Another weekend has come and gone culminated by a powerful church service featuring, at its conclusion, an incredible call to action.
The sermon focused on David, leading up to him slaying Goliath and finally, cutting off the giant’s head to bring complete, final closure to the “issue”. Pastor Jason used this illustration to challenge us all to ask God to help us “cut the head off” of that particular thing in our life that get’s in the way of our relationship with God…that sin, that weakness we have…whatever it is.
I remember sitting up in the sound booth crying, thinking of how much I hate my sin. I kept feeling like I wished I had no say in my life decisions…because my “free will” often lead to doing the wrong thing, sinning, separating myself from God (in my eyes).
I see things so much differently these days, at times at least. I can see why adults used to tell us as kids that we’d be better off if we never took a drink, never tried a cigarette, never watched certain types of movies, etc. These things can cause so many problems, and the memories don’t go away. There are so many worldly things that our free will chooses at times that put us in a place where we aren’t keeping God first in our thoughts.
I know how I feel when I’m in the presence of God, worshiping Him, praising Him, serving Him. I long for that feeling on a regular basis, and it makes me hate the things I do that prevent me from having that! Sometimes I wish I didn’t have this “free will” and that God would just remote control me to do His will, rather than my own.
His will is perfect, just, always the right thing to do! I can’t claim my choices produce those kinds of results. Of course, the catch is that if it were that simple, God’s love couldn’t shine through as it does. You see, God gave us free will as an act of love for us. Think about it…you love your children, therefore you don’t treat them like slaves, doing everything as you command and not making any choices because they simply “want to”.
Dante said in The Divine Comedy:
The greatest gift which God in his bounty bestowed in creating humans, and the most conformed to his own goodness, and that which he prizes the most, was the freedom of the will.
Still, as Mike Ruffin writes that of the problems we encounter in life most of them:
…are more often than not the result of poor choices that we or others make. In short, we have no one to blame but ourselves for most of the trouble we confront in life.
So this free will can get us in trouble at times too! That’s why sometimes it seems like it would be so much easier if God was directing our every move. Of course, we can get close to that sort of “control” or moreover, influence, by doing our best to submit to God always.
Sure, easier said than done, but I’ve noticed a desire to rid myself of the things of the world, the things of my own selfish heart, etc. I realize how truly fulfilling it is to do God’s work compared to doing my own thing. I mean, when I die will I look back on my life and say, “Because of all of those movies I watched, the drinks I had, my life was complete!”
No, I doubt we’ll even remember any of that when God calls us up. I’d rather look back and know that I followed our Creator, the author of our salvation, and furthered His purpose of bringing more and more people with me to Heaven to enjoy eternal life together with Jesus!
It’s hard to remember all of this, or not to shove it aside “in the moment”. Pastor Jason talked about this on Sunday as well. About being motivated for the cause and how if you’re highly motivated you get distracted less easily. That’s why we have to keep our eyes on God, in the Bible, praying…to keep us focused on the goal and not on life’s circumstances that we use to make excuses to deviate from the path!
I’m mostly talking to myself here, because I’m not great at keeping all of this in mind on a regular basis. I need to read my Bible more, put on Christian music regularly, keep putting more and more good stuff IN me so that God can get more and more good stuff OUT of me.
As always, I’ll keep you posted on “The Walk”.