It seems that one of the great questions between Christians and indeed, the world at large is in regards to individual choice. Do we have the ability to make choices which can influence our future or are we merely the helpless victims of fate?
In Greek mythology, we find the Moirai which are known in English as "The Fates". Their names are Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable). They would spin, measure and cut the cord of life for each individual. According to the ancient Greeks, even the gods were subject to The Fates and could not alter what they had decreed.
In the second chapter of Genesis we learn that God planted a tree called "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the middle of the garden He had created as a dwelling place for Adam (Genesis 2:8-9). Then God proceeds to give man a commandment. He tells man that he is free to eat from any tree in the garden but he must not eat the fruit of that particular tree or he would die.
Have you ever wondered why God even placed the tree in the Garden of Eden in the first place? I have and I personally believe that in order to truly "be good", one must actually choose to do so. Would Adam and Eve choose to listen to and obey God or would they be disobedient and do what was right in their own eyes? This was the same choice Jesus made when he was tempted by the enemy.
We see people being presented with choices by God throughout the Bible. We see Abraham, making the choice to trust and obey God when God told him to sacrifice Isaac. We see Joseph making the choice to do the right thing in regards to Potipher's wife even though it landed him in prison.
It took some persuading, but Moses chose to obey God even though Egypt was the last place he wanted to return to and he ended up leading very stubborn, rebellious and ungrateful people. Joshua challenged the people to choose who they would serve and then declared his choice. He and his household would serve the Lord.
Though very frightened, Gideon chose to do what God said. David chose to trust in God and believe that one day he would become king even though at the present time he was a wanted man on the run. Daniel and his friends chose to obey God, even when it defied the king's commands and even when the penalty for disobedience was death.
We also have examples of people who did not choose to obey God. King Saul is a good example which comes to mind. Indeed, there are numerous examples of when various kings of both Israel and Judah chose to ignore or disobey God.
In the Book of Jeremiah, God says:
For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.
Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do: but they did them not.
God says that He told the Israelites over and over again, right up to this very moment to obey His voice and yet He says they did not. Does anyone really want to suggest that God gave a command, said terrible things would happen if He wasn't obeyed and then gave the people no choice to be obedient? Do we really want to say that? I don't, yet that is exactly what I believe we are saying when we say that people are doomed to either come to God or not.
Who are we to decide whose heart God speaks to? How dare we suggest that the precious blood of Jesus is not available to all who desire to come!
When I read the Gospels, the message of Jesus Christ is an invitation to come. Did He not teach a parable about the man who gave a great dinner? Invitations were given but they were refused. What did the man do? He told his servants to go out into the highways and the byways, seeking those who would come and sit at his table.
The table is set and ready. Salvation, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ is here, available for all. The messengers are going out into the highways and byways by decree of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16). Will we come? If we don't, we cannot blame God. We cannot even blame the enemy. We can only blame ourselves for the choice we made.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cali4beach/8485217048/
Excellent presentation of a very important aspect of life. God does not control us or program us as robots to do His will. Freedom of will is one of the greatest of all God's gifts. What we do with that freedom, the choices we make etc determine how Godly of a life we will live and how much we will please God in our walk.
Blessings 2 You