You and I experience time in a linear fashion. We live second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, and year by year. Today is January 1—the first day of 2016. Tomorrow will be January 2. Not March 17. Not July 29. And for the next 365 days (this is leap year), we will live in the year 2016. Not 2053. Not 2499. Not 4 BC. We experience time in successive increments. Earthly lives can be charted like a line. One end of the line represents the day of conception. The other end of the line represents the precise moment of death. The space between these two points represents the moments, days, and years of our lives. In my own life, there are dates that represent particularly important events: my first day of school, the first time I kissed a girl, my high school graduation, the death of my grandmother, my wedding day, the birth of my daughter, and my entry into full time ministry. I experienced each of these events successively. If I were to draw a line representing my life, I could indicate these monumental dates along that line.
God does not experience time in linear fashion. In fact, time is one of God’s many creations. God created time just as He created the earth, the solar system, the universe, and, of course, you and me. Time is a created thing. To fully understand this concept may be impossible for mere mortal minds, for we live within time and, as such, have no experience as to what it is to live outside of time. But God is not subject to His own creation. He is not confined within the constraints of time.
When Jesus was born, God stepped into time. For thirty-three years, He lived as you and I live. He became one of us and accepted the limitations of time and space. But make no mistake about it—Jesus is eternal. He has always existed. There was never a time when He was not. I will refer you to John 1:1.
All times are present before God. Though I do not understand how, He sees me tomorrow just as He sees me as I write this response to your inquiry.
God orchestrates events and circumstances according to His will. To be sure, you and I are free moral agents—we can make real choices that may or may not please Him, but I will remind you that God’s foreknowledge in no way interferes with our free will. And yet, God has a free will, too. He can do as He pleases. Of course, as He is immutable, that is, He does not change, He will only act in accordance to His nature. He is not capricious. He is true to His nature. He created us with a free will, but He has a free will, too. Can I fully explain this? Hardly. My finite mind is unable to fully fathom the infinite God.
Providence is God’s invisible hand at work in the affairs of this world. The Book of Esther is a sublime study in God’s providential workings.
The final two chapters of Revelation tell about the end of this present worldly system. Though it has yet to take place, God is orchestrating the affairs of this world so that every detail penned by the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos will occur according to plans. Nothing or no one will thwart God’s plans.
You have asked a number of questions that I cannot fully answer. What I can tell you is that God is not limited to the restraints of time; therefore, God can move in ways we cannot understand in order to accomplish His will. How does He do this? I suppose we will not fully understand until we enter into eternity.
If I have not sufficiently answered your question, we will direct the blame to my finite mind for its glaring limitations.