A Discussion about God’s Foreknowledge
By David Camps
This article about God’s foreknowledge consists of three essays written at different moments, so I incorporated them here in three parts. The first part clarifies the wrong interpretation about God’s foreknowledge. God can predetermine events, but it does not necessarily mean He knows with accurate precision what decisions we are going to make. In the second part, I elaborate more on the topic by analyzing one passage from Jeremiah and another from Revelation. The third discusses the consequences derived from the adoption of the doctrine of the eternal present in relation to God’s sovereignty or control over everything.
Traditionally, God’s foreknowledge can be defined as absolute and unchangeable knowledge about future events, including events from our free will. God is seen as transcending time or timeless, looking at all human activity in an eternal present without any indication of change because of his omniscient and eternal nature; therefore, absolutely everything is foreknown or predetermined. This view has been a subject of debate throughout the history of the Christian church and has been influenced by secular philosophy causing great confusion and damage to the believers. In addition, the scriptures that refer to it have most of the time been misinterpreted.
It is a fact that God knows everything that exists (Psalms 139:1-3; Romans 11:33-36). He exactly knows how many grains of sand are on any beach. He can predict everything that is caused by physical laws, such as earthquakes, the direction and speed of the waves of the oceans, or by laws of instinct, such as the reaction of animal species when in danger, and so on. However, the situation is different when free will is involved (Jeremiah 19:5).
Many passages from the scripture describe the Lord changing his mind based on men’s choices, which make us question the doctrine of absolute foreknowledge and conclude that it needs serious revision. For example:
We see him planning to destroy Nineveh because of the great wickedness of its inhabitants. As soon as they repented, the Lord did not do what He had planned (Jonah 3:10). We also see him promising his people that He would destroy their enemies completely when they entered the promised land (Exodus 33:2 and 34:24). Nevertheless, He did not keep his promise because they did not follow his commands, so He decided to leave some of these pagan nations to test them (Judges 2:20-23).
In Numbers 27:1-11, the daughters of Zelophehad have a dispute over their inheritance since the law about possession of land prescribed that women did not inherit any property, but God established in Numbers 36:6-8 that every daughter possessing an inheritance from any tribe would be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father. In this way, the inheritance was to remain in the family.
Lastly, in Mathew 16: 27-28, the Lord Jesus assured his disciples that they would not experience death until they saw him coming for the second time. That is why they strongly believed that the second coming of our Lord would take place during their lifetime (Mathew 24:34). However, after 2,000 years the Church is still waiting for him to come.
Not only do we see our Lord changing his mind and making new decisions for the highest good, but also we see that some of his plans are not necessarily predetermined or foreseen at some point in eternity, as if He was in another sort of time line. On the contrary, based on these examples, we see the almighty who inhabits eternity, living and experiencing an endless succession of time.
The view of God as being fixed without any possibility of change has its origins in the works of Greek philosophers, such as Plato, which Augustine, and later Calvin, adopted it and developed it further. Basically, both proclaimed that God lived in an eternal present without any possibility of change whether there are contingent events or not. With this view in mind, we have to conclude that praying and interceding, doing our duty for the great commission, and living a righteous life have been foreknown at some point in eternity, and we cannot do anything in our power to change them.
The confusion about God’s foreknowledge lies in that there are events that our Lord has foreknown, because he has planned for them to take place through His omnipotence, such as the deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41), and the coming of our Savior to the world (1 Peter 1:18-20). In the first example, God wanted to demonstrate to the world of that time through his providential government that there is no one like him and He would keep his promise to Abraham’s descendants (Exodus 12:2 and Genesis 46:3). As a result, his people were delivered from Egypt (Exodus 13:3). The second example is that God planned the coming of our Lord beforehand to save the world in case we sinned, because he did not want us to suffer eternal death, even though we deserve it (Ezekiel 33:11).
There are other examples of God’s foreknowledge based on his observations of the human behavior. He can anticipate, as it were, what the majority of people are going to do, such as Israel’s rebellion at the moment of taking possession of the promised land (Deuteronomy 31:16-21), and the people’s rejection or unbelief in Christ (Mark 8:31 and John 1:11). In the first example, God anticipated the behavior of the people of Israel through his observations during their 40 years of wandering in the desert (Deuteronomy 8:2), yet we also see that there were some who actually followed his precepts (Joshua 14:6-9). Similarly, we could say that God anticipated that our Savior was going to be rejected and killed by his own people, yet there were some who believed in him, although the number of believers was relatively small compared to those who did not choose to believe (Acts 1: 12-14). Despite the fact that most of us may choose selfishly, there may be very few who may choose righteously. Whether few or many, the Lord Jesus came to this earth to save them (Luke 15:1-7). His sacrifice would have been meaningless if he had foreknown who would choose to reject him. As we can see, he can anticipate how a great number of people may behave, but not how everybody will exactly behave (1 Samuel 2:3; Jeremiah 32:35). Of course, He expects that everybody may be saved (John 3:16), although sadly this may not happen.
