The Freedom to Choose

Have you ever wondered, “Why did God put the tree in the Garden of Eden if He knew that Adam and Eve would sin? Why would God give us freedom He knows we would abuse?”

It’s really a fair question.

And a rather rational one.

If God desires a relationship with us, but knew that Adam and Eve would sin and become separated from Him; if He knew that He would have to sacrifice Himself to pay the penalty for our sins in order to restore our relationship with Him, why would He offer us a choice to sin? Why would He give us an opportunity to disobey? Was it not foolish to plant the tree in the garden where they lived, especially knowing that they would eat from it? Why wouldn’t He plant the tree somewhere else? Or keep it in Heaven?

Wouldn’t that have been so much wiser?

Wouldn’t that have been so much easier?

What mercy, what grace that our God does not value ease over a relationship with us. 1 Corinthians 1:27 tells us, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” In our humanity, we often seek the easiest way, the way that we can control, because it often feels like the safest, most secure option.

Yet what God reveals to us through the biographies of His people in scripture is that easy is not as eternally valuable as turning to Him in obedience, with faith and thanksgiving, in the midst of the struggle; that He is the ultimate source of safety and security; that He is God and we are not. He lovingly unfolds His redemptive plan for us to teach us that redeemed man is most valuable to Him because redeemed man has chosen Him as Lord.

Great Freedom

The greatest freedom that the Lord has given us is the freedom to choose what we will think and what we will do. In the daily walk of our lives, with the ordinary and extraordinary moments, to choose His will, His plan, and His way, or to choose our will, our plan, and our way. To choose to trust Him and His sovereignty, or to respond by grasping for power and control. To strive to become more like Him, or to strive to become who the world says that we should be. To respond with rejoicing, ceaseless prayer, and thanksgiving in every situation, or to respond in fear with our own judgement and perceived wisdom.

So often the most difficult things that we face come into our lives without our choice. Maybe you’re facing death or illness, the loss of a career or too many roles to play in your life that give you no fulfillment. These times can feel meaningless and void and it’s easy to begin to feel powerless. May I gently remind you of the greatest freedom the Lord has given you: to choose how you will respond.

Thought to consider

How can you start making choices to find meaning where there seems to be none?

What choices can you make in faith, obedience, and thanksgiving full of eternal value?

How can you choose to find your safety and security in Him?