There is a Macro Plan and a Micro Plan and both work together as one:
- The Macro Plan is the overarching world-wide plan of God which includes things like nations fighting nations, kingdoms, spiritual warfare, weather disasters, armies, domination of one religion over the other, etc. Events of the Macro Plan not only have been prophesied in the Bible but every single one has come to pass and there is not one thing that a man can do in his power to stop the Macro Plan from completing
- The Micro Plan is the intricate meandering journey of our life which starts with birth and ends in death. We make small decisions which affect the course of our life. For example we choose to buy a business and the plan fails – even though it seems like it shouldn’t have – which leads to brokenness and depression. Yet because of the brokenness and depression we call out to God for help and our lives start going yet a different direction. We are sure that failure was designed to crush us yet we discover, in hindsight the result of the horrible event was something beautiful. The heat from the fire produced pure gold. The pressure from the weight of the burden created valuable diamonds. Although it would appear outwardly that free will has been removed, it is not so. It is in fact free will which brings both the Macro and the Micro Plans to their ultimate fulfillment.
Imagine for a moment observing an ant hill from above. You are planning to stick a shovel under that hill and relocate it (or worse), but watching the ants for a minute shows that they remain quite focused on their work and their lives. Yet, standing above that ant hill is someone who knows more accurately how their future is going to unfold. But they still choose to carry that heavy load up the hill and down again in utter futility.
Imagine again that you walk over a few steps and notice that a few ants have begun to build their home and foundation – a brand new ant hill – in the middle of the gravel road, in a tire track in the road just an arms length in front of the truck that made it. The truck is facing forward and it is impossible for that truck to miss the ant hill when it starts moving. Because you love ants, you grab a big stick and every so gently scrape the ant hill out of the way of the tire. From the ants perspective, God has crushed them and ruined their lives. But we know the truth because we see more than their Micro Plan and have a much better understanding than those little ants. We see the Macro Plan and understand it. We made this Macro Plan.
Also, it is impossible to deny that the Micro Plan of our individual lives intertwine intimately with the Micro Plans of others. How else can we explain these people who pop in and out of our lives? It is undeniable that some seem to be there just to ruin our lives while others are like a life line of encouragement of hope. It is much like how two ants might meet on the way back to their ant hills one day. They were busy doing their busy work but then this random ant from another place and colony pops into their life; sometimes to attack and bite, other times to help carry the load.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. (Romans 8:28)
It does not say ‘all good things’, but it says ‘all things’ which means both bad things and good things (and neutral things).
A wise man once said that predestination and free will is like this analogy:
A man walks towards the gates of heaven and written on the gate says “Knock and it shall be opened” and then after walking in and looking back at the gate it said on the other side “Predestined before the foundation of the world”