Free will vs. predestination

For several hundred years, intelligent minds who know the Bible well have debated free will vs. predestination.

Predestination thinkers can believe God’s power is compromised if he allows genuine freewill in humans therefore he does not allow it. Free will thinkers believe God’s greatness is displayed much more brilliantly through individuals who have come to love him solely of their own free will, also showcasing his generosity. I personally believe that over emphasizing predestination over freewill waters down faith, hope, love and grace, because it makes it seem less genuine, but rather rigged or fixed as though God needs to cheat to get us to come to him. I personally am impressed with God’s concern throughout the Bible that no one should perish, imploring us all to choose wisely, generously giving us all the provision to do so (Ezekiel 18:32, 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 are a few of the many examples).

With horses, I believe free will represents the goal of guiding them without equipment. I believe predestination represents the equipment we use to insure control over our horses. In the real world we use them both, but we long for the day the horse will freely partner with us with no strings attached.

In fact, we greatly admire horsemen who we can plainly see partner with their horses with no equipment. We consider horse people much more skilled who develop horses that work hard with them and on their own at liberty possibly even substantial distances apart. Much like the story of Job in the Bible, the more the horse might be pressured to leave or forsake his master as adversity was added (yet does not), the more we would be impressed.

If in any way we felt it was rigged, staged or set up so that the horse really could not make the decision on his own, I suspect we would have a lower view of his master. Conversely, we would be greatly impressed if a horse that was not bred or developed in any way to work with that horse person responded with great liberty. This display of free will would not show a lack of power in the master but would instead multiply his glory greatly.

If I was that horse, and I was capable of clearly observing a real concern and sacrifice toward “all” from my master, it would inspire me to imitate my master all the more. The most incredible, praiseworthy thing my creator God could do is convince us creatures to actually love him as he generously allows us all genuine freewill.

Since faith is sure of what we hope for and certainty of what we do not see, I long to see this in heaven through God and all the creatures who genuinely love him this way. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and curse, and I call Heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life!”

Mike Daniels is a horsemanship trainer and barefoot trimming specialist from Raymondville. His columns are posted online at Email:

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