“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too” (Genesis 3:6 NLT).
That was the downfall of the human race into sin. It was a choice made by Adam to separate from God and cling to her wife Eve, who just moments ago committed herself to the lies and deceptions of the devil. That was the beginning of life in bondage to sin and the effects of sin. That was the beginning of life that is alien to God. It is the life of sin and death, a life of sufferings, and a life of curse.
There are groups of people today who deny that men have the freedom of choice. They believe that God controls everything that happens to us, even our choices; and this is based on the extreme teaching of the “Sovereignty of God” doctrine. It teaches that our choices are irrelevant and they are meaningless, because God has already a set plan for each one of us, then everything that will happen to us is now all up to God. For example, they teach that you cannot receive your healing if God does not want you to be healed. Therefore, your determination to get healed is out of the question; your freedom to choose to be healed is irrelevant and meaningless. This unbiblical teaching is a faith killer.
Another faith killing teaching is that if you are born poor, it does not matter how you put your efforts to become rich, you will remain poor because God has destined you to become poor. They have this big question in their minds: If God is good, how come more than half of the world population is living in poverty? Or people are sick? The comforting answer they give is that, it might be the will of God that you remain in sickness or remain in poverty.
As a matter of fact, this teaching is beautiful for those who have not able to receive their healings, or prosperity, or deliverance from the bondage of sin. This teaching is the best escape goat for those who do not want to activate their faith. They can always put the blame on God that God does not allow them to get healed, to get out of poverty and delivered from sin. In short, they accuse God that it is the will of God for them not to be healed, remain in poverty and be succumbed into sin.
Please understand that I am not condemning anyone. I am not condemning those who are in sickness and diseases, and those who are in poverty, but it is the will of God that everyone is to be saved, saved from sin, and the effects of sin. The effects of sin are sickness and diseases, poverty and lack. Christ has redeemed us from sufferings caused by sin. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) that the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14 NKJ).
Each of us has the freedom to choose. Just like Adam and Eve, they made a firm decision to choose the lies of the devil. The devil gave them a beautiful presentation and an offer that they could not refuse. That is the devil’s scheme. The devil will not come to you with ugly presentation; the devil always shows himself beautiful prior to make a resistible offer to you. The devil talks and walks as if he is a messenger of Light. Remember, the devil always presents you instant gratification; and once you take bite on it, you succumbed into spiritual death.
In Mark 5:25-34, there was a woman with 12 years of constant bleeding who received instant healing the moment she touched the garment of Jesus. Prior to this incident, Jesus had no knowledge that there was a woman present along with the crowd who were pressing him. Jesus only found that out the moment this woman touched the helm of his garment that the power came out from Him, and suddenly Jesus knew that there was someone was healed at that moment.
You see, that was a classic act of freedom to choose. Jesus has nothing to do with the will of that woman and her freedom to make a choice to be healed. As a matter of fact, Jesus was astonished by the faith of that woman – Her faith was made her whole. There is no indication in this story that God manipulated the whole incident to prove that God is sovereign as they claim. It was the will of that woman to believe that Jesus has the power to heal, and she believed it and made a decision to receive that healing and she received it. That woman never doubted if it is the will of Jesus to heal her. Because she knew that Jesus is the healer.
In Mark 10:17-22¸ there was a rich man who came to Jesus and asked how to receive the eternal life. Jesus told the rich man to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor and then follow Him. Instead of doing what Jesus had told him, the rich man went away sad because he had many possessions. You see, God has given us the freedom to choose. The rich man was given a choice, to be with Jesus or to be with his riches. But he chose to be with his riches. Jesus did not force the issue. Jesus was fair and very professional in his dealing with this man.
In John 6:60-69, Jesus just finished teaching a very hard message. And many of his disciples (not including the 12 disciples) were offended and Jesus challenged them with a harder one, and many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Subsequently, Jesus then gave His 12 disciples a choice, if they wanted to leave also. But Peter made a choice to stay with Jesus. You see, God does not manipulate our minds like robots. God respects our freewill to choose.
The Bible never teaches that God has taken away our freedom of choice. As a matter of fact, God has challenged us to choose which life we are to spend.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” (Deut 30:19 NLT).
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve …” (Joshua 24:15 NLT).
In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul commanded us to renew our minds according to the word of God. We have a choice to change the way we think, and we have a choice to change the behavior of our minds.