Is Your Life Predestined or Do You Have Some Control? (2023)

When people say that they have a fate or destiny, they really mean that they have no control of their own lives and that they are resigned to a certain path that cannot be changed. The concept gives control over to God, or whatever supreme being the person worships. For instance, the Romans and Greeks believed that the Fates (three goddesses) weaved the destinies of all men. No one could change the design. Some Christians believe that God has predetermined our path and that we are just tokens in his plan. However, other Bible verses remind us that God may know the plans He has for us, but we do have some control over our own direction.

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (NLT)

Destiny vs. Free Will

While the Bible does talk of destiny, it is usually a destined outcome based upon our decisions. Think about Adam and Eve: Adam and Eve were not predestined to eat of the Tree but were designed by God to live in the Garden forever. They had the choice to remain in the Garden with God or not listen to His warnings, yet they chose the path of disobedience. We have those same choices that define our path.

There is a reason we have the Bible as a guide. It helps us make Godly decisions and keeps us on an obedient path that keeps us from unwanted consequences. God is clear that we have the choice to love Him and follow Him … or not. Sometimes people use God as a scapegoat for the bad things that happen to us, but really it is more often our own choices or the choices of those around us that lead to our situation. It sounds harsh, and sometimes it is, but what happens in our lives is part of our own free will.

James 4:2 - "You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God." (NIV)

So, Who's In Charge?

So, if we have free will, does that mean God's not in control? Here is where things can get sticky and confusing for people. God is still sovereign — He is still omnipotent and omnipresent. Even when we make bad choices, or when things fall into our laps, God is still in control. It's all still part of His plan.

Think of the control God has like a birthday party. You plan for the party, you invite the guests, buy the food, and get the supplies to decorate the room. You send a friend to pick up the cake, but he decides to make a pit stop and doesn't double check the cake, thus showing up late with the wrong cake and leaving you no time to go back to the bakery. This turn of eventscan either ruin the party or you can do something to make it work flawlessly. Luckily, you have some icing left over from that time you baked a cake for your mom. You take a few minutes to change the name, serve the cake, and no one knows any different. It's still the successful party you originally planned.

That's how God works. He has plans, and He'd love for us to follow His plan exactly, but sometimes we make the wrong choices. That's what consequences are for. They help bring us back to the path God wants us to be on — if we're receptive to it.

There is a reason so many preachers remind us to pray for God's will for our lives. It is why we turn to the Bible for answers to problems that we face. When we have a big decision to make, we should always look to God first. Look at David. He wanted desperately to remain in God's will, so he turned to God often for help. It was the one time that he didn't turn to God that he made the biggest, worst decision of his life. Still, God knows we're imperfect. It is why He so often offers us forgiveness and discipline. He will always be willing to get us back on the right path, to carry us through bad times, and be our biggest support.

Matthew 6:10 - Come and set up your kingdom, so that everyone on earth will obey you, as you are obeyed in heaven. (CEV)


Is everything in life predestined? ›

Our future is not set in stone, not everything is predestined. You can rewrite your script and work towards any desirable outcome, provided you understand that the goal you aim for may not be the outcome you actually seek at all. Or that the result you desire may not give you the fulfillment you anticipate.

Is life predestined or free will? ›

Some accept predestination, but most believe in free will. The whole idea of predestination is based on the belief that God is omnipotent and nothing can occur without His willing it. Some believe that God knows the future, but He does not predestine it.

Does fate control us or do we control it? ›

How much control we have over our fate is impossible to know, as there are many factors known and unknown that go into the calculation. But regardless of the reality of the situation, we need to act like we are in control. We need to feel like we have autonomy and are doing the things we want to do.

Do we have control over our future? ›

Yes, not every circumstance is beyond our control. While we can't change the past, we can influence what is to come. What we do and who we become impacts future circumstances in our lives. There are many circumstances we can control now by taking action.

Is your life planned out by God? ›

Our lives have already been planned and laid out, and we must just walk in it and rely on a God who has it in the bag. One thing about God, as the Bible tells us, is that he is an on-time God. Not your time, but His.

