Free will! Yeah! I can choose to do whatever I feel like doing, whenever I feel like doing it, with whoever I feel like doing it and don’t have to answer to anyone. What a beautiful thing!
Isn’t that what we all look forward to when growing up? I can’t wait to grow-up so I don’t have to listen to my parents or any adult or follow any house or school rules. I don’t want anybody telling me what to do! Alright now! More power to you!
So you are grown now. YAY! No more parents or caregivers nagging, telling you what to do, when to do it, who to hang out with and getting punished when your free-will choices got you in trouble, i.e., time out, grounding, favorite stuff taken away. You got away from the people who love and took care of you, kept you safe and protected, and only wanted the best for you even when you messed up. Woo Hoo! Way to go! Been there.
But guess what? You jumped out of the frying pan right into the fire
But guess what? You jumped out of the frying pan right into the fire. Because there are laws, rules, policies and regulations telling you what to do or not do in every facet of your life, i.e., criminal laws, driving and traffic laws, employee conduct and work policy, college academic policies and student code of conduct, apartment rules and regulations, homeowners association rules and bylaws, and the list goes on and on.
Life is good when your free-will choices are aligned with laws, rules, policies and regulations but when they are not, you will get in trouble and suffer the consequences which in some cases are costly and harsh. Keep in mind, the people enforcing these laws, rules, policies, and regulations don’t know you, don’t love you, don’t care about you or your future, dreams or goals (they’re not your parents or caregivers) and they will impose punishments sometimes in a ruthless manner.
God gave you free-will
Free-will is your God-given ability to make good and bad choices about everything, i.e., small or big, simple or complex, insignificant or significant, superficial or deep, irrelevant or important, inconsequential or consequential. You make decisions all day, every day, about things that will impact your life and your future and can alter or change the course of your life for better or worse.
Is your free-will in God’s way?
God has told you His plan for you. “”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT. And Jesus told you His purpose for you. “… My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 NLT. This is all great news! God and Jesus got your back! Alleluia!
But here comes the “but.” But then there is free-will. Is your free-will in God’s way? There are times your free-will is in God’s way. He can’t do the things He planned to do for you, in you and through you. And sometimes your free-will choices change the course of your life and you don’t get exactly what God planned for you. Or God has to take time to fix things, put things back in place and regroup, and all this takes time, prolongs the time and delays your blessing.
Then there are times that because of your free-will choices, you totally miss out on your blessing. And too, your choices sometimes not only impacts your life, future, dreams and goals but also impact other people’s lives.
STOP and THINK of consequences
This is why it is so important to STOP and THINK of consequences. It is important to ask God, “Are my choices lined-up with your plan for me? Use your free-will wisely, make good choices and do the right thing even when everybody around you is not. Because God is never on the wrong side, He’s always on the right side. He will bless you and help you succeed in whatever you’re doing or facing. Please know that even when you make bad choices, and mess-up, God still loves you and will help you but you will still have to pay the price.
So take this moment to think about your past choices, good and bad. Have you learned anything from the bad choices you made? Hopefully you have and moved forward. Are the choices you are faced with today lined-up with God’s plan for your life? If they are not, you really want to consider getting them lined-up with God because you will never go wrong with God on your side.
Bible stories about free-will bad choices and consequences
I’ll be sharing snippets of four Bible stories about free-will bad choices and their consequences. I encourage you to read the entire Bible stories.
These are stories about ordinary people like you and me. These people were far from perfect, with all kinds of faults and weaknesses but God loved them anyway. God put these true stories in the Bible so we can learn from them and not make the same mistakes. But some of us are too hardheaded and have to learn the hard way.
God’s message to you is that when you make free-will bad choices, there will be consequences but He still loves you. God will be with you through thick and thin. You better believe that.
