Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
The Authority of Our Will
From the very beginning we can see that God has given man a free choice. Adam and Eve were disobedient against God's specific commandment. The result for them was spiritual death and eventually physical death. Why didn't God stop them from this disobedient act knowing full well the outcome? He certainly had the power to stop them, yet He didn't even try. It wasn't His will that they sin, He specifically told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He told them the day that they ate of it they would surely die. You might wonder why He didn't just stop them. His most precious creation, man would not have died. God allowed them to sin because He gave them the authority to do what ever they wanted to do. This is not saying He commissioned them to sin, God forbid, but He most certainly allowed it to happen didn't He? God gave man the ultimate authority to do whatever they wanted to do. In this sense He made us just like Him, we have the power of choice. It is always in our best interest when we choose to do what He has told us to do.
There is great authority placed in our freedom of our choice. We have the authority to choose life and we have the authority to choose death. He will not make us choose life. It has to be our choice or we would not have a free will would we? This may seem like a very obvious point, but if we only had one choice, we wouldn't have to choose would we? God gave Adam more than one choice for a reason. If Adam did not exercise a free will and choose to sin there would not have been judgment. On the other hand if he had obeyed there would have been a different outcome and he would not have had to die. This is the ultimate authority that we have been given.
God wanted Adam as well as us to choose obedience of our own free will. He didn't create robot children. The authority that Adam was given, was given to Satan when Adam sinned. Adam had the legal right to turn the keys of the planet Earth over to Satan. Morally he didn't have the right but legally he did, and God had to honor that decision. God could not go back and say well I changed my mind. God can not lie, He had to honor Adams decision or that would make Him unjust, and He is not. Adams decision had consequences, just like our decisions have consequences. Sin is a choice just like obedience is a choice. We could say it like this, sin would not be sin if it were not by choice would it? We have to choose to separate ourselves from the fellowship of God. Most people would never consciously acknowledge this fact but it is true none the less. Sin is a choice and always has consequences. We don't always consider the consequences but they are there.
Thank God, He has not left us without a way back.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Sin breaks fellowship with God, we have to acknowledge the sin in order to restore broken fellowship. If we won't acknowledge the sin we are self deceived as the Word says. Yet when we confess sin He forgives, and fellowship is restored. Even in this we have a choice.
Another area we have free choice in is we each have gifts and abilities that He has given to us and He wants us to use them for His kingdom of our own free will, yet again He will never force us to do anything. Even as there are negative consequences for sin, there are positive consequences for obedience. Many Christians have not come to the point where they have seen this truth. They only see the consequences of sin and think God is up in heaven with a spiritual baseball bat waiting to smack them as soon as they get out of line.
That is so far from the truth, God wants us blessed that's why He's given us His Word. He's given us a set of instruction for success. He personally backs them up and He knows that we can not succeed without them.
Have you ever heard Christians say, why did God allow that to happen to me, I'm a good Christian. I certainly don't have all the answers but I know there are real reasons for everything that happens, many times it's because we don't know what the Instruction Book has to say. We are all at different places in our spiritual walk, the gambit will always range from babies to fully grown mature Christians, and everyone in between, but as God's children, we have to walk after Him. We have to choose His ways, but before we can choose His ways we have to know His ways don't we? We can't walk in what we don't know. We have to know the truth of God's Word in order to walk in the freedom it brings. God's Word has to be applied to our lives in order for that to happen.
Proverbs 5:23 He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Many of God's children are destroyed for a lack of instruction and of knowledge. In Hosea it says that the reason is because they have rejected knowledge and forgotten the law of your God. This implies that they once knew His law and didn't have enough reverence for His Word to remember it.
I realize that this sounds hard but God Himself is the one who said this. If we will not receive the truth of His Word then we are rejecting it outright. We have to always be open and teachable to God's Holy Spirit. I don't want to be accused of rejecting knowledge and be destroyed because of this, do you? Many times these are the same Christians who end up blaming God for the bad things that happen. I know this, He wants good things for us, but as I often say we have a part to play. We have to receive knowledge and instruction when it is given. It's not always pleasant and it may not always line up with our theology. I�ve heard Christians say, well that's not what we believe or that's not what we were taught to believe.
When I look back at all the things I've been taught, I know that many things were not based on the Bible but mans tradition or because they themselves were taught a certain way. Their parents were taught that way, their grandparents were taught that way, and they were taught that way. They certainly weren't going to be the ones to break tradition and upset the apple cart. After all, the family would be upset with them. I know a little about this. My mother was raised in a very strict denomination background. She was seeking the truth and was tired of mans religion. God's Word tells us to seek and we will find. She didn't care what man thought, she knew there was more to God then just playing religion. Through a series of circumstances she came to know Jesus as her Savior and Lord, and later received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Her sisters told her she was going to hell and taking her family with her. Well, that is a hard place to be in. She stayed with the truth of God's Word that she had received and later was able to lead much of her family into salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit and into a fuller walk with Christ. She refused to back down from the truth she had received, and because of this saw her family turn to Christ. Her brother in law later became an ordained minister. This all happened because truth was more important to her than tradition. God always backs His Word. God helps us all to get to that place.
When we come to the realization that God will always honor His Word and our decision to be obedient, we won't be concerned with what people, or even our own families might have to say. Truth is eternal and unchangeable, if it wasn't it wouldn't be truth would it?
It's what our faith is based upon and it is the solid foundation that can not be shaken, glory to God.
We as Christians all have a decision to make, whether to seek after the truth at all cost or reject knowledge. Regardless, God will honor our decision. He had to honor Adams decision and He will honor ours as well.
The second Adam chose to do God's will. Jesus exercised His right to choice as well. He prayed in the garden before He was crucified, He prayed to the Father and said, not my will but Your will be done. He could have chosen not to go to the cross, and The Father would have honored it. Jesus said this in... John 10:17. "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.''
A lot of the Jews were divided because of these sayings and accused Him of all kinds of things. In today's society people don't want to be held accountable for anything. They don't want to take responsibility for being obedient. It's kind of a no fault religion. Regardless of what happens it's not their fault. It's easier to just say, well God allows things to happen His ways are mysterious, and we just don't know. He does allow things to happen many times because we are the ones who had the authority to do something and refused to do anything. God is legally bound to honor our decisions. If we speak death and destruction over our lives He has to honor it. If we reject His truth, regardless of whether it was out of ignorance or prideful arrogance, He has to honor that. If we are disobedient, He has to honor it. He absolutely cannot over ride our decision. A just God could never do that.
Many Christians just say, well you never know what God is going to do, not realizing that they are side stepping the authority that was placed in their hands by Jesus Himself, and because of this they are rejecting the very thing would cause them to walk in victory. Wow!
It doesn't have to be that way, it�s not too late to turn things around. Jesus gave us the a great example in John 5:30 "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
As we seek the will of God, we can stand fast in the knowledge that our will and our decisions are based on the truth and because of that we will not fail. We have God backing us up. What a ways to live! Amen.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "�and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You won�t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "�that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "� with the heart one believes to righteousness�" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.