TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Today is the last day in a 14-day series. We’ve addressed the following hard questions — questions that both believers and non-believers ask:
- Why is there evil in the world?
- Why does God allow natural disasters?
- Why does a loving God send people to hell?
- Why does God seem so angry in most of the Old Testament, and then, all of a sudden, He’s a loving Father in the New?
- Why does God say not to kill, but then instruct Israel to turn around and kill men women and children to take the promised land?
- Why did God let Job suffer horrible things just to win a bet with Satan?
- Why did God tell Abraham to kill his son as a test?
- Why did Jesus have to die for our sins?
- If God can do anything, why can’t He forgive without someone dying?
- How can we trust that the Bible is the inspired Word of God when it was written by men?
- Why is the Bible against women leading in the church?
- Is God very different from what we were taught?
- Does God love us more than ‘drops in the ocean?’
If you missed any of these, they are all on Facebook, Instagram, and the website. Finally — our 14th question — “Does God really give us free will?”
It’s a beautifully complicated question I wrestle with all the time. How can we have free will when God already knows what our decision will be? I can’t wrap my head around it, but I trust that His plan still prevails. Because we see it in Scripture. For instance, we see God’s gift of free will, starting in the Garden of Eden. God created mankind in perfection and told Adam and Eve of His expectations. Then, He allowed them to choose whether they would obey or disobey. Despite their disobedience, God had a plan that would enable us to repair and restore our relationship with Him.
And what is so amazing to me is that He lets us have (or not have) a relationship with Him based on OUR choices. We can choose to accept Him or reject Him. And He does that because love always gives a choice. True love will never coerce or manipulate. It will give freedom and allow for the choice — even if the ultimate decision breaks our hearts… or even God’s heart. And since God is love (1 John 4:8), He gives us that freedom.
Today, let’s go to Revelation 3:20. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” The truth is — Jesus is a gentleman. He’s not going to break down the door of anyone’s heart and force His way in. His gift of free will is right up there among the greatest gifts He offers — right alongside His love, salvation, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The gift of choice. The gift to decide for ourselves whether we will keep the door shut against Him, or invite Him into our hearts.
Still, how do we reconcile free will when God’s will always prevail? I don’t understand it. Yet, in 2 Peter 3:9, it says “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” This is one of those passages that I have learned to take on faith. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present. His will ultimately prevails. That’s why it’s so critically important for us as believers to pray for those who haven’t accepted Christ. We pray for God’s will, knowing that Jesus died for everyone! It means putting people who need Jesus on our prayer list and praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It means we pray for God to put those people in situations that will point them toward Him (Proverbs 16:9). It means we pray with the faith of a mustard seed, waiting for God to move the mountains we cannot move on our own (Matthew 17:20).
The choice is ours. But our loving God hasn’t sat back and left us to our own devices. He’s divinely guiding us so that through our choices, we can be free to choose eternal life with Jesus.
ANNND… that’s a wrap for this series. Tomorrow, we resume our regularly scheduled programming of whatever I feel inspired or led to write. Another huge thank you to my friend Sandra for her support and input through this series…
Some of these questions— I know they aren’t fully answered the way we want them to be. But I think that’s deliberate. Knowledge is power and God doesn’t want us to lean on our own strength, but He wants us to lean on His. He has purposefully left some things as a mystery for His reasons. And as God, He’s within His right to do so.
Pray before you read the Bible and always seek His will. When we put His will above our own, we find ourselves more confident in the unanswered questions because our trust in Him grows.
And finally… Today, as you pray, thank God for His gift of free will. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray for those who have not chosen to follow Christ or have walked away from their faith in Jesus. Pray for God to work in their lives so that they can see God’s love for themselves. Ask Him to direct your choices too so that you may make decisions that are honoring and glorifying to Him. And ask Him to give you the wisdom to lean on Him, trusting that even when you don’t have all the answers, He does.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.