These examples could support the view of God’s absolute foreknowledge, but if they are analyzed carefully in its proper context, we will see that despite the wicked human behavior of most of human race, there may always be an exception, that is, someone deciding to be righteous (Compare Genesis 6:5 with Genesis 6:8 or Psalms 14:3 with Psalms 15:1-5 y 16:3). For this plain reason, among others, we cannot claim that God foreknows absolutely everything when free will is involved without any possibility of change as a result of his omniscient and eternal nature.
God has endowed us with free will. This means that we have two principal options: We either love God and follow his moral law or we love ourselves and follow our own desires. It is impossible for God to foreknow which option we will choose, although He wants us to choose right (Deuteronomy 30:19). Neither did God foreknow our first fathers were going to sin. He knew the possibilities, and, of course, he wanted that they would choose to love him above their own desires. If this is not true, how do we then read Genesis 6:5-7; 18:20-21 or Jeremiah 18:8-10?
This same line of reasoning is applicable when we are asked to do our duty. It makes no sense to go to all the corners of the world to preach the good news if God knows beforehand who will be saved and who will not. Thankfully, we have the faculty to choose, and he expects us we make the right choice. When we choose to disobey him, there are consequences of our selfish choices that may endanger the balance of the universe, so God must intervene providentially.
However, this does not mean that our choices are predetermined because God foreknows everything. As we have seen, it is not the case. On the contrary, God experiences new opportunities, makes new plans, and decisions and changes his mind based on the highest good as he walks in an endless timeline (Isaiah 57:15; Revelations 21:5).
In part 1, based on some passages from the Scripture, I wrote that God could foresee events he would cause to take place, such as the liberation of the people of Israel from Pharaoh, and the advent of the Savior to this world, but it did not mean He could foreknow inevitably what decisions moral agents like us were going to make. The reason for this is that we are endowed with the faculty to choose freely. The Lord may know the possibilities of the decisions we are about to make in the future, but he may not know which we will exactly choose. This can only be truth if we assume that God is not transcending time. In other words, if we think of God being outside time, as Augustine proposed in his Confessions (see Book XI), because He knows our past, present and future, which are the same to him, then we will have a fixed God without any possibility of changing anything. This view has its background in the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, among other Western philosophers, which influenced the perception of most of apologists and the first fathers of the Roman Catholic Church about the eternal and omniscient nature of God (Sanders, 1994). Then, Augustine, Medieval scholars and the Reformers of the sixteenth century adopted and incorporated it into their theology, and it has been shared and taught in the Evangelical Church until today as the main accepted doctrine of the natural attributes of God (Russell, 1945; Sanders, 1994).
In Modern science, for instance, some scientists argue we are predetermined by laws of physics or causative events questioning whether our moral choices are really ours. Of course, God’s creation is overlooked as well as the consideration we are created beings endowed with freewill. On the contrary, we are like machines responding only to external causes, so we are not really responsible of anything (Jepson, 1977). We are just a result of a chain of events. However, the Bible indicates we are morally accountable for our choices, and we should accept their consequences (Deuteronomy 28).
For Augustine, God is always living in an eternal present: “But Thou precedest all things past, by the sublimity of an ever-present eternity, and surpasses all future, and when they come, they shall be past…” (Confessions, book XI), but does the Bible really describe the Lord as transcending time or being in an eternal present because of his eternal and omniscient nature? In this article, I will discuss two passages from the Bible that illustrate that God is actually in an endless duration of time both in heaven and on earth, contrary to the view that He is timeless or living outside time in an eternal present.
