This is a question that can confuse and frustrate both God-followers and those open to more of a relationship with God. It is often assumed an all-powerful God can know the future. If God knows the future a loving God would surely guide us to avoid decisions that can lead to heartaches. The future is not some divine plan where God is controlling all the suffering in the world. God created us with freedom where we are truly free to make different decisions. God can’t know an open, unknowable future.
The fact that even an all-powerful God can’t know an undetermined future actually can be reassuring.
Those who believe God has a specific, future plan for their lives naturally ask God whether to marry a certain person or take a particular job. If our marriage ends up in divorce or our job is phased out, we may feel betrayed by God. Or, since God didn’t direct us otherwise we go searching for the lesson that God is supposedly trying to teach us. But, since God doesn’t communicate directly we are clueless what the lesson is. Does that sound like a loving God?
How does God guide us since the future is open and we are free to make our own decisions?
God gives us all a sense of what is moral or immoral, wise or unwise in our decisions. If we marry someone who is a poor communicator, we should not be surprised if that pattern continues in marriage. Regardless, God cannot guarantee outcomes such as a happy marriage. If God could guarantee outcomes there would be no freedom to choose otherwise.
God wants us to feel free to follow our heart and desires.
Some parents, unlike God, selfishly push their children toward partners and jobs that “they” want for their child. There is no need to ask God what decision to make as if there is only one right decision and God can guarantee outcomes. Confidence and a sense of security flows from close human or divine relationships. God gives us a sense about moral issues involved but then loves and supports our decisions that we think are wisest.
God’s plan is not a detailed blueprint but a general one to set us free to love.
I don’t love my children less because I don’t have specific decisions in mind for them. It is actually more loving to be less controlling. What is the wisest path to choose at this time in life based on past experiences, current circumstances, and future aspirations? Let’s do all the good we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. Such a plan leads to true happiness in the long-run for a better world.