Do Not Take This Lightly: Part 4 of 4-Part Easter SeriesApril 19, 2023
Your Father Knows Before You Ask Him: Part 1 of a 3-Part SeriesMay 2, 2023
You probably think you have free will. You might even be proud of your witty and clever free will. You might fancy yourself to be a smart person. You might see yourself as a free-spirited, avant-garde, advanced human. “I am the king of my castle.” “I am woman, hear me roar!”
But what if I were to propose that you actually have no free will, that is, until you surrender your will to God’s will? Argh! That sounds so counterintuitive. Surrender my will to gain free will? I always thought it was the opposite: If I surrender my free will to God’s will, I lose my identity. I lose my freedom. I become a Christian clone.
Over all these years of 721 Ministries, I have observed that this fear of losing one’s free will is a constant roadblock for men. I’m sure women, too, but I have seen it up close and personal with men. No man likes the idea of surrender. It sounds like defeat. It sounds like quitting … it feels like giving up.
Men are raised diametrically opposed to surrender. We are raised to power up, to take control. To control things, and others, so as to control the outcome. We are raised under the mantra, “If I don’t, it won’t. If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”
The reality is that this is all a house of cards. We have no true free will until we surrender our will to God’s. Then and only then are we actually free. Until then, we are controlled by our sinful nature – our human Self. What we think are free will choices are influenced by our upbringing, what we read and hear, what others say, and our ingrained selfish nature.
Perhaps your free will is even influenced by indigestion from the spicy pizza you ate last night!
We are tainted by our sinful nature, and the sinful nature of others who have influenced us. We are corrupted by Self. Here is how the Holy Spirit states this. Read this carefully:
Those who live according to the flesh – Self – have their minds set on what the flesh – Self – desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind controlled by the flesh – Self – is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind controlled by the flesh – Self – is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are controlled by the flesh – Self – cannot please God.—Rom. 8:5-8 (“Self” added)
7 “The mind controlled by the flesh – Self – is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” No free will there!
You and I are slaves to our Selfs and our sinful nature. Our only true freedom is found in surrendering – and then slowly killing off – the old Self, and its corrupted will. Then, freedom! Freedom to live the life for which you were created. When you surrender your free will to God’s will, you will soon see how blind you were, and how ridiculous your proud free will was.
I have, and you will, too.
True freedom, as oxymoronic as this sounds, is found only in surrendering to the Lord:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.—1 Cor. 3:17
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.—Gal. 5:1
As long as we try to hold onto our will, our way, we will lose the freedom-life Jesus wants for us. But if we will surrender our tainted, not-so-free will to his will, his way, then Jesus guarantees we will find the Life that is truly life, the life he came for us to have.
“Your free will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”