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Be a Wise Person

Posted 10/17/2017

Last week, we explored God's Beautiful Plan, where we discussed God's eternal plan on us, and how He has made everything beautiful in its time.  This week, we will talk about one of the greatest blessings from God--perhaps a privilege that we arguably mishandle the most--the privilege of free will.

 

Free will is the choice to do whatever we want.  For instance, we chose to accept the Lord after someone preached the gospel to us because we wanted or needed to, not being forced to.  God wouldn't force us to believe in Him or to love Him--we can freely choose to accept or deny God.  It's just that there are consequences or implications in whatever choice or decision that we make.

We are no different than Adam and Eve

 

The first case of free will being exercised, according to the Bible, involved Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter three.  Before God created Eve, He commanded Adam, telling him that he can eat the fruits of every tree, except that from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:16-27) because, if he eats it, "he would surely die."  In chapter three, soon after Eve was created, the serpent used cunning words and doubting questions to tempt Eve into eating the fruit from the tree that God commanded Adam not to.  After both Eve and Adam ate the fruits, they  not only realized they were naked, but they felt guilt and shame, and they hid from God in fear.  

 

After reading this passage, some may blame Eve for being naive or disobedient.  The key was why she ate the fruit, which was explained in verse six, that the tree was delightful in the eyes and the fruits were to make one wise.  If only we would know why God not only gave us free will, but He created us with such a curious mind!  Surely, in the exchange between Eve and the serpent, Eve knew which trees she could eat the fruits from, but she couldn't resist it.  Yes, the serpent played a key role in this incident, but it didn't force Eve to grab and eat the fruit, and it definitely didn't force her to give some to Adam or make him eat them as well. 

 

We make choices based on our own preferences, desires, and senses; the more we are told not to obtain, we tend to get it, like how some think that the rules are there to be broken.  Often, when we realize the consequences of gaining that certain object, prestige, desire, etc., we often blame God; asking why He didn't do something to prevent this.  Unfortunately, God wouldn't yank your hands or mind from gaining whatever that'd be harmful for us in the long run, either.  Like a loving parent, God wouldn't force us to do--or not to do--certain things.  It's just that we do it until we realize the implications because we are too curious to stop sooner.

 

Eve ate the fruits because they were delightful in her eyes and could make her wise.  Today, many of us pursue things, education, careers, fame, or even a romantic partner for either of the two reasons: either delightful to our eyes (or any of the five senses) or to make us wiser or receive more recognition than others.  And most of these contradicts with God's plan for us.  But we do this not to blatantly oppose God.  We do this to better ourselves and to fulfill our lack.  Perhaps we can't wait long enough for God to fulfill our desires for us, or maybe we know that it may not be what He wants to give us, but we can't resist.  

 

I lack many things that others have, and often I would ask God why others have them but I don't.  It sounds unfair, as if God plays favourites, but deep inside, we can probably recite the verse where it states that God shows no partiality and that He loves each one of us with the same highest love.  Still, we face temptations everyday and, like Eve, we fall into the devil's trap and lies, and so we chase after things while we are told to seek the kingdom of God.

 

 Exercising our free will

 

So what should we do then?  How do we properly exercise our free will?  Well, it depends on your mindset and what do you want in life and beyond.  Romans 8:5-6 explains clearly the implications when we set our mind on the earthly possessions (flesh) versus when we set our mind on the spiritual things, as in on God and the things of heaven.  The first lead to death, while the latter lead to life and peace.

 

Back to the trees in the Garden of Eden.  Why did God single out that one tree, telling Adam that he can't eat from it?  Did God intend to hide true knowledge or discernment of good and evil from him and Eve?  No!  God was like a parent to Adam and He is the Heavenly Father to us.  He wants the best for us.  Surely, God wouldn't lie to Adam about the consequences of eating the fruits from the Tree of Knowledge.  No, Adam didn't die, not physically, anyway.  He became distant from God and was scared of Him after eating the forbidden fruits.  Like how we have eaten the one food out of all the items on the table that our parents told us not to eat, we became afraid of them when they find out and we have guilt.  

 

God wants us to have life, to have the best.  The Tree of Life represents God and His way, while the Tree of Knowledge represents  the way of the flesh, or away from God, that we want to decide for ourselves what is good and evil, that we want to be wise like God--to go our own way, do our own things, fulfill our own dreams.  So what do you want, to eat the fruits that look pleasing to our eyes (like "eye candies") and be harmed by them, or eat the fruits from the trees of life and be submissive to God?

 

May we all make the wise choices in our lives!

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© 2017 by John Leung.  All Rights Reserved.