Scotus taught that God can do and has done certain things according to laws that he has freely established. This is what he calls potentia ordinata (“ordained power”). potentia ordinata). Ordained power is to be distinguished from God’s potentia absoluta (“absolute power”) by which he can do anything that does not entail contradiction.
Scotus maintains this distinction in order to preserve the contingency of God’s acts, particular his act of creation. God’s absolute power is his general omnipotence. However, since God is not determined but exercises perfect freedom to act and love, so his individual acts must be the result of contingent decisions. This actual world is the result of the ordained power of God. The distinction between the ordained and absolute powers of God also prevents one from concluding that God’s absolute power is always actualized, which would mean that every possible world actually exists.