BG Chap 18 - If the jīva is simply made to act by the Lord, would not the scriptures become useless?
If the jīva’s actions depend on the Lord, his action becomes mere engagement by the Lord, and it would not be possible to initiate action by one’s own intelligence. But this is not the correct understanding. We are doers – our activities do spring from our own free will – but our endeavor is not the independent cause of actions. The jīva is the substratum of the body, senses and prāṇas which are supplied by the Lord, and which operate thru powers bestowed by the Lord alone. Being the possessor of these powers, the jīva rules over his body and senses by his own desires alone, for accomplishing his actions. He exerts his free will and assumes control of his body and senses for the purpose of fulfilling karmic endeavors. The Supreme Lord present with the jīva gives His permission for the jīva’s action and sets the actions of the jīva in motion. The jīva can choose to act or not to act, and is not forced to act in any particular way by the Lord. In this way there is no contradiction between the Lord’s control and the jīva’s having his free will to act or not to act. The liberated souls also act because they have spiritual senses and body, by which to accomplish their spiritual desires.