How many steps does God take?
I’m a GP.
When I see a patient, I listen, ask questions, work out how I think I can help and then give advice, which may include a prescription, a referral letter, instruction on taking medication or getting an X ray, etc.
Sometimes, people need extra help.
Maybe they have a chest infection and need an X-ray. I give them an X-ray form. That may be enough. But for some I would need to explain that the x-rays are taken at the hospital x-ray department, I may need to explain that a phone call needs to be made to book a time, I may need to explain where the hospital is, and check that they are able to get there. Sometimes I make the phone call myself, to make sure they have an appointment, write down the time and draw a map, check that they can read my writing and then re-explain the procedure.
I may even get one of my staff to drive them there if I am really concerned that it may not happen.
But as far as my duty of care is concerned, it would be enough to simply hand the patient a request form for an X-ray and see them out of my office. For many, that would be enough to get the job done. If the person walked out with the form, but had no clue about how to go about it, and I knew that, I would feel as though I had not fulfilled my duty as a GP.
This form of care can be taken advantage of. Some people may like being “spoilt”, having everything done for them, when they are quite capable of doing things themselves.
Sometimes, it is better to let a person take care of themselves. For example, one of my disabled patients prefers to dress themselves after an examination, despite it taking longer.
What of God’s salvation, provided in Jesus?
What, or how much is done by God.
Does he simply make sure we have a bible to read or have an opportunity to “hear” the gospel and leave the rest to us?
Does he make sure it is in our language?
Does he give us just one opportunity in our lives?
Or does he take us by the hand and lead us through experiences and explanations, opening our mind and heart to the truth of his forgiveness, bending our stubborn will by his patient kindness so that we are flooded by repentance and faith, opening the door to fellowship with the right people who will speak kindly to us, explaining with care the truth of Jesus and what he has done for us? Does he wait patiently as we struggle through difficult situations, relationships, poor teaching, as well as our own stubborn refusal to align ourselves with his will?
Maybe this is the difference between “free will” and “predestination”.
The God who walks with us verses the God who watches from afar.