To what extent do we as humans have free will and to what extent has God predestined our lives?
Yes. God created us with free will - the ability to make choices. God wants us to CHOOSE HIM. God does not want to be adored by mindless robots.
Yet, God also created us with certain limits to our nature, which we know as Christians is sinful. Each of God's creatures has been created with limits. Example: If you give a book to your dog and tell him to read it - your dog might sniff the book, walk away from it - or chew it up. Your dog will NEVER read your book.
Why? God did not create dogs or other living creatures to read books. It is, quite simply not in their "nature" to read a book. It is, however, in our "nature" as human beings to read a book IF we choose to do so. Every human being has the ability to read. Those who do not know how can choose to learn.
The question is always one of predestination vs. free will. I have come to feel strongly that it works like this: God granted us free will - and the ability to "choose for ourselves," and yet God is so incredibly omniscient and knowing - high up on a hill where all of the past and all of the future can be seen by Him - that he already knows what choices we are going to make. God knew the choices we were going to make ten years ago - ten minutes ago - and God knows the choices we will make one minute from now or one year from now.
What do y'all think about this?
Let me know.