Devotion 98

THE IMPACT OF FREE CHOICE

If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or I speak on my own. (John 7:17)

Through this verse in the Book of John comes the understanding of Free Choice. Why would human beings be given free will, the choice to do and believe whatever they wanted?

Free will is a state of being. This has been granted to us by God, Yahveh, in order for us to freely use one of two paths: the broad path, the road of the ordinary,  or the Path of the Righteous, the narrow path. This has been granted to us, so that we may make our own choice to worship Him, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, or some other deity who, in our own mind, controls the destiny of the universe and our planet. This may be satan, the fallen angel, allah, a created god, ba’al, the ‘master’ of materialism, or ourselves. But this does not answer the question, “Why?”

When Yahveh calls us to be with Him, He wants us to voluntarily go to Him, in love, with respect and honour. He does not want us to be compelled to draw close to Him – this is not love. By making this a voluntary action, we are making a clear choice of whom we wish to worship and adore. It is as simple and as complex as that. There are consequences which follow the creation of Free Will.

The most important of these consequences is chaos. The Oxford English Dictionary defines chaos as – “complete disorder and confusion”. There is also given a number of quite illuminating synonyms, including: disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, madness, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, furor, frenzy, up-roar. Does this give us an adequate picture of chaos? But is chaos necessary in our lives?

Actually, it is. When we are born, we exist in chaos. Everything, for us, is in a state of confusion and tumult. This may or not be the state of being experienced by our parent(s) but it is for us. At this stage in our lives, we have no control over anything, not even our bodily functions. It is only when we develop a grasp on the world, are we to make sense of what has been formed around us.

This level of egocentricity is essential for our development, as this is a conduit through which we enter the world of adolescence and the impact of others’ egocentricity upon us. Here, we begin to make sense of the larger world and begin to find our place in it. The tests and temptations are enormous. Most of us make it through this period of bedlam and emerge as adults in training, at the other end. Unfortunately, a small percentage do not and choose the vicious path of ending their lives or are overtaken by chemical disorders to their brains.

I find it horrendous that the major impact of ‘Free Choice’ is chaos but that is a reality. This is one of the main reasons why, as parents, we have been given the sacred role of guiding our children through the earlier, more chaotic stages of their lives and helping them reach towards the goal of maturely taking control of their daily lives, in order to fashion a life suited to our Creator.

Thankfully, we do have guidance for us, in this sacred path. There are the writings of King Solomon, the Proverbs, which illuminate the path for us. For example, read with me the first part of Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge. We know from our reading that ‘fear’ of Yahveh is holding Him in reverence and awe. Having these attributes, we may look to Him for our leadership and guidance, as we wander through the trials and temptations of our daily lives. However, the second part of this verse describes those who reject this advice and descend into chaos – but fools despise wisdom and discipline. And we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit of our Living God, Who freely leads us on the Path of the Righteous, when we accept Him into our lives.

Beloved, each of us has a most important role to play in the daily lives of others arounds us. As an ancient African proverb shares with us, It takes a whole village to raise a child. When we realize this and look to those within our community who exhibit godly maturity, we have acknowledged the mighty work our Abba has done.

CONSIDER: Do you agree or reject the notion of belonging to a community? Do you have a role in promoting the mature development of your and others’ children or are you only focused on your own?

ACT: When we recognize our roles of advancing mature development within the community, we are ensuring a safe and secure environment for our children. Exercising our free will in a way which supports Yahveh’s Way ensures our children will emerge into adulthood with a strong sense of purpose, supported by a secure moral base.

PRAY: Abba, our Beloved Yahveh, I pray for all those within my community. I ask for your teaching and support to reach them, in order for their children to grow into healthy, morally strong adults. In Your Beloved Name I pray.

May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.