Example 1: Revelation 7:9-8:5. This passage taken from NASB describes John’s vision of heavenly activity. If we pay attention to some verbs used in his account, which I have underlined, we will notice there is a sequence of events taking place, which cannot be interpreted based on God being in an eternal present, but quite the opposite, because they provide movement or succession to each of these events:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying,
“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
It is clear we have one action after another that cannot take place in a timelessness framework in that they have already happened somewhere in God’s eternity, or they are static or motionless. We also identify in this narrative time expressions that reinforce the interpretation of a dynamic and endless duration of time in heaven. For example:
verse 9 in chapter 7: “after these things”,
verse 13 in chapter 7: “then one of the elders…”,
verse 15 in chapter 7: “and they serve Him day and night”,
verse 1 in chapter 8: “When the lamb of God broke…”,
verse 1 in chapter 8: “there was a silence for about half an hour…”,
verse 5 in chapter 9; “Then the angel took…”.
Generally, we have expressions of time, like those above, when we use the language to express and indicate time, or duration of a period of time, or moments at which events or actions happen in the past, present, or future. These could not be used to describe situations where there is no time involved at the moment they occur, or they may occur. They must happen at some point within a progressive timeline.
Similarly, we have descriptions of visions of heavenly activity in Ezekiel 1 and Isaiah 6:1-3, whose events have intervals of succession of time, one action after another, and which cannot be seen as happening outside time or foreknown at some point in eternity as already done.
Example 2: Jeremiah 38:2-13; 39:15-18. In these passages from the NASB, the Lord has decided to destroy Jerusalem because of its apostasy. It is put under siege, and the Lord sends Jeremiah to announce what is going to happen, which is complete destruction. Since some noble men did not like what Jeremiah had said, they decided to kill him, so they cast him into a cistern where he remained for some time. Realizing Jeremiah’s life was in danger, a God-fearing eunuch named Ebed-melech interceded for him before the king to release him. The king agrees and Jeremiah is rescued. Because of this benevolent action, the eunuch is given a word through Jeremiah by the Lord saying that He will save him from destruction.
Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘He who stays in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans will live and have his own life as booty and stay alive.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘This city will certainly be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.’” Then the officials said to the king, “Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man is not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm.” So King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your hands; for the king can do nothing against you.” Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. But Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch, while he was in the king’s palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. Now the king was sitting in the Gate of Benjamin; and Ebed-melech went out from the king’s palace and spoke to the king, saying, “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet whom they have cast into the cistern; and he will die right where he is because of the famine, for there is no more bread in the city.” Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Take thirty men from here under your authority and bring up Jeremiah the prophet from the cistern before he dies.” So Ebed-melech took the men under his authority and went into the king’s palace to a place beneath the storeroom and took from there worn-out clothes and worn-out rags and let them down by ropes into the cistern to Jeremiah. Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Now put these worn-out clothes and rags under your armpits under the ropes”; and Jeremiah did so. So they pulled Jeremiah up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern, and Jeremiah stayed in the court of the guardhouse.
Now the word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was confined in the court of the guardhouse, saying, “Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for prosperity; and they will take place before you on that day. But I will deliver you on that day,” declares the Lord, “and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread. For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,” declares the Lord.’”
My analysis here is not focused on the verbs nor the time expressions found in the passage as I did previously in the first example, although if we did, they would still demonstrate the progression of the events and the moments when the narrative took place, reinforcing the view of God dwelling in an endless duration of time. The relevance of this passage is that the Lord changes his mind. He has declared destruction will come to pass to all the inhabitants in Jerusalem by three possible causes: death, famine, or pestilence. The announcement is given before the prophet’s imprisonment into the cistern. After the eunuch helps Jeremiah, he is told that no harm will happen to him. The prophecy given to the people of Jerusalem is not fulfilled in him because the Lord changed his mind about one person, despite the fact he did not go out to the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 39:1-18). It could have also been applicable to any of those who had repented (Jeremiah 26:1-3).
We observe that the Lord made a different decision when He saw the eunuch helping Jeremiah. This could only have happened if the Lord walked in an endless duration of time. The Lord may make new decisions based on what we decide. If it is not so, then how can we explain this incident based on a timelessness framework? If it were foreknown or predetermined, the prophecy would have happened anyway no matter the choices the eunuch had made. He would have been bound to fate by the prophecy.
The Bible has more passages like the one from Jeremiah 38 and 39 showing the Lord living in an endless duration of time as new developments take place, we make new decisions, and we react towards the Lord’s pleas to repent or to do his will of living righteously. If He makes new decisions, they are always based on the highest good. He can change his mind about something He had decided to come to pass (see, for example, 1 Samuel 2:27-30 compared to Exodus 28:1-4 and Leviticus 7:35-36; 1 Kings 21:21-29). Of course, He can also not change his mind about something He has determined to take place, simply because He thinks it is not proper to do so, but it is not because He is a fixed, static, and timeless God who cannot have new experiences, emotional reactions, and decisions in that it has been inevitably predetermined long before.
