If your view of God is that He is in absolute control,
then He becomes responsible for your choices.
While the ideolatry of man does not influence the character of God, there is an aspect of His character that doesn’t get much coverage.
It is His willingness to let us exercise our free-will to think, speak, go, do, believe, deny, agree, or disagree with the true realities of His universe. This expression of our God given free-will can bring us delight or cause us immeasurable pain, and the choice is ours. The manifestation of this free-will is first noted in Genesis when God allowed Adam and Eve to disobey His Word. (It was not a suggestion that they disobeyed, It was a direct command and we will explore this concept of God allowing things to take place in Chapter 9 of Ideolatry, God the Accomplice?).
Even before this situation with Adam and Eve, there must have been this same willingness on God’s part to permit free-will behavior. We witnessed it in the fall of Lucifer when he exerted his own free will against God as described in Isaiah 14:12-14.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
There were consequences in both examples, but the behavior was permitted. Free will dictates that we are permitted to pursue our own course. It also demands that we assume responsibility for those choices. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot expect to exercise free-will and blame God for the consequences.
If your view of God is that He is in absolute control of everything, then He is responsible for your choices, and you would not actually have a free will. Every move that you made and the totality of the outcome of your activities would be dictated by God. In that case, you would have no personal responsibility for your actions. You would simply be a puppet in His hands, and God would dole out punishment or blessing simply on a whim.
On the other hand, if your view of God is that He is loving, merciful, offering forgiveness and guidance to you to improve your life, then God is your helper, not your punisher.
Your view of God determines whether or not you will receive from Him or run from Him.
God makes some specific recommendations about this subject in 2 Timothy 2:15. He prompts you to educate yourself. The benefit of giving heed to this counsel is to gain a right and correct understanding that will keep you from embarrassing yourself with costly mistakes simply coming from ignorance.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Other aspects of God’s character are also found in the names by which He is identified in Table 2 (see p. 69 of Ideolatry). He is not only the Creator of the universe. He is our God and Maker. He is Present in our lives (not removed or hidden). He is the epitome of Righteousness because whatever He declares is right. He is the Healer to our spirits and our bodies and makes Provision for our physical needs. He is the Lord of our Peace, and He is the God of Hosts (all of the inhabitants of heaven and earth).
God is our Banner (like a place to gather in victory), and He is our Shepherd (one who cares for us like a flock and will reach out to find any who are lost). Through His Spirit, He actively works to influence our decisions, sanctify us and make us Holy. To sanctify us means to set us apart, as if in a special place. He is Sovereign, meaning He is supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, and boundless.
However, although God is unrestricted in what He can do, He has made it clear that He has chosen to limit Himself by His spoken and written Word that He will not go against.
I hope my blog posts help you grow in your faith and Biblical understanding. I would like to invite you on a journey of further spiritual growth by purchasing the Ideolatry Book and Study Guide. Together, these tools will give you a strong Biblical foundation when life is difficult to understand.
May the Lord bless you and keep you... Dr. Rich Masek
Do you want to learn more about this subject?
Read Chapter 8, What God Do You Know?
in Ideolatry - God Is Not Your Problem
You can read about more subjects from Ideolatry below.