Adam and Eve
God created Adam, then Eve and He gave them free-will. God told Adam that He could eat from every tree except one, the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:15-17). At some point after Eve was created Adam shared this important information with her. We know this because when the serpent approached her, she told the serpent what God said about the tree of knowledge, and she knew that the consequence of eating from that tree was death (Genesis 3:2-3). Well, that didn’t stop Eve from doing exactly what God told them not to do. And Adam, was like, forget God, I’m going to join my wife and eat from the forbidden tree too (Genesis 3:6-7). Really!
Because of their free-will bad choice, we all wound-up with a death sentence. This is the first and biggest mess-up. Only Jesus could fix this! That’s why Jesus came and died on the cross, so God could get back on track with His plan for all of us. Thank you Jesus!
“So you see, just as death came into world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NLT
Abraham and Sarah
Okay so Abraham and Sarah didn’t have children. One day God told Abraham in a vision that he will have a son and will have many descendants (Genesis 15:1-5) and Abraham believed God. Sarah could not have children, that’s what she believed, and told Abraham to go sleep with Hagar, their servant. Abraham agreed and happily went along with it. Hagar got pregnant and had a baby boy, Ishmael. Abram was 86 years old (Genesis 16).
Well, this turned into a hot mess, a baby mama drama. Hagar felt that since she was Abraham’s baby mama, she was at the same level with Sarah, her master, so the two women started bickering. Then Sarah blamed Abraham and wanted him to put Hagar in her place. But Abraham didn’t want to get in the middle of it so he told Sarah that Hagar was her servant and to deal with her as she deemed fit.
Obviously, this whole shenanigan was not part of God’s plan. Abraham’s and Sarah’s free-will bad choices momentarily threw a monkey wrench in God’s plan. God wound-up having to get involved to fix the mess, put order and re-group so He could get back to working on His plan for Abraham. Anyway, God kept His promise. When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 99 years old, Sarah had a baby boy, Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3).
“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have! And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” Romans 4:18-21 NLT
Moses and Aaron
So Moses was sick and tired of the Israelites’ constant whining and complaining. When the Israelites arrived in the wilderness and camped, there was no water for them to drink and they rebelled against Moses and his brother Aaron. Moses and Aaron left the people and went to the tabernacle to hear from God. God told Moses to speak to the rock and water will pour out. Well Moses lost his temper and started shouting at the people and raised his hand and struck the rock with his staff and water gushed out. But that was not what God told him to do… oops.
Right then God told Moses and Aaron that because Moses didn’t do what He told him to do, they would not lead the people into the promise land. Aaron died without even seeing the land (Numbers Chapter 20). God allowed Moses to see the whole land but not enter, then he died (Deuteronomy Chapter 34). God’s plan for Moses and Aaron was for them to live in the land He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But because of their free-will bad choice they both missed-out on that blessing.
“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” Numbers 20:12 NLT
“The time has come for Aaron to join his ancestors in death. He will not enter the land I am giving the people of Israel. Because the two of you rebelled against my instructions concerning the water at Meribah.” Numbers 20:24 NLT
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes, but you will not enter the land.” So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, just as the Lord had said.” Deuteronomy 34:4-5 NLT
David and Bathsheba
Let’s talk about David, the man God called, “A man after His own heart.” Remember David, the boy who killed Goliath, the giant? Now he’s all grown-up and the King of Judah. This handsome King was a “player-player,” if you know what I mean. Well King David was married and lusted after another man’s wife, Bathsheba, and slept with her. He thought it was going to be a one night stand but she wound-up pregnant. Then David tried everything to get Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) to sleep with his wife, even got him drunk, so he would think the baby was his. But nothing worked.
David got desperate and orchestrated Uriah’s murder. After Uriah died, David married Bathsheba and she became one of his wives and she gave birth to their son. The baby died on the seventh day (2 Samuel Chapters 11 and 12). Talk about a royal mess! And the mess didn’t end there, it spread throughout his family. David’s free-will bad choice brought pain, hurt, broke-up a marriage, killed an innocent man and baby and his family became totally dysfunctional.
“Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the Lord by doing this, your child will die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14 NLT
Say & Believe this powerful message: “Greater is Jesus in Me!”
From Deb’s to yours…
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