The Heavens Declare His Handiwork

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Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

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Portland, Oregon

The particulate processes that constitute the physical universe proceed in a mechanical and lawful manner, but the interaction processes are so fundamentally complex as to be unpredictable from the perspective of humans.  It may be true the our trajectory and interactions are predictable by God, but even so, we have no indication as to how we should or will believe and act in the future.  Thus, for all practical purposes, we are totally free to choose the high or low road at any time.  

If God can in fact discern the trajectory of life, He can intervene to miraculously and invisibly change the momentum of the physical universe to produce an altered outcome.  Such intervention is typically seen as a miracle, or answered prayer.

  1. The universe is so complex that from the human perspective that it is impossible for man to know all the forces involved in our lives at any moment.  Thus, any decision we might make will naturally be the result of a combination of factors and forces (seen and unseen).  We can have a conscious intention for action, but also acting are subconscious habits, divine plans, and the natural sequences of a mechanically causal universe.  From our limited human perspective we cannot parse or perceive all the causal factors creating any given circumstance.  In effect, the veil of causality is drawn because of the limitation of the human mind to detect all the forces operating at any moment.  The forces range over many orders of magnitude of intensity and interact with unfathomable complexity on every level of spirit, soul, and body.
  2. There are forces which are too strong for us to oppose such as tsunamis, nuclear blasts, and tornadoes.  Such strong forces physical forces override our ability to manifest our will.  But, physical forces and circumstances need not alter our will.  There are spirit forces which press on the soul and confuse or tempt us, but there is no phyiscal force or tempation which requires us to willfully act in opposition to our governing principles.  Overwhelming force will move us, but our choice need not be enrolled by physical force or temptation.  We are always free to choose, evaluate, and pursue action.  We will choose best when our spirit is clear to perceive God’s will.  If the spirit can perceive, judge, and then intervene in the sequence of mechanical causality by force, we truly do have free will.  As humans we have this power.  The mind is the screen through which the spirit can view life, create visions of future realities, and make plans for action.  The human spirit was created in the image of God, and we therefore have similar creative and control powers.  Our limitation is perception and knowledge, which is why we are dependent upon our relationship with Him.  It is through our submission to the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit that we are able to rightly discern and choose to act properly in God’s world.
  3. The cause and effect nature of the universe is the stage upon which we play out the drama of our struggle to properly use the freedom available to us.  We face the dilemma of obedience to, or rebellion against, God.  If we choose limit our satisfaction of the flesh in deference to his Way, we will be rewarded with the intimate fellowship with His nature, we will reap the rewards associated with being family.  If we choose rebellion against Him, following instead the satisfaction of the ways of the flesh, we will experience the thrill of the satanic rush, but the cost will be slavery to the natural tendencies of our humanity.  In following the flesh, we are tempted by the promise of satisfaction, but we reap emptiness.
  4. Choosing Godly actions often requires great effort and sacrifice in the short term, but in the long term they produce good fruit.  We are easily seduced by our human nature because following the passions of the flesh produce immediate pleasures which blind us to the long term pain.  Thus, the difficulty in choosing Godliness comes because of the delay in behavioral cause and manifestation of the enforcement effect.  Again, by knowledge of God’s Way, through studying His Word, and by nurturing a relationship with the Lord, we will be sensitive to His leading.
  5. The spirit can choose rebellion or submission.  We can choose and use our free will to follow or flee God’s way.  Force can be applied to interrupt, accentuate, or divert the momentum of life and thereby alter the mechanical sequence of events.  But free will actually resides in our spirit’s ability to make choices as to how we will intervene in the causal chain of life and change the sequence of the human experience.  The existence of free will is a fact, but the real significance of that freedom is the fact that we have before us the temptations of the flesh and spirit.  We truly can choose one of these two roads.