current thoughts on providence
by Andrea Elizabeth
It is an interesting question, how do free will and God’s providence and sovereignty co-exist?
My current thoughts are that God places highest priority on our free will. There are natural laws and other rewards that contribute to positive and negative reinforcement for the types of decisions we make and act upon. God’s number one will for all of us is that we will become one with him in theosis. Most people ambivalently want and don’t want this because there are hard steps to take to get to that blissful state. I am thinking that every step towards God that we agree to leads to a softer heart and often more difficult steps. Every step away, and indecision and procrastination are most often negative votes, contributes to a harder heart and often easier steps. Going down is easier than going up. One reason I admire athletes, is that they are not afraid of difficult, painful steps.
I guess I’ve already explained how God hardens people’s hearts, making them become vessels of wrath, which I believe are used to provide difficult steps for those seeking a tougher workout in order to have their hearts softened and thus conformed to God’s.
example: glutton, with either jealous malice or ignorance, offers (hopeful) ascetic rich food, who gets stronger by either saying no thank you, or more humble by either not wanting to rub it in the offerer’s face and eating a small amount with him, or yeilding to temptation and realizing his own weakness and dependence on God’s mercy, which will hopefully make him more resolved in the future when he realizes the emptiness of the temporary satisfaction. The glutton will become angry and resentful at the temporariness of the satisfaction and will escalate his efforts to maintain it by seeking more and more thrills in quantity and quality, which will make his heart harder and harder.