28 February 2012

Freedom To Choose

“…You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….”
Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV UK)

The Bible tells us that we have free will. In the above scripture, God told Adam he was free to eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He went on to say that if he did, he would surely die. Adam did not believe God. He disobeyed God, and when he ate the fruit, he chose his own way. Adam and all of mankind have suffered because of this bad decision. Romans 5:12 tells us, “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.”

In Proverbs we are told that there is a way that seems right to man, but its way leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). In life we are able to choose God’s way, or our own way. How many of us seek God’s guidance and direction in our daily lives, praying to God earnestly and in sincerity, believing that God will direct our steps? The vast majority of us choose our own way, and we suffer because of it.

So why do we choose a path contrary to God? James asked, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). He advises us, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.” (James 4:7-8). James is showing us that the fights and quarrels, and other wrong desires are from the devil, and are contrary to God, to whom we need to submit. The problem is one between our desires for the things of this world, which are carnal and selfish; and our desires for God, which are spiritual and selfless.

Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God, and also to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6.33). Let us follow Jesus, and seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness first, not the selfish things of this world. Let us seek God’s guidance and direction, and store up for ourselves the treasure in heaven, mentioned in Matthew 6:20, where moth and rust do not destroy.

Dear Heavenly Father, please guide and direct our steps, and help us to always seek you and your kingdom in all that we do.

Study by Kevin Shaw

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