Easter is the biggest reminder of Jesus’ love. He made the Free Will decision to come as a baby born to a virgin, live a sinless life, take our sin and our punishment on the cross…sacrifice himself for us by dying in our place, then being raised from the dead. Now He is alive and seated at the right hand of God, where he intercedes for us. Now, we must make the Free Will choice to believe in Him or not.
Our entire life is a series of Free Will choices. Will Jesus guide and direct us? Of course, especially when we ask Him through prayer. The fact is He already knows what we will do. Someone explained it to me like this. Jesus is outside of time. He looks at our lives like we look at history. He can focus down on one person and can see his or her birth, life and death. He can see each day, every decision or choice, each plan, and how everyone else’s decisions affect each person. From His vantage point, He can and does help us avoid problems, make good selections, and guide us down the path He wants us to go. But, we can say no and go it our own way too.
I believe this is the reason God hates sin so much…it never touches just us. When we make a free will decision to do something, most times it will have impact on someone else. Whether good or bad, others feel the results of our selections. God loves everyone so very much; He hurts for each of us when something hurts us. If another person does the hurting, God is upset…big time…the consequences are eternal.
Take stealing. When a person robs someone else, the person who takes hardens their heart toward others. They don’t care that losing the item might cause hardship. The person who loses the thing is out their time and money to purchase another, if they are even able to. Then those around both people are affected by the theft.
Another example is adultery. When two people break their marriage vows and go outside the marital bed, they hurt the person they are married to, any children they may have, and family and friends. It never affects just the two having the affair.
Sin is like a rock thrown in the lake. It ripples out. The waves hit closest to where the rock went in the water, but the current continues to cause breakers for a long while.
The flip side is true as well. When we choose to help or encourage others, we share our faith through action rather than words. Our honest and humble dealings with others, is seen by those around us. We can touch the heart of the hurting or discouraged with our kindness and generosity. We can win unbelievers to the Lord without saying a word.
This is why our Free Will is a big deal. For believers in Jesus, people watch us and judge Jesus and all Christians by our behavior and choices in life. That can be a huge ripple for someone struggling to believe or doesn’t have faith at all. That’s why our walk matters. Why our speech, actions, and attitudes have such impact. The old adage ‘No Man is an Island’ is very true.
We are responsible for what we choose in this life. The idea ‘The devil made me do it’ does not cut it. I do believe Satan and his minions can and do try to influence humans…even Christians, we have Free Will to listen or reject them. There are many in the Christian community who do not believe evil forces can do anything to believers. But I reject that thought or the Bible would not repeatedly warn us about the wiles of the devil.
It would not tell us to put on the Full Armor of God to protect us from the spiritual arrows that he and his fallen angels throw at us. This is why Bible study and prayer is so important to our walk.
As the days ahead grow spiritually darker, it will be more important than ever to prepare your heart for the evil to come.
Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.