We have free-will, but is it really free. God gave us free-will, the ability to act as we see fit, but it is not without responsibility. We have the freedom to choose to
live a Christ-like life or to live in the world allowing sin and self-righteousness to lead us down the earthen path.
But because Christ has risen, we have been given the gift of repentance. Repentance is not a free ’ get out of jail’ card. It does not mean that we can ask for forgiveness and then repeat the action over and over. It means much more. When we study the Bible, we learn the precepts instruct our daily lives. We repent to acknowledge our mistake before God and ask His forgiveness.
Christ has risen and we should not squander our birthright. Christ suffered the cross to save us from sin that was destined to doom us. Today we live a life that is afflicted by sin, but one that we can be redeemed from through repentance.
The sinful and wicked do not fear God. They flatter themselves to much to detect or hate sin. Their words are wicked and deceitful and they fail to act wisely or do good. They lay in bed plotting evil and commit themselves to a sinful course. They do not reject what is wrong, Psalm 36: 1-4 NIV. But for the grace of God, we can turn from our evil ways. Our free-will is like a two edge sword, we can cut away the evil sinful ways of the world and turn to our Lord. We can repent. The requisites of repentance is to turn away from evil and turn to the good. Our free-will gives us the ability to choose. (Read my Post, Pt.2, Wisdom Directs Your Steps.)
But what does that mean in our daily life? We must be diligent and listen to our thoughts and words in much the same way that you listen to your thoughts and how to verbalize them at work, school; to bosses, parents, leaders, associates and friends. Have you ever run free, doing as you pleased, and then looked around and realized you were running in circles – obstructing your ability to move forward into your destiny? How many times have you experienced doing what you pleased only to learn that the end result hurt or adversely affected your wellbeing? How often have you heard His quiet voice, or ignored His nudge only to wish you had followed His direction? As humans we often find ourselves in these situations.
Water Cooler Talk
For example – What about gossiping by the water cooler? How many times have you gossiped at the water cooler, feeling guilty about it, but continuing on to discover the person you are talking about is standing behind you? We know we should not gossip but we do. When I was working I tried to stay out of the gossip circles, away from the water cooler during lunchtime and breaks, but from time to time joined in and found I shared private information that got back to the person that shared it with me. I heard the quiet voice telling me not to get involved in the conversation, was warned through the nudge not to say it and then I heard my voice speaking out anyway. It was quick and I did not take heed. I immediately felt guilty but could not take it back, the act created the consequences, and my relationship with the person ended as abruptly as when I spoke about them. Other times it created a sense of distrust and our conversations became matter-of-fact, no longer friendly or open. These were learning moments. I learned to think before I spoke. I learned how betrayal hurt the person that was the topic of discussion and me. I learned to avoid environments that led to my downfall.
As humans, we always stumble over our own feet. We are always learning from our mistakes and attempting to apply God’s values in our daily lives. Thus, I go back to free-will is not free, it comes with responsibility. God gave us free-will as a gift, and it is our responsibility to use our free-will wisely. It is a lifelong learning process.
The purpose of free-will is to allow us to experience how to use it to further Gods will on earth. We are his ambassadors on earth. Freedom is not free, it is a choice. Freedom permits us to follow God and spread the Good News because we choose to follow our Lord. Free-will requires denying or dying to self, (Read my Post – Dying to Self) and putting God first. It means following his instruction, not picking and choosing, not being selective, but following all of His principles. It means that while we are experiencing our attempts to follow the principles, we mature as Christians, and in the process when we make mistakes or err, we can ask God’s forgiveness.
When we repent, our sin no longer exists, we will no longer carry the weight on our shoulders. It has been removed from us. Living a Christ-like existence leads us down the path of favor. He will help us spend our lives humbling ourselves, choosing to lookout for others and putting ourselves second, helping us to build our Christ-like character in this life. We practice are denying ourselves and following the Lord. Though our decision to deny self, we become obedient to the God’s call on our lives.
This leads us back to obedience, dependence and love, our March focus. No matter what we do, we can never get to far away from being obedient or dependent upon the Lord. It is through obedience that we can exercise our free-will and live a Christ-like life, embodying the character of Christ. It is through dependence that we become aware of our actions, behaviors and outbursts and, it is through love that we have the strength to persevere.
“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
John 14:23-24 NIV
“But don’t just try to follow a list of rules or be a ‘good Christian.’ Following Christ means believing you have no righteousness of your own and choosing to trust and enjoy Christ, knowing He is all you need.
The more you seek after Him with all of your heart and follow Him fully, the more He will become your All in all, cleansing you, satisfying your longings, healing your wounds, and forming you into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:29, Colossians 3:10).” [Know God’s Power and See His Glory. Bible.com]
Free-will is a gift, but like all gifts we choose how to use it. We can stray from the word and live in this world subscribing to its values of selfishness, lust, hate, pride, greed, dishonesty, and trustworthiness or we can turn to turn God and live using the values Jesus demonstrated during his short time on earth. Please do not think that the sin we fear is always boisterous, it is generally subtle and subdued. It sneaks up on you when you are distracted from the Word of God.
Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
Peter 5:8 AMP
Christ has risen, we have free-will and the responsibility attached to free-will is our gift to live by. Becoming an intentional Christian and joining the body of Christ, is a joy; our salvation is our rock, as we follow the Lord who is our light and our way. Jesus said,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6 NKJV
Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com
Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection
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