11 April 2014 by Natasha Kim CM –
“Life is only worth living if you are born free” shared Sister Loo Ann who recently preached at New Life, Puchong on the 30th of March 2014. We inherited the gift of free will when God bestowed it upon man during the time of our creation. “Do you think it was a big risk? I think it was a big risk, our awesome and powerful God created us, His beings, and gave us the free will to choose. This means that we have the free will to decide, whether we would like to believe in Him or not, or even acknowledge the fact that He exists” she shared. When humans create something meaningful to them, more often than not, they would choose to keep it. Hence, the act of God who decided to set us free is baffling. Loo Ann opened up this topic, to help the Church understand why humanity was given that gift of free will.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Freedom vs. Independence
She began to illustrate this topic, by telling a story of a man who yearned for freedom and earned his riches only to realise, it was meaningless. He felt lonely. In time, he met a lovely lady whom he made his wife, and together they had children. In time, he felt trapped by the responsibilities of raising a family. Due to his desperate yearning of freedom, he abandoned his wife and children. One fine day, he saw an advertisement in the newspaper about space travel. He got excited about the idea of it, and thought, that perhaps that was the answer to obtaining freedom, for Earth at that point seemed horribly restricted. And so, he fulfilled the necessary procedures needed. In no time, this man found himself on the shuttle to space. He didn’t like the small space in the shuttle, and though he loved being able to float about outside in space, his movements were still restricted due to the cable attached to his suit. There was so much more to space, and so he cut off the cable! In the end, that desperation caused him to lose his life!
Freedom has no true fulfilment without a spiritual relationship with God. “To this man, freedom equals independence. How many of you feel that way? I know my children feel that way. Even as a child of God, I sometimes feel that way too. We know that Jesus came to set us free, so that a lot of times we think that freedom means, being independent, that it is not freedom if I don’t feel free” she shared.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Understanding God-given Free Will
The answer to why we yearn for freedom and to why God gifted it to us, is because freedom is one of God’s basic characteristics. According to the scripture as cited above in Genesis 1:27, we know that mankind was created in the image of God. Due to that, we also inherited His characteristics along with the deep longing for freedom. Loo Ann then began to give another illustration, but this time, one that would illustrate the freedom in God’s kingdom. Imagine that you live in a house with a traffic light down the road. Since the age of 3 years old, your father would hold your hand while crossing the road, and explain how the traffic rules work, that you could only cross when sign at the traffic light changes to the figure of the green walking man. At the age of 13, your father allows you to cross yourself, because you are old enough to go on your own. Since you have been trained, that teaching has been sown deep inside you, and so it crossing the road that way comes naturally. One fine day however, you see an old, fragile, blind lady, wanting to cross the road from across. “What would you do?
In that situation if you know your fathers heart and know how your father would want to respond, you will do as you know your father. So if you know your father’s heart is to give life, and that he will not want to see anyone die, then you will try to cross the street and help this lady across. Being able to discern what God would do, is what freedom in God’s kingdom means” shared Loo Ann. Through your knowledge of God you will be set free to do the right thing in life.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
God created mankind out of love so that we may enter into a relationship with Him. Relationship-wise, everyone would love to be able to choose their ideal partner, due to their need for freedom. The need to rebel is in our nature if we experience any sort of force or unhappiness to do something. Likewise, if God forced people to get to know Him, it would only push us away. God wants us to come to Him by our own choice. “God knows every inch of us. Before we think, God already knows how we would think. Hence, He knows that He cannot force us. At the end of the day, God’s heart is to really have a relationship with us” shared Loo Ann.
That free will, to be able to come to God freely, allows us to want to get to know Him better, and it allows us to enjoy our relationship with Him. In addition, everything that we do in life, is a step by step process, of being able to learn from our achievements and failures, even in relationships. Once people are able to develop that relationship with God, and understand the beauty of free will that has been bestowed to humanity, life will become so much brighter. Walk in appreciation of our loving God, build a trusting relationship with Him, and you will always find a way, when there is no way!
"This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
References for pictures