Reminders: Making God Laugh
by Ardith Hoff
We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “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.”
Does that mean that we don’t really have a choice––that God has already decided how we are to conduct our lives? Not at all! It means that God has plans for us, but that he has also given us free will to carry out those plans. We can make our own decisions, but He expects us to behave responsibly. Galatians 6:7 tells us: “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”. In other words, we are free to make good or bad decisions, but we must also be ready to accept the consequences if we make bad decisions.
Freedom always comes with responsibility. It seems contradictory that we are free to decide yet it has to be according to God’s will. Think of this way. We are free to run a red light if we choose to, but we know that we might get into an accident or get a ticket if we do. Traffic laws are there for a reason. God’s laws are also there for a reason. If we want the benefits of God’s love and promises, we have to obey His commands and consider His will in our decisions.
Any parent knows that we want our children to become independent adults at some point. We try to teach them to make their own decisions, but we also try to guide them to make responsible ones. To do that, we sometimes have to let them learn by falling off the rocks we told them not to climb on. If we think of God as our Father, we begin to understand that sometimes He is going to let us fall in order to learn. It appears that if we use the free will God gave us responsibly, we will accomplish His purposes for us. When we pray, “Thy will be done.” We are telling God that we want to follow His guidance, that we trust that His plans are right for us.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 5:1