This view of God outside time or living in an eternal present has influenced the Church in many ways. For example, we see it in prayer groups. On the one hand, they assume God knows everything because they have been taught that He has foreknown all events to inevitably happen. On the other, they pray, so He can providentially force situations to come pass all the time, from a minor problem to a really serious one, but they cannot reasonably explain why they pray for God to do something despite the fact He has predetermined everything. They fall into contradictions and confusion, bringing up biblical passages out of context to support their explanations, such as Isaiah 58:3, or Romans 11:33.
In my opinion, they overlook that God rules humanity by motives to choose between living righteously or selfishly, and not by coercion, or the administration of laws of force to moral agents like us. It is clear that God has intervened providentially in the selfish affairs of humanity, but it does not mean He has predetermined all human events to come about. It is precisely the reason for God to act providentially because contingencies happen as we make decisions, so does He have to make new ones. Our free will is always in operation, as it were. We do our corresponding duty or what our moral light guides us to do (Numbers 10: 11-34; Acts 27). If we understand this, then the way we live our Christian life in righteousness will be different because the Lord walks with us, He assesses the possible consequences or alternatives, and He reacts emotionally, as we do new things for his glory, which He did not conceive in his mind long before as a fact, such as inventions, art, travelling, occupations, career choices, discoveries, observations, duty, contingencies, and any type of work, etc.
References to part 2
Augustine (1949). The Confessions of Saint Augustine. The Modern Library.
Russell, B. (1945). A History of Western Philosophy. Simon and Schuster.
Jepson, J.W. (1980). It All Adds Up to Love. Bible Voice Inc.
Sanders, J. (1994). “Historical Considerations” in The Openness of God (pp. 59-100). Intervarsity Press.
In the second part, I discussed two biblical passages showing that God lives in an endless duration of time. Based on these two examples, I concluded that it is impossible for God to be timeless or in an eternal present.
In this third part, I will discuss some of the consequences derived from the adoption of the doctrine of the eternal present in relation to God’s sovereignty or control over everything. I will emphasize that the view of God living in an endless duration of time explains in a more consistent way why certain events take place.
As we have seen, the doctrine of timelessness, or eternal present, claims that the past, present and future evil in this world has been foreknown by God. This means that if He has known all human selfish events in advance, then He is the only person to be blamed for the prevailing suffering, violence, moral decay, and catastrophes in this world. Consequently, when we believe in the timelessness doctrine, some other doctrines like God’s absolute sovereignty will be assumed as true. Since He knows everything beforehand, and is sovereign, He has absolute control over everything. These assumptions lead to beliefs, like God is the God of the impossible if it is taken literally, or God has full control over all creation because He is sovereign, which are inconsistent with the view of God living in an endless duration of time and his moral government. When they are taken for granted, they are adopted in sermons, prayers, preaching, and in many other ways of the Christian life, bringing great confusion among believers. Sadly, the natural attributes of God, such as his power, knowledge, and eternity, are misunderstood.
It is a fact that God is almighty or omnipotent: “I am the Almighty God” (Genesis 17:1), but it does not mean He has not imposed himself limits over his power. As Gordon Olson (1980) says: “God has power over his power” (T-III-22). That is, natural impossibilities are limitations in its operation out of his love or benevolence. For example, He cannot revoke the laws of Mathematics, nor can He at the same time make something square round. Neither can He make humans responsible for the decisions they have not made, nor can He force them to become virtuous. In the same way, neither can He stop being who He is (Olson, 1980).
God reigns or He is sovereign: “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, the Lord reigneth” (1 Chronicles 16:31). It is important to understand his sovereignty is not arbitrary; He is always considering the highest good (agape). He is the best qualified being in the whole universe to rule over his creation (Rev. 15:3-4). He reigns controlling his creation with no freewill by laws of cause and effect or instinct, and He reigns over beings with freewill persuading them to behave righteously through his moral law.
When we say: “God, you have the control…” or “God, take the control of this service,” it means that we are assuming He has it over everything including moral beings; consequently, we conclude He can control our choices. With this reasoning, if something terrible or tragic happens in the world as a result of our choices, we ask ourselves why He lets it happen: Doesn’t He have control over all things? And since He foreknows everything, without any possibility of change, we also ask: Didn’t He know it would happen because He knows everything even the things that do not exist? It follows that “the Lord’s doing,” or “the hand of God,” is always behind or intervening in every human affair, instead of reasoning that it is most likely a result of human choices (1 Kings 22:34, Joshua 18:10; Acts 1:26; 1 Corinthians 9:26). Who can love a God whose sovereignty consists only of absolute control of everything?
