This question has been asked to me numerous times and I’m sure many others as well. So, how can God give free will to us and still know every outcome in our lives and be “All knowing”. The answer I believe lies in a simple analogy we can all relate to. Nearly all people have taken some form of a multiple choice test in their life. Whether it was in school for educational testing or a personality quiz for fun, we’ve all taken one.
But imagine your life as that multiple choice test with God as the “test-maker”. God, the test-maker, knows all of the possible answers and outcomes to the test. Each test is unique to each of us given all the nearly endless “variables” (where you’re born, parents, influences etc.). Our tests are not always entirely different either however. We may at some point in our tests have arrive at the same questions but we will not always choose the same answers. Even more so, the test questions are influenced in of each other. Choose answer C for question 200 in your life? Skip 201 through 205 and proceed to answer question 206. Yet at the same question, I choose answer B. From there, I’m instructed to go right to the next question. One could view it being like that in all of our lives with every choice we make. I believe that every choice a person makes is interconnected with each other. From the smallest choice you make in picking what shoes to wear to deciding what job offer you are going to take, all of these choices have an impact on what direction your life will take.
Let’s take the common example of a person avoiding a car accident. Yet, if we examine what that person did that morning, we may find some things that they chose that influenced that path. Instead of waking up at their normal time, the person snoozes a bit and gets up a few minutes later than usual. Then, the person spills coffee on their pants at the table during breakfast. Sounds like a good morning so far right? Today however, the person decides to take a quicker route to work as they’re now running late. At an intersection, the person passes through but narrowly misses being struck by someone who has ran a red light. What if the person had decided to not snooze? What if the person had decided to take another route to work instead? What I’m getting at here is that some of our smallest, often overlooked daily choices can have the biggest influences on our lives.
For some, this idea is unfathomable. The questions are virtually endless, with enough variables and instructions to make a Harvard professor blow a gasket. But with God, all of this is possible. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” God knows every question we arrive at in our lives and He knows every possible answer we have at our disposal. He also understands the relationships that each question has with each other and how the choices made in those questions inevitably influence others. Yet, we still have the power to make these choices. And in doing so, we shape what our lives will be like with God still being all knowing.