Are our lives already mapped out, or do we have a choice?
Have you ever wondered why certain things happen? There are many common sayings such as “It was His time to die”, and “Fate dealt me a poor hand”, or even “It was meant to be.”
Should we believe such claims? Have our lives already been planned out, pre-destined, and, if so, what does that tell us about good and evil? And what about God, does He use fate to control all things?
There are answers to these questions. They can be found in the Holy Scriptures, also known by Muslims as “Tevrat”, “Zebur”, and “Incil.” The “Qu'ran” (Koran) endorses these writings when it says “After those prophets We sent forth Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the Torah already revealed, and gave him the Gospel, in which there is guidance and light, corroborating that which was revealed before it in the Torah, a guide and an admonition to the righteous.” (Fifth sura], verses 46 and 47). So, we can trust what the scriptures tell us about God and fate.
Let us compare what many people believe with what the scriptures actually say.
It is often said that our lives have already been planned and that we cannot change them. But this contradicts what the scriptures actually say. God's word urges people to “Be wise” and to “Repent.” God speaks directly to us, offering choices and consequences for our actions. For example, the scriptures tell us “Now as regards someone wicked, in case he should turn back from all his sins that he has committed and he should actually keep all my statutes and execute justice and righteousness, he will positively keep living. He will not die. Do I take any delight at all in the death of someone wicked, .. and not in that he should turn back from his ways and actually keep living?” (Ezekiel 18:21,23). Elsewhere in God's word we are told “I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the malediction; and you must choose life in order that you may keep alive, you and your offspring.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
God pleads with us to listen to Him, when He says “If only you would pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
Now, if God had already mapped out our lives, why would He ask us to follow His commandments and do good? We would have no choice. In fact, to suggest that we have no control over our lives and our future, portrays us as mindless robots. But the scriptures tell us that we are made in God's image, that we are His children. Would you love your children as much if they obeyed you mindlessly and could never choose to do so?
There is a scripture which reveals something amazing about God and His relationship with his people. When Abraham prepares to offer His only son to God, He is stopped before He can go through with the sacrifice. God then says to Abraham, “Now I do know that you are God-fearing because you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me” (Genesis 22.10). Notice that God says “NOW,” In other words, God did not choose to know what Abraham's decision would be before He decided.
If, as some claim, Fate has already decreed everything that happens in our lives, then God's commandments would be useless and meaningless. Worse, it would mean that God is toying with us, asking us to do that which we are unable to do. But the scriptures tell us that “God does not try anyone” and that “God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can endure” (James 1.13, 1 Corinthians 10.14).
The scriptures plainly, and realistically tell us that “Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all.” (Eclleastes 9:11). In other words, accidents happen. Such things are not planned or sent by God.
Some people point to the scripture which says “For everything there is an appointed time, a time to live and a time to die.” They claim that this proves that God sets specific limits for people. But this scripture does not mean that. It goes on to say that there is “A time to laugh and skip about, a time to gather.” The point of these words is to show that all these things will happen to us, at one time or another. God does not plan every bit of laughter or every tear we weep, any more than He plans our deaths or illnesses. Death was a consequence of disobedience and sin, not a forgone conclusion. Adam need not have died if He had obeyed God. In fact, one of the reasons why Jesus came to earth as God's messenger was to tell people the good news about God's Kingdom. Notice what Jesus said about it. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” What is God's will for our earth and everybody on it? Let the Holy scriptures answer in God's own words;
“The meek ones themselves will inherit the earth and they will dwell forever upon it. They will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37.11)
“The wicked will be no more, they will be torn away from the earth.” (Proverbs 2.22)
“No resident will say “I am sick.” (Isaiah 33.24)
“They will learn war no more.” (Isaiah 2.4)
“God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more.” (Revelation 21.3,4).
Fate does not control our lives. We have free will and we can choose to obey God. If we do, then He will reward us with life everlasting. So take God's advice from His Holy word, and “Choose life and live.”