Have one student walk out of the room. While they are gone, have everyone else move seats. When the student reenters the room, wait until they take their cue from everyone. Probably, they will sit in a new seat.
Ask the first student why they sat in a new seat. Answers shoud be 1) That’s what they thought they should do. 2) Someone had taken their seat.
Ask the students who changed seats why they chose the new seats that they did. Answers should be 1) They wanted to go to the new seat and 2) The teacher told them to move seats.
Point out that there were two reasons for each, one being what the student thought or did, and the other what the teacher told them to do or made them think. Then make the statement that this is how everything that we say or do works. We might think something or do something, but God is always the one making it so that we think what we think or making us want to do what we do. God is working behind the scenes and ultimately deciding what will happen.
Proverbs 16:1 – To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.
Who are the two people acting in this verse? What are they doing? A person plans out what he is going to say. God determines what the person actually says. So here we have two reasons for what is said, 1) the person planning it out, 2) God deciding what we will say.
Proverbs 16:9 – In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
What is the person doing? What is God doing? The person makes plans, but God directs our steps. Again, two reasons for what a person does, 1) the person planning it out, 2) God deciding what will happen.
Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
What is the person doing? What is God doing? The person is rolling the dice, but God is determining what comes up. Again, two reasons for what happens, 1) the person throwing the dice, 2) God deciding what it will be.
Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
What is the person doing? What is God doing? The person is making plans, but God decides what will actually happen. Again, two reasons for what a person does, 1) the person planning it out, 2) God deciding what will happen.
If the people in these verses are planning what they’re going to do and what they’re going to say and they’re the ones throwing the dice, but it’s always God that decides what’s going to happen, what does that say about our having free will?
James 4:13-16 - Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
What was the person doing in these verses? Planning what they’re going to do
Did their plans work out? No. They planned to do something, but it wasn’t God’s will for that to happen.
It’s the same thing in the Proverbs verses. We can plan to do something or say something, but if that’s not what God’s will is for us, it isn’t going to happen. His will will prevail over ours.
Imagine I put you in a room with a door and a window. After a while, you decide you want to leave the room. You have two choices on how to leave, right? Through the door or through the window. You decide to leave through the door. So you walk to the door and turn and pull on the handle. But the door’s locked. I locked it from the outside. So now what do you have to do if you want to leave the room? Go through the window.
Did I take away your free will by locking the door? No. You still had free will. You decided to leave through the door. It’s just that your free will decision didn’t work out. My plan for how you would leave the room worked out.
God gives us free will. We can plan all we want what we’re going to say or do or whatever. It just might not happen that way. God’s will is what will ultimately happen.
Proverbs 20:24 – A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?
Has anyone ever wondered how they got to where they are in life? I planned on being a minister in the Presbyterian church. I never planned on coming back to Nazarene.