“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?
This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”
[This is from page 75 of Blaise Pascal’s Pensees (New York; Penguin Books, 1966).]
Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
John 6:38-40 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
John 7:17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
The will. Freedom to make choices for one’s own life. Not robots doing as directed. Mankind created in the image of God who has a will of His own and makes it known to man through His prophets, priests, law, and His very own Son. As Creator, He gets to lay out the boundaries. You don’t tell an artist how to paint the picture they have conceived. They choose color, contrast, texture, frame, lighting, shadow; they determine what is revealed boldly and what is hidden in subtlety. Man was given this same ability: to choose, to direct, to will. God does not demand allegiance like a dictator. Father God desires our relationship. We too long for relationship.
Jesus came choosing to do His Father’s will. God had and has good plans for mankind. We, individually, alone decide if we will follow God and His will for our lives or we will live independently. Both choices result in a life path to an eternal destination. We were created as immortal beings because He breathed into us the breath of life.
The will of man allows man to choose, plan, seek, disobey, rebel, pursue, and ignore. All are willful choices and “to not choose is to make a choice.” This is how our morality is exhibited as our sense of “right and wrong.” This is how we express our spirituality–our capacity to be in relationship to God. Will gives depth and dignity to our lives. Will sets us apart from the rest of the creation.
“Humanity was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness.” (gotquestions.org) The willful decision to disobey “marred and disfigured” this image. (focusonthefamily.com) Because we retain this image of God, despite the fact it is broken, the image is what makes man redeemable in the eyes of God. It is the reason Jesus came: To redeem the image of His Father in man. It is the image of God in man the enemy attacks through a myriad of methods.
The choice is ours. We can choose to follow Christ for the redemption He promises or we can choose to “leave the offer on the table.” Jesus said He alone was “the way” back to the Garden and righteousness and innocence and fills our craving. When we say “Yes,” to Jesus, He gives His Holy Spirit to dwell in our “tent” to guide our future decisions and help us do the will of God as He did. We are the ones whom God loves. He proved it through Christ and Christ proved He was a man like us when He prayed, “not my will but thine be done.” Christ made a choice to do His Father’s will to redeem His own image.
Jesus said “I stand at the door and knock.” Will you choose to let Him in or will you leave Him standing outside. He will not break the door down.
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” [Proverbs 16:25]
Will you choose your way or God’s way. It is your life. As an image bearer of God, I will respect your decision and treat you with honor and dignity. God too, will respect and honor your God-given will in this matter.
Mercy Saw Me by Calvin Hunt