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Free Will


People often say, "If God tells me to start living by faith, I'll do it." But our experience has been that those who want to do God's will don't need bolts of lightning from heaven to start doing it.

Do we say, "If God tells me to eat tomorrow, I will"? When a shop offers $10 to the first 100 people who turn up, do we say, "If God tells me to, I'll go collect the prize"? If a robber sticks a gun in our ribs and says, "Stick 'em up!" do we say, "If God tells me to I will"?

Of course not! The hunger, the offer, or the urgency itself is taken as sufficient reason to act.

Most of the world's population will go to work for money tomorrow. And they will do it simply because they will to do it.

God has given us a free will, and day after day we abuse that privilege by using it to do whatever we like, with empty talk about what God wants.

When someone comes along and thrusts God's will in our faces, by pushing the teachings of Jesus, we react in anger; or we say graciously that we have been "challenged" but still do nothing.

"You've given me something to think about" translates "You won't hear from me again." People don't want to forsake their toys and live by faith. So when they hear God telling them to do just that, they exercise their free will and go where they won't hear such talk (usually the nearest church).

No church that we know of teaches people to forsake all and live by faith. No church teaches them to stop working for money and start working for love. No church even wants to be challenged to do that.

When I first told my pastor I was considering living by faith, he cautioned me seriously, saying, "You want to be very very sure that it is God's will before you give up the good job that you now have."

I replied, "From what I've been reading in the teachings of Jesus, I want to be very very careful before I do anything else but obey God on this most serious issue."

Even young people who consider doing missionary work are told that they need a special "call" to do it, when all the call they need is written in the gospels: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

We need a very special revelation not to obey Jesus; and even then I would assume that the revelation was coming from the devil.

A Christian is one who chooses to obey Christ. You don't do it because you saw a vision or because circumstances forced you into it, or because your pastor said it was OK. You do it because God says so.

And if you aren't doing it right now, it's almost certain that it's because you don't want to do it.

As the saying goes: If you can't decide, you already have.

(See also Hearing from God.)

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