It is most freeing to know that God, in His divine sovereignty, has chosen to give us a choice(s). One attribute we see over and over again in Scripture is God choosing to let man make a choice. This is the doctrine of Free Will.
It only takes the consequences of a few bad choices to realize we have a free will. God gives opportunity after opportunity throughout Scripture for individuals to make choices. Even not making a choice is making a choice to not make a choice. I would lose count if I began to number every time God gave man a choice. This is why it’s so important to know the God of the Scriptures. The God of the Bible is so sovereign and so wise that He is able to accomplish His will without preprogramming everything.
It’s comforting to know God is grieved by people and things that are contrary to His will and desire. “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). God was grieved and pained over the actions of people in the days of Moses. He is still grieved by the sinful choices of men today. What does this tell us about God’s most freeing choice? That He cares for all of us. Only a God who cares for His creation could be grieved by their disobedience. If He didn’t grieve then He wouldn’t care. We have an amazing God who cares for His creation.
We serve a God who does not delight in the death of the wicked but rather desires that they repent. “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 18:23). Yes, there are consequences to sin but as frustrated as we may get toward another person’s sin against you or others we must not delight in their consequences but desire repentance just as God does.
God calls us to make a choice(s) and He blesses those who make good choices and condemns those who refuse His grace. When reading the Bible cover to cover without theological presuppositions, as much as humanly possible, you will see the ability to accept His grace or refuse His grace. “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Romans 2:6-8). God gives us the free will to refuse Him so that we have the delight in accepting Him.
Our God, in His Divine sovereignty, expresses His desire for all people to know Him. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). To know that God is concerned for every person in the world past, present, and future is freeing. We never have to wonder why God cares for some and not others because the view of God in the Bible is so big that He desires all to know him.
We can conclude from Scripture that the God of the Bible loves us enough to give us a choice. We know that authentic love requires authentic choice. I remember as a 5-year-old boy recognizing my sinful nature and asking God to forgive me. Choosing to receive God’s gift of salvation was the most amazing experience of my life and continues to be.
God desire is to show Himself sovereign, faithful, loving, and holy all at the same time by choosing to let us make choices. What joy it is to freely choose life and to choose obedience rather than facing the consequences of choosing death and disobedience. God has given you a choice and choices. He is extending salvation to you and calling you to obedience. Have you chosen obedience? Have you repented and accepted His salvation as a gift of grace?
(This blog first appeared on the Engage Magazine website HERE)