Just what exactly is “free will?” According to Webster’s Dictionary, free will is the freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention. God gave us free will to enrich our faith. Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Without free will, we would just do as we are told. But with free will, we have the choice to follow God’s Will or not. We are not enslaved, but free to make choices.
I can think of a great example of this with my husband, Pete. I absolutely love it when Pete does things around the house without me asking. You know like put away the dishes after dinner, clean the house, vacuum the carpets, mop the floors (which I have NEVER seen him do), scrub the bathrooms or even wash my car. All of these things would cause me to say, “WOW, he must really love me to do these things.” One because, he despises doing that stuff, and two because he did them without me even asking. Not only would I feel great about this, but Pete will see the joy he brings to me and he will feel great about what he did. It will show his love more than flowers or gifts to me. It will show me that he loves me more than sitting on the couch and watching tv or reading his newspaper or even his career. Because he will forgo time with all those things just to help me out. Now, I could go into great detail here about the different ways we show our love, but that is for another blog. Just so you know there are five different ways that you show love according to Gary Chapman author of “The Five Love Languages.” You can show love by spending time with the other person, by showering them with gifts, by hugging, kissing or touching, by affirming them with words, and by acts of service (which is my love language). Whatever way you choose to show love, you do it out of your own free will.
The connection here is that God feels this same way. When we follow God’s Will, even when it is not the path we want to take, God knows that we love Him more than anything else. He knows that we honor him above all things. But most importantly, when we follow God’s Will, we become connected to Him even closer than before. Our feelings toward God just by doing His Will change. We start to see our love and gratitude for Him, because we chose Him over all else.
As you can see free will is a tricky term. Free will is our choice. I am going to go out on a limb here, but my guess is if you tracked one day in your life (wrote down all of your good and bad choices during the day), you would see that you choose God’s Will less than you think. Just for today, I am going to do this. Track my choices. When do I choose God’s route and when do I choose Anne’s? I bet you cannot wait to hear about it tomorrow.
Seriously, I believe that my free will leans toward the selfish side. I try my darndest to be a good Christian. I try to make choices by praying to God first, but I can tell you right now sometimes I just jump in with my selfish free will instead of my Godly free will. After all, I am a mom of three energetic kids. I have to think on my toes, make quick decisions, and multi-task. I can tell you right now there will be lots of times during my day today, that I choose the snap decision over the Godly one. Those two will overlap at times. There will be moments that I make a snap decision and it will be Godly, but that doesn’t happen too often.
So, be prepared, tomorrow there will be a list. My free will choices for February 20, 2013 will be blogged tomorrow. I want to prepare you though, I am human. I do make choice that do not involve God, but only involve me. In fact, just this morning I have made choices that do not involve God. I cannot sit and feel guilty about my choices in life, but I can start to make subtle changes to show God that He comes first and not me.
Free will is a gift. God did not give us free will to make us feel guilty, to make life harder or to trick us. He gave us free will so that we were not victims of slavery, so that we could see the love He has for us, and so we could make choices that would unveil the beauty of God. Think about God during your day today. Pray for good choices based on His Will, not yours. Think about the scripture, John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”