Here is the devotional:
God gives us the freedom to make choices. In giving us that freedom, He is not going to keep us from using it however we want to. He will never force us against our wills to go in the directions He wants us to go. God gave us the freedom to choose between right and wrong, and if this world seems deeply troubled, it’s because we humans keep making bad choices. Joni Eareckson Tada’s book The God I Love contains the insight that sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves.
Throughout the Bible, it is clear that people have choice:
– If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. (Josh. 24:15)
– Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Prov. 8:10-11)
– Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:17)
Giving us free will was risky on God’s part because we have a tendency to misuse it. People have made such horrible moral choices that there was a time in human history when God was sorry He made us. “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled” (Gen. 6:5-6). That’s how big a risk God took in giving us free will: that we would so grossly misuse it that He would regret having put us here.
God can’t be any clearer that He created us with free will and that we can use it however we want, even to our own demise. One of author Jim Butcher’s stories contains this insight: “God isn’t about making good things happen to you, or bad things happen to you. He’s all about you making choices—exercising the gift of free will.”
Understanding these six aspects of God’s sovereignty can help calm our fears, anxieties, and worries about life on this planet, especially when evil seems to be triumphing over good and we suffer in ways that are undeserved.
Here are the scriptures referenced:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord , choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .
Joshua 24:15 KJV
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 2:16-17 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
Dang this is a tough one.
Picture Eden. Heaven on earth basically. Man & woman walking naked, with no shame, in God’s presence! Basically able to anything they wanted except one.
God gave them one rule! ONE! Don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil! Period! That was it.
And we screw it up.
Then God goes off and gives us ten commandments and whole host of others rules and regulations all for benefit.
Then Jesus hits the scenes and expands on what God gave.
All the while God knowing that we would more than likely flub it up.
It’s like handing the keys of your prize car to your 18 year old son on prom night. You tell him the rules but inside you know he’s gonna show off. He’ll probably get pulled over for speeding.
But it’s way worse for God. Our moral compass is so jacked up that He regretted placing us on this earth. That’s freaking HUGE!
Heck, he blew up Sodom and Gomorrah for crying out loud for the choices.
I’ve heard some folks argue the free will versus God’s like a puppeteer pulling our strings.
I can debunk that one quickly! God is holy. Sin is not. God would not let us sin if He was pulling the strings.
The choices we make (our free will) is what causes us to sin and no one else. At every turn of the clock you are exercising the free will God gave you.
You chose when to wake up…well sort of…work sort of dictates that. But how many times do you chose to hit the snooze button or throw the alarm clock across the room?
You choose what to wear, what to eat, which route you take going to and fro, who to love, etc.
And yes, your free will dictates if you take that next drink, sleep with that person, say that lie, spew hateful words, etc.
AND your God given free will decides if you choose Jesus as your savior and then in turn follow Him.
Another big chance God took in giving us free will. Denying Him is an option, sadly, He knew a lot of folks would choose
But sadly when we use our free will to go against the will of God there are consequences. We can’t avoid them…hard as we try.
But with said free will we can also ask for forgiveness, choose to shake the dirt off and keep going.
So with YOUR free will choose this day whom you will serve.
I have chosen to serve God!