Is Our life already Destined? ›

We must just enjoy the whole process of life. It's already written in our fate that at this moment of our entire life, we're going to experience contentment, achievements, grief, anxiety, loss of someone and our death. Therefore, we must just stay stable.

Does God say we have free will? ›

In the Bible. The consensus of reputable scholars who focus on the study of free will in the ancient world are abundantly clear that it is not to be found in the bible.

What does it mean when life is predestined? ›

Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul. Explanations of predestination often seek to address the paradox of free will, whereby God's omniscience seems incompatible with human free will.

What is God's predestined will? ›

predestination, in Christianity, the doctrine that God has eternally chosen those whom he intends to save.

Can we control our life? ›

Most of us think that we are in control of our own lives, but that isn't the case. We can control most of our life decisions and our actions, but we can not control what happens around us.

Is life a choice or destiny? ›

Life is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. It is the effect of what we did in the past. Destiny maybe compared to the algebraic equation Y=CX. Destiny is not constant (C).

Are you in control of your own destiny? ›

You are in control of your own destiny. No one else, just you. You are in control of whether you succeed or accept defeat, get up or continue to lie down, live as a victim or as a champion. It is all 100% within your control.

Do we have control over our thoughts? ›

We are aware of a tiny fraction of the thinking that goes on in our minds, and we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts. The vast majority of our thinking efforts goes on subconsciously.

Do we have control over how we feel? ›

While we can't completely eliminate emotions – nor would we want to – we can manage our emotions in such a way that we stay in the driver's seat. This is known as emotional self-regulation. When you develop strong emotional regulation skills, your mental health can improve significantly.

Have more control over your life? ›

Take personal responsibility. Regaining control of your life means finding that balance between what you can and cannot control. It means understanding what you can control, and taking 100% responsibility for those things. You may need to take a hard look at your actions and make some changes going forward.

Can God change his plans for you? ›

So does God change His mind when we pray? No. God is unchangeable—He is immutable.

How do I know if I'm following God's will for my life? ›

A way to know that you are following God's plan for your life is by being in prayer. Take time each day to devote yourself to the Lord and the plans He has for your life. If you are giving each area of your life to God, then He will bless it and be able to work through it abundantly.

Is everything that happens in your life already written? ›

But your life is already written like a book.

That everything is just as it should be, even though it might not be as you would like it….. That every moment you're in the right place at the right time… Just imagine that the notion of NOT having control is the notion that will give you more peace of mind.

Is marriage predestined by God? ›

Yes indeed, according to scriptures, life partners are destined! And we thought I am the smart one to have picked such a good partner for myself ☺. It is our karmas that determine our destiny. If you have created best karma in relation to your life-partner, you are destined to have the best life-partner in the world!

Who believes that everything is destined? ›

Predeterminism is the philosophy that all events of history, past, present and future, have been already decided or are already known (by God, fate, or some other force), including human actions. Predeterminism is closely related to determinism.

Does God write our destiny? ›

God is someone unknown and controls our actions and decisions. He writes our destiny. He's not in a specific idol or form. God is an invisible power in the form of belief.

Why did God create us? ›

He created people out of love for the purpose of sharing love. People were created to love God and each other. Additionally, when God created people, he gave them good work to do so that they might experience God's goodness and reflect his image in the way they care for the world and for each other.

What does God say about control? ›

The Bible tells us that we can have self-control by trusting and depending on God (Proverbs 3:5-6), being led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), and walking in love (Galatians 5:13-14). When we practice self-control, we are living in obedience to God's Word.

What is the biblical argument against predestination? ›

If God predestined everything, then there is no use in praying for your friends or family. Basically, God has already predestined the events and no appealing to God will likely change his mind- it has already been predestined and cannot be changed.

Where in the Bible does it say our life is predestined by God? ›

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Ephesians 1:5 declares, “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” Throughout Christianity's history, the issue of predestination has ...

What does the Bible mean when it says we are predestined? ›

The word “predestined” has both a broad and narrow meaning. In the narrow sense it refers to the election of all who will be saved (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5, 11). In the broader sense predestine refers to all things, including God's plan (1 Corinthians 2:7) and the crucifixion of Christ (Acts 2:23; 4:28).

