The Open Future - Creators with God
People talk about God having a plan for your life. I think differently. If God planned everyone’s life in advance, why should we bother to live it? Even more, if God planned everyone’s life in advance, how could we possibly change it? But we’re told to seek God’s plan for our lives, as if we could mess it up if we’re not careful.
I want to present a different idea. In the Jewish bible, God acts as if the future is open, only loosely planned. He changes his mind. He feels sorry for things that have occurred. He lets people influence his decisions.
Maybe that is telling us something about the way God wants things to be.
In the beginning, God created humanity “in his image”. Jesus came to restore the image of God to humanity. And the result was, as Paul said, that we are no longer servants, no longer little children, but SONS, full-fledged heirs of God. Co-heirs with Jesus, as Paul said.
This situation is described as having the Spirit of God living in us, having Jesus live with us, having full access to God, etc, etc.
Maybe, just maybe, that was the point of biblical history. Yes, God had a plan. Yes, he brought it to completion in Jesus. And as the result of that plan, God’s presence has now been restored to humanity. Humanity has been united with God. And in that condition, humanity is no longer just little children, but has actually grown up, inheriting God’s full rewards.
Part of those rewards (among, “ruling on the earth”, “judging the angels”, and “owning all things”) is the future. God has given us the future. Rather than God planning out the future for us, rather than God abandoning us to the future, God has joined with us so that we can be co-creators of the future with him.
I propose that instead of seeing the future narrow into a thin line consisting of “God’s true plan”, we see that by uniting with God, the future expands infinitely. God’s power infuses every situation in our lives with POSSIBILITY, possibility to make something much better, possibility to create a greater alternative than those previously considered.
Isn’t that a prominent message in the bible? Throughout the bible, people are confronted with difficult choices to make, situations that look impossible. But God steps in and changes the whole landscape of choices available. Moses was trapped between the Egyptians and the Red Sea. Joshua faced an impenetrable wall, and a land full of giants. The 1st-century Jews were looking for a way to be free of the Romans. In each situation, God stepped in and showed them choices that they never would have considered, choices that would have evaded their limited, normal thinking.
The future is open, the future is ours to create. Draw deeply on God and create the unbelievable.