Who is in control of your mind? Who is in control of your thoughts and of your life? It's an old question, and people all over the world ask it, but it is especially important for Christians.
As Christians we ask “if God is the ultimate Ruler who is in charge of everything, does that mean we just go with the flow, put our lives on auto-pilot and only do what God tells us to do?” You might think this is true, but it is not that simple.
We remember the passage that says “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23, KJV), and we think this is about God telling us what to do, but that is not what it means. The NIV makes it easier for us in the 21st century to understand: “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.”
Proverbs 16:9 is similar, “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” And again, the NIV is clearer: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes [makes firm] their steps.” God gives us the strength, but we are the ones who must decide what we will do.
According to Job (14:5, 16) our days are numbered and determined by God. But God's foreknowledge and predestination for us is not so much about what we are to do as who he has called us to be.
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”
(Romans 8:29-30 NIV).
Similarly in I Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 1:5 and 2 Timothy 1:9 what is predestined for us as believers is not what we will do, but who we are to be, which is sons of God, made in the image of the Son of God.