something that doesn't matter? Where is that line...you see, it might matter what shirt you wear. What if God has already told someone to seek out the guy in the yellow button down shirt...
                        "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                        "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                          What do you think human history would be like if a God of love, grace and mercy was in the business of micromanaging.
                          Let's make it simpler. A good boss would know better than micromanage his employees. A good parent would not micromanage every detail in their children's lives but give them choices. Are you aware that micromanaging is not a good thing? What is your definition of micromanaging? Why should God have to tell you EXACTLY what to have for breakfast? Or tell you to wear the black socks and not the white socks. My 2 year old niece has more choice than that. Are you saying that God should treat us like helpless newborns that can't do anything? Yes, God is sovereign, but said sovereignty does not mean He directly causes every little thing(including sin???) to happen(it would just be a video game he programmed and played then).
                          If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                            I think God has a plan for everyone.
                            So you believe in an individual "perfect" will for everyone, correct? What scripture do you base that on?
                            But are we listening? Are we following? And I do think that there are a lot of possibilities for different circumstances. If we make a poor choice, then we can get ourselves back on our walk with God and he can continue to help us hammer out the circumstances for us.
                            What if we are listening intently, praying earnestly, maybe even fasting, even laying out a "fleece" a la Gideon, yet we still do NOT know which way to go or what to decide on? That's the premise in the book that the author attempts to address. I'm trying to gauge others reactions to how they feel about that. Dr. Friesen's conclusion is our understanding of God's personal, individual will may be faulty..
                            "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                            "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Considering the people in the Bible that God did have an explicit plan for, I'm happy to be an innocent bystander. Being the chosen one can stink/be hard work/ high responsibility.

                              If I make a thread about micromanaging elohim(lowercase or uppercase E), where should I put it? Tektonics? Poop deck? And here's the tektontv vid on elohim if anyone is interested. Because I'm not using God for a hypothetical micromanaging elohim. I'd use one from fiction. One with several stories of what happens when he goes over the deep end and wants to control(try to that is, he's definitely not omnipotent) everything to keep anyone else from dying.
                              If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                              Comment

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