Who has predestined us? ›

Ephesians 1:4-6 New International Version (NIV)

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Why do we pray if everything is predestined? ›

Prayer is a means to bring to pass that which God has determined shall be.” When we pray, we are not hoping to alter God's eternal purposes; we are praying to obtain that outcome which God has ordained to be received by our prayers.

What is an example of predestined? ›

He felt he was predestined [=destined] to marry her when they first met. The course of her life seemed to be predestined.

Does predestination mean humans have no free will? ›

Al-Qadr is the Muslim belief that Allah has decided everything that will happen in the world and in people's lives, which is also called predestination. Most Muslims believe that humans cannot choose to do something if Allah has not already chosen that path for them.

What is the only thing you can control in life? ›

There's only one thing you can control in your life--your own effort. So if you want to give yourself and your company the best chance of success, work harder.

What can't you control in life? ›

You cannot control their actions, reactions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc. You are also not RESPONSIBLE for other people's actions, reactions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc (excluding your non-adult children). We don't usually try to control people on purpose.

Is life always a choice? ›

Life is nothing but a totality of conscious choices that you continuously make. Whether you want it or not, directly or indirectly, you are choosing everything. Someone else does not choose for you in your life.

Is life is a choice? ›

Somebody has rightly said, 'Life is all about the choices we make. ' The decisions we take every single day, whether small or big, impact our life in one way or another and determine how our coming years would unfold. It is simple— the better choices you make today, the better opportunity you have to lead a happy life.

Do you have choice in life? ›

There are very few things that we can control in life, but the few that we can—how we think, how we feel, and how we act—are enough to make the difference in any course we choose. Time is NOT on our side. It's your life, and it is up to you. You Always Have a Choice.

Where in the Bible does it say choose your destiny? ›

Proverbs 20:24

It is the Lord who directs your life, for each step you take is ordained by God to bring you closer to your destiny. So much of your life, then, remains a mystery!

Where in the Bible does it say knowing your destiny? ›

Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Who believes that everything is predestined? ›

Predestination asserts that a supremely powerful being has, in advance, fixed all events and outcomes in the universe; it is a famous doctrine of the Calvinists in Christian theology.

What does it mean when everything is predestined? ›

If you think everything happens for a reason and we have no control over our own futures, then you believe in predestination. In religious terms, predestination is the belief that everything that happens has already been determined by God — He's got a master plan, and there's no deviating from it.

Is all our actions and decisions are predetermined? ›

Determinism holds that all events, including human actions, are predetermined by prior causes and conditions. Advocates of determinism point to the scientific laws of cause and effect that govern the natural world, arguing that human behavior is no exception.

Where in the Bible does it say you have been predestined? ›

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Ephesians 1:5 declares, “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” Throughout Christianity's history, the issue of predestination has ...

What does it mean to be predestined by God? ›

predestination, in Christianity, the doctrine that God has eternally chosen those whom he intends to save.

What is it called when your life is predetermined? ›

Fatalism is the belief that events are predetermined by fate or destiny, and that humans cannot do anything to change them. 1. Fatalists believe that everything that happens has already been decided by some higher power, and there is nothing we can do to change it.

Do we have choice or is everything predetermined? ›

Not only are all predetermined choices determined by definition, all determined choices can be regarded as predetermined as well: they always result from dispositions or necessities that precede them. Therefore, what we are really asking is simply whether our choices are determined.

Do we truly have free will? ›

Neuroscientists identified a specific aspect of the notion of freedom (the conscious control of the start of the action) and researched it: the experimental results seemed to indicate that there is no such conscious control, hence the conclusion that free will does not exist.

Do humans have free will or is everything predetermined? ›

There is no easy answer to the question of whether we have free will or not. Philosophers and scientists have been debating this question for centuries, and there is still no consensus. Some people believe that everything is predetermined and that we have no control over our destiny.

Do Christians still believe in predestination? ›

There are many different religious groups that believe in predestination, but most of them are Christian. Some examples include Roman Catholicism, Arminianism, and Calvinism, although they all apply predestination in different ways.

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