From the time, we were able to move we want to get things “our way”. We push, shove, hit, and bully when we are young. As we get older, whinging, wining, and pouting come into the frame. We know we reach adulthood when every technique becomes part of our daily arsenal! Simply put, we want out way or else.
God’s funny about this. Many people believe God will not let us decide. If everyone goes to heaven then God must override people’s choice, because clearly not everyone wants to have a relationship with God. The premises is that God will not, would not, let us burn in hell. As helpful or kind as this might seem, the underlying result is that we lose our freedom of choice!
The God I find in the Bible is not like that. God loves us with such an extreme intensity and depth that he let part of himself die on a cross so that we could have the possibility of eternal relationship with Him. However, as strong as God’s love is, the value He places on our freedom of choice is even greater. He will not override our will, our choice. The Biblical God is one that values us as individuals, humans with the ability to think and decide that he will not take that choice away.
“So God said, in effect, ‘If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.’” (Romans 1.24) You can choose but you will also live with the results of your decisions.
In many ways, we are already getting the reality of our choice. Environmental disasters, wars, Wall Street greed, corruption, and the lists continue. On a personal level we see, feel, and struggle with self versus giving up to God. While the reality may be plain, the choice on a moment-to-moment basis is often difficult.
So where does this leave us? We can revel in the freedom that God gives us, knowing that he wants the best! We can “give up” to God so the reality of heaven on earth can be real.