I give my child a choice between having a cupcake for desert, and a rotten bucket full of cow diarrhea covered in maggots.
I know my child will choose the cupcake, and I watch as he chooses the cupcake, just as I knew he would.
Does that mean my child didn't choose the cupcake on his own accord? No.
God anticipates, and knows what we will choose, and so Jonah by his own accord chose to flee, but God appointed the fish to ensure that His will was done.
We are the bride of Christ, we are not his whore...God is aligning our will with his through Love, we by our love for him aligning our wills to his because he loved us first, he is not manipulating us and yanking our chains through force - God is not a rapist.
We are the children of God who love our Father, and our Father is making us into spiritual adults, into his image; we like children respond to our love of God, which itself comes from God's love for us, he loves us, so we love him, just as your own sons and daughters love you, because you love them. They want to be like you because they love you, you help them grow up to be the best they can be because you love them. You don't force them to be like you! You don't force them by manipulating them. That is cruelty, and abuse.
You're twisting words here and making emotional appeals using words like "whore" and "manipulation." Please quote the Scripture passages that back you up. I'm not disputing that we a have a will, we do. However, I am not "free" to make any choice I want. There's only One Who has a Will that is "Free" and that is God. Not even Christ
could do what He wanted, but He did His Father's Will. Please tell me how God can "work all things according to the counsel of HIS WILL" if He is not in complete and utter control?
Please tell me how Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed if Peter was free to do as he wished? If Peter could have done whatever he wanted Jesus' words would have been "And I say to you Peter, before the cock crows you may, or may not depending on how you feel at that moment choose freely to deny me thrice. Perhaps however you may only deny me once and then leave, or have a change of heart. Who am I to tell you what you will do when things are not decided yet because you have not made your free choice yet?" Even if God wasn't "working all things according to the counsel of HIS WILL" (which He is but let's pretend here that He isn't) Peter did not have an uninhibited will at that moment. Let's take a look at the definition of F.W. for a moment:
1. The ability or discretion to choose; free choice: chose to remain behind of my own free will.
2. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.-http://www.answers.com/topic/free-will
It's that second definition I want you to pay attention to. The ability to make free choices that unconstrained by external circumstances.
Tell me is there ever really a choice that is completely "unconstrained by external circumstances?" No! Let's look at Peter again, he was under all sorts of pressure from the mob that was gathering. He feared for his safety and his life. Do you really think he was free to make any choice he wanted? No! His will was not "unconstrained." That's how the Lord works. The Lord "works ALL THINGS according to the counsel of HIS WILL." The Lord knows what he wants from you and will put you in the exact situation He wants at the exact time He wants to illicit the exact response He wants from you! My friend the Lord is in control and the Lord is Good! The Lord does all things for a purpose, and that purpose is the furthering of His Glory and that my friend is amazing!
Our Father who art in Heaven is not constrained by anything. Please don't discount the awesome power and might of God! I thank God for revealing these things to me! I have been a "Christian" nearly my whole life but I never understood what it meant to be "baptized by the Spirit" until just recently. We don't worship a small petty god who is held captive by the folly of our fleshly decision, we worship a Large, Powerful, Dangerous, Awesome God whose power is beyond compare. My brothers and sisters I leave you this Scripture from Paul's epistle to the Romans:
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.