Category Archives: Desiring God

God’s Gift—Freedom of Choice

imagesGod gave Adam and Eve a wonderful gift. He told them how to use it. Still, they chose not to follow His directions. Do you know what the gift was? Here’s a hint:

In Genesis 2:16 (NLV), God tells Adam:

You are free to eat from any tree of the garden.”

A few sentences later, another hint:

“God made every animal of the field and every bird of the sky. He brought them to the man to find out what he would call them. And whatever the man called a living thing, that was its name.” (vs. 19–20)

1371397Freedom to Choose 
That was God’s gift to Adam and Eve in those first days of human history. It came with one rule: “Do not eat from the tree of learning of good and bad. For the day you eat from it you will die for sure.” (Genesis 2:17) Instead of obeying God, Adam and Eve decided to obey a conniving serpent. They chose bad over good.

God had given them a beautiful life on Earth, a life just shy of heaven. He wanted only good things for His humans. One of those was freedom of choice. God set Adam and Eve free to make every choice, including whether or not to obey Him. He also warned them that choosing wrong had consequences.

Today, Freedom of Choice remains one of our greatest gifts. It’s not provided by nations. It’s a gift given by God. Each of us has the right to choose between what pleases God and what displeases Him—And just like Adam and Eve, every one of us is guilty of making bad choices.

1.-God-free-will

This leads to the issue of judging others. We might disagree with the choices others make, but too often we forget that God has given them the freedom to choose. We should react to an unsafe choice or a choice to harm someone, but in most circumstances when passing judgment on others we need to remember that their choices are between them and God.

Here are two questions to think about:

  • When judging the choices others make, do you support their freedom to choose?
  • Do you believe that supporting someone’s freedom to choose is the same as supporting his or her choices?

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Filed under attitude, Desiring God, Freedom, judging, Relationships, Sin, Uncategorized

Stop and Hear God’s Voice

When was the last time you were in a state of complete silence?

I’m thinking of the kind of silence experienced during a power outage in the middle of the night, a silence separating you from that faint buzz of electricity flowing through your house, a silence so profound that you notice—and it might even scare you a little.

Our world is filled up with noise, man-made dissonance, a cacophony formed from loud music, honking horns, machinery, angry words hurled back and forth and a plethora of other things.

We live in a noisy world where God hears each one of us even when we whisper. But do we hear Him?

For many, the noise is too much. The world steals their silence.

“Be still!” God says. He whispers it in their hearts. He shouts it from the heavens,

But they don’t hear.

Imagine a quieter world in the time when Noah lived. Even then, there was enough noise to distract God’s people from listening to Him. But Noah heard. Envision him standing still in a quiet place when God revealed His plan to destroy the man-made cacophony and start over.

Think of Abraham standing still in the silence beneath a vast star-filled sky.

“Can you count all the stars?” God asked.

Abraham heard when God revealed His plan to bless Abraham with many children and make him the father of many nations.

There are numerous examples in the bible of people hearing God in quiet places. Some sought Him in silence, while others, Jonah and Paul for example, were forced into silence—the belly of a whale, a desolate prison cell—where they heard God reveal His plans. Even Jesus, the Son of God, our Example, our Teacher, the Way that God wants us to live, went to quiet places to be with His Father to listen to Him.

God shouts to us today in our noisy world. He has a plan. He is working His plan right now as we live, and He is trying to get the attention of every man, woman and child on earth.

“Stop. Listen to me!” He says.
“Stand silent!
Know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation in the world!”

(Psalm 46:10 TLB)

God has a plan for you. He wants to lead you away from the noise and eventually to a place where every sound is harmonious and pleasant, His Promised Land—Heaven. God knows the way, and He wants to tell you. So, follow the examples of Noah, Abraham, and Jesus. Escape from the noise. Find a place to be alone with God.

 Listen.
Do you hear Him?


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The Only Good Thing About Rabbits

I’m like Elmer Fudd. I don’t like rabbits, and I’ll do just about anything to keep them out of my flowerbeds.

If you’re a gardener, you know that rabbits dig under fences, and organic repellants do nothing but keep people out of gardens. (Those things stink!) Chicken wire around flowerbeds looks awful, and willful rabbits chew right through it. I suppose that I could be like Elmer and get a shotgun and . . . But then I would feel SO guilty.

Elmer: [after shooting a rabbit Bugs made out of snow] Good heavens! He disintegwated.

[Bugs comes down as the “angel” of the snow rabbit]

Bugs: Eh, what’s up, doc? How are things down here on Earth?

Elmer: I’m sowwy, Mr. Wabbit. I hope I didn’t hurt you too much when I killed you.

Duck! Rabbit, Duck!—1953

Last spring, I ordered a clematis vine, a new variety with flowers the color of Patrick Dempsey’s eyes. I planted it, and I protected it in every way I knew how to keep those wabbits away. I was obsessed watching for those “things with ears” (That’s what I call ‘em.) and keeping them out of my garden.

Elmer Fudd: It’s wabbit season, and I’m hunting wabbits, so be vewy, vewy quiet!

Bugs Bunny’s Bustin’ Out All Over — 1980

And I was successful!

Somehow, some way, my clematis vine grew. And the vine made giant buds. And then, one day, those buds opened up into the most beautiful, McDreamy–ist, blue flowers, and I fell in love all over again with Dr. Derrick Shepherd (“Grey’s Anatomy” fans know what I mean.) And then—

You guessed it. While I slept, like a thief in the night, a rabbit burrowed under the fence. It endured the stinky rabbit repellant, gnawed through the chicken wire, and it ate . . . and ate . . . and ate.

And in the morning, I found one, perfect McDreamy flower lying on the ground. (If rabbits had thumbs, this rabbit would be thumbing its nose at me.)

Bugs: Oh, well. We almost had a romantic ending.

Mississippi Hare–1949

I don’t like rabbits! But there’s one thing that I admire about them— their tenacity.

The prophet Isaiah wrote:
My soul yearns for you in the night,
in the morning my spirit longs for you.

–Isaiah 26:9 NIV

Rabbits are like that. Their souls yearn for what they know is good for them and they stop at nothing to get it,

the way that we should be in our desire for God.

So, this spring when I plant my garden, I will remember that rabbits remind me to seek the Lord with all of my heart, soul, and strength, and then maybe . . . just maybe . . . I won’t be so upset when they eat my beautiful clematis vine—

The one with flowers the color of Patrick Dempsey’s eyes.

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Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!

jan2015FB

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

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Filed under Desiring God