How does God accomplish “His Will” in the world? We are told that nothing can stand in the way of God’s will and that nothing will prevent God from bringing about his will. When you think about God being this all powerful and all wise God, it seems like something that makes sense. Of course, an all-powerful being could bring about its desires. You think about kings and powerful leaders of the past and see that they were able to bring about their desires and wishes, so it makes sense that God is able to bring about his will since he is more powerful than those leaders. Unfortunately, there is something very different between God and some of the leaders of the past. Many of the kings throughout history were able to accomplish their goals because of force. It was through coercion and domination that one’s will was realized. Now, we are told this is exactly what God doesn’t do. He doesn’t force, or coerce, or threat, or intimidate people into doing anything. What devices are left to God to use then? It seems like God is left with persuasion, incentives and inspiration. Is that all though, is suggestion (whether subtle or strong suggestion) all God has to work with to bring about his will? Does God not have a more commanding or direct way to bring about his will?
I feel really conflicted at this point to be honest. If God doesn’t use a more controlling aspect of his power to bring about his will, it leads me to think of him as like some sort of charismatic leader who is battling in the realm of ideas. This to me has a lot of attractiveness. I think of great leaders and revolutionaries like MLK and Ghandi and Mandela and Buddha and Socrates and of Jesus (who is God). All of these great influencers didn’t make their mark in territorial conquest but in mental conquest. And honestly, it is these people who have had the long lasting and still active effect on people today. Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan had unmatched military success and have had their names carved into the tablets of history. But besides military admiration and the consequences on culture from uniting such vast amounts of lands and people, how do their physical victories match to the victories of those leaders mentioned above? As far as I know, no one is trying to live like Alexander or Khan. No one is trying to promote their lifestyles or propagate their words. So, as much as their force brought them victory in the world, they lost control and power once they died.
The list of leaders I mentioned above have kept control and influence on the world after they died, and they didn’t use force at all but used ideas. These leaders changed the world by “suggesting” to people how to live. By professing powerful ideas and encouraging others to live lives in line with their philosophies and beliefs. It has been through their inspiration and persuasion and incentives that have convinced people to bring about their will and desires. It hasn’t been through force or coercion but by giving people arguments for their ideas and allowing people the freedom to choose or not choose to live by their ideas. This undoubtedly is a way God moves. He gives irresistible reasons and incentives to follow him. It’s in the face of these that people freely choose to follow him.
But I still must ask, is this all that God does? Is an all-powerful God left with only “suggestion” as his means to bring about is will? Is he left to the mercy of whether we feel convinced by his arguments or not and choose to act on them? Many will want to say no! God isn’t relegated to dependence of human cooperation to bring about his will, he is an all-powerful God remember?! He doesn’t “need” us to do anything. As trues as this is, my question is then how else does he bring about his will? Is there any element of force or coercion from God bring about his will? If not, then how is it not the case that God works exclusively through suggestions. Now of course these suggestions can be quite strong, whether it’s through God manifesting himself to people in dreams or visions or angels or speaking to someone’s spirit. To less strong approaches through answered prayers, undeniable “coincidences”, bible verses sticking out to you, words in a speech sticking out to you etc.
Now, if God manifested himself to you and told you to do something, it’s quite likely that you would do it. The question I’m asking here though is do you have to do it? Does God force you to do it? Would God threaten you to do it? Or only try to persuade you through some source of inspiration or incentives? The point I’m trying to get at is even in a moment when God looks you in the eyes and tells you to do something, is that as far as he will go to get you to do it? Will he only work to convince you to do that which is part of his will, or will he actually partake in quite literally forcing people to do what he wants them to do? I’m thinking of coercion where he either threatens or intimidates you into doing something, or somehow takes control of you and makes you do something. I must admit that I don’t like the idea of God somehow forcing someone to do something, but if God solely uses suggestion, it does make his bringing about his will seem less secure and dependent on whether humans cooperate with him.