We fall into contradictions with rooted beliefs or misconceptions like those just mentioned. On the one hand, we say God knows absolutely everything long beforehand, so everything is set, and He has absolute control. On the other hand, we pray so that He will resolve any problematic situation. We think that we will minimize our Lord’s sovereignty, power, and omniscience if we assume it is not so.
If I own a car and drive it to commute to work, I can control the steering wheel, the accelerator and brakes at my will, and I am sure it will never say to me “I won’t do it,” simply because it is a machine controlled by me and subjected to laws of force. Does God force us or control us to love him as if we were machines? Is He always “behind the scenes”, as it were, manipulating our choices? How many times has our Lord wanted us to know him and submit to his sovereign love and we have rejected him (Matthew 18:14; 23:37)? We cannot be controlled in the same way as a non-moral creature, for we were not made to become entirely subjected to the physical laws of force, or cause and effect, or instinct. We have the God-given faculty we call free will. Obviously, sooner or later there will be consequences of our choices (Galatians 6:7; Revelation 20:12).
Thus, God’s sovereignty does not necessarily have to do with control, or that both sovereignty and control are synonyms. If both were the same, we would conclude that God is arbitrary or an implacable dictator, but we know He is not. His sovereignty is based on love or agape, the highest good, always seeking the wellbeing of the world, and if his creation is at risk, then He will providentially intervene exerting control through causation, but it does not constantly happen, as a routine, as it were. Neither, as we have said in the previous parts, does it mean He knows all of the events to take place without any possibility of change. The administration of the providential government is done because decisions have been made that endanger the stability or order of things in which God has to intervene by causation or the manipulation of the freewill.
It is imperative we do not complain or question our Lord for the events or situations that may affect us, especially those caused by freewill, blaming him for them or complaining why He does not intervene the way we want. If tragic or unpleasant situations take place, it is our duty or moral obligation to trust in the Lord no matter the circumstances or the outcome. King David was in great distress when the Amalekites had attacked Ziklag and taken his family captive. He did not cry out why God let it happen. Instead, the Bible tells us that “He encouraged himself in the Lord his God” and rescued his family (1 Samuel 30:1-20). Neither did Nehemiah ever complain to God because he encountered obstacles to build the temple. On the contrary, he put his trust in the Lord and reminded himself and the people who were with him that the Lord is great and terrible, and will fight for them (Nehemiah 4:11-15). And after that, they were always on guard. Stephen was stoned to death and never said “why me, Lord?” He just said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7). We learn from these three examples that all of these righteous men acted according to the light they had and never gave up. They did their duty.
I can continue with more examples from the Scripture in which we will see the people of God trusting in him despite the terrible situations they were going through, and we do not read in the Bible they were demanding He should take control over their situations nor were they complaining (Hebrews 11:32-40). As a matter of fact, the word control does not appear in the KJV.
Adopting the eternal present doctrine will not help us understand why certain events take place. On the contrary, in my opinion, we will be more confused and hurt if we base our explanations on it. However, the view of God living in an endless duration of time may help us understand that these events, good or bad, may be a consequence of men’s choices, and that when we are going through some harsh difficulties, we must do our duty, which is to abide in our Lord who is faithful, although we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil: for He is with us; his rod and his staff they comfort us (Psalms 23:4).
References to part 3
Olson, G. (1980). The Truth Shall Set You Free. Bible Research Fellowship.
Conclusions to the three parts
It is my hope that by discussing the topic of God’s foreknowledge the readers understand God’s natural attributes much better. If the Lord predicts something to happen, and it comes to pass, it is through His power that causes it to take place when He decides it is the right moment, rather than His omniscience foreseeing it as already done long before. The view of God living in an eternal present may give us a sense of security because it portrays a fixed God without any possibility of changing His mind. However, in my opinion, the view of God living in an endless duration of time has more biblical support and explains in a much more sensible and reasonable way how the Lord operates or acts in this world. For sure, other questions may arise, but if we keep in mind He always does what He does based on a supreme good, then we will always rely on Him because He has demonstrated He always walks with us during our lifetime on earth as we make choices for His glory.