One of the biggest tragedies in the Christian church over the centuries has been this idea that whatever happens is God's will.
According to this view, the statement that God works all things out according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11) means that God has in fact set in motion a script which can only follow a course which God Himself has pre-ordained down to the last detail. I don't believe the Scripture has that meaning at all. I do believe that God is work in the midst of everything and He decides the outcomes based on all the factors which are important to Him, including the choices people make, and especially the prayers, faith and responses of His own people.
People who take the fatalistic view with regard to healing say that if we pray, and the person does not receive healing, it is because it was not God's will for the person to be healed. And no matter what rotten, horrible tragedy occurs, believers in "Christian fatalism" will proclaim that these events were somehow God's plan. It is believed that "que sera sera" – whatever will be, will be.
The alternative view which I hold to, is that God's will is revealed by His Word.
It is not God's will for his church to exalt traditions above His revealed Word.
It is not God's will for us to stop believing that He will answer our prayers.
It is not God's will for us to think that He will never change His plans or change outcomes depending on our prayers.
It is not God's will that people go to hell, judged for their sins, without ever hearing the gospel.
It is not God's will that Christians behave selfishly and stupidly at all.
It is not God's will that the fire of the Holy Spirit goes out in our hearts.
These things have happened over the centuries and they are happening today, but none of them are God's will.
It turns out that your beliefs on the issue will affect your prayer life a lot. It is hard to engage in effective prayer when you really don't believe that your prayers or the WAY you pray will make any difference to the outcome.
We need to stop thinking consciously or subconsciously that God is kind of schizophrenic – or in two minds. We should not think of God as someone who grieves over sin and at the same time ordains all of the sins that happen for His own glory. We should not think of God as the one who wants all men to come to the knowledge of the truth of the gospel, who commands us to tell the gospel to all men, yet is also mysteriously working to make sure that more people do not actually hear the gospel than actually do hear it.
"Christian fatalism" is attractive to many today. Brother Andrew, founder of the mission organisation "Open Doors", who for years smuggled Bibles into Communist nations, had this to say in his book "Prayer Works".
"Fatalism has other appeals as well. If a Christian can incorporate fatalism into his theology, his life becomes immeasurably easier and more comfortable. He will gain hundreds of extra hours each year for television viewing and napping when he no longer has to waste time on such fruitless activities as studying the Scriptures, getting to know God through prayer, interceding for his family and the world, combating evil or reaching out to others for the sake of Christ. He won't have to lift a finger again. … He is ready to meet every calamity of life, from divorce to death, with an attitude of stoic acceptance."
If we reject "Christian fatalism" and start to believe that prayer really makes a difference, we are going to start seeing answers to prayer coming from God. We are going to start to wake up.
On this site we are taking a stand against every form of "Christian fatalism". We believe in aggressive, faith-filled prayers! The Kingdom of Heaven, said Jesus, suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. If you want to see the Kingdom of Heaven manifest in the affairs of earth, you are going to need a militant attitude against the works of Satan. You are going to have to desire the things of God. You can't adopt the attitude that your prayers, your words and your life make no difference to the outcome. You need to believe that you can change history, and that some things are contingent about the attitude and action YOU take in life.
Don't be passive. Don't be lazy. Don't be apathetic. Don't sleep. Wake up and take hold of the promises of God. Refuse every form of fatalism, even if it presents itself in the garb of "sound theology". It isn't sound at all. It is tantamount to unbelief.