Freedom in the Choice to Follow God's Plan
A lot of people struggle with control, myself included. Our world is broken and chaotic and control is a perfectly logical way to make order out of chaos in our small little piece of the world. Sometimes control comes because of our leadership positions: you are responsible for the policies that influence the actions of others, sometimes it’s within our homes, you are a parent that has to set rules and examples in order to raise up a child that isn’t perfect, but does prefer to do more right than wrong. Unfortunately sometimes, it can come completely selfishly. You don’t like the way that a friend is acting or a significant other is acting so you try to control their actions by manipulation. I would hope you wouldn’t do that so maliciously but sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking that it’s necessary to not lose those we hold closest to us.
The problem with basically all of these, even the ones that come naturally, is that God is the first and foremost authority over our lives, especially for those that believe in Him. He is the one that is truly in control. That begs the question then: who is pulling the strings? I think people are asking the wrong question when they ask that question though, because we are not puppets at all. We have free will, God does not have strings attached to us guiding our every move and step and action. He does not pull on a string attached to my arm so I can scratch an itch on my face just because He knew I would scratch my face right at that moment. We as believers don’t exert total free will, that would be hedonism, but we also aren’t totally under God’s thumb. If we were, His sovereignty wouldn’t work!
How many times have you felt like you totally messed up? You were really and truly were in the wrong but eventually repented and continued your relationship with the Lord? Exactly. If He made us to where He was truly controlling our every move down to the letter, none of that would happen because we’d be mindless zombies never stepping out from underneath His control. But instead He’s also made us with free will.
If you’re still not tracking with me, here is an anecdote my old college pastor used in our Sunday school class. Let’s say you play an instrument. Let’s say it’s the piano. You’ve been playing the piano since you were, five, let’s say, and you practiced and/or your parents made you practice pretty much every day from the time you were five when you started. Sometimes it wasn’t fun, especially in the beginning with it was just scales that even run together didn’t sound too much like music, but now? You can sit down at any given piano and play something truly beautiful without sheet music in front of you. You were obedient to submitting your time to practice which has given you the freedom or free will to now play whatever you want.
Obedience helps you to better exercise your free will.
There have been many times where I have been presented with too open of an opportunity that I don’t even know where to begin, but given parameters, someone saying “do this or that, either will be good but you have the choice between the two” gives me an opportunity to choose wisely. I still exercise my free will by making the choice between the two options but I’m not picking blindly just because I can. That’s how we can view God’s will for our lives and how we choose to live out our free will. The free will to submit to His will.
Marisa Williams // @marisathebibliophile
Hey y’all! I’m Marisa! I’m a twenty-two year old recent college grad from Western Kentucky University. I have a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Folk Studies. I’m originally from Dayton, Ohio but have lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the last twelve years. I like all things chocolate and ice cream related (especially chocolate ice cream), I love to write about what I’ve learned on my walk with God, and when I’m not writing, I can be found crocheting, reading, or playing my ukulele.