The Price of Freewill 

Scripture: (Philippians  2:13 KJV) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The price of freedom of any kind is high yet we often do not think about the price of our own freewill. With all the pain of death and disease, with all the sorrow of broken homes and broken hearts, with all the ups and downs of daily choices, would you have it any other way? I just finished reading a book by Kurt Vonnegut entitled Slaughter House-Five. It is a science fiction novel about a man who becomes unstuck in time. The main character is Billy Pilgrim. Before I go any further into the book I need to let you know that I do not recommend it to anyone. It is full of boyish perversions and foul language, not to mention the blasphemy and heretical bent. So now you are probably wondering why I read it. Well, it is one of the books that my daughter has the option to read for tenth grade, and I remember having read it back in the seventies for Mr. Laveciao's sci-fi class, so I thought I would enjoy reading it again. Granted it is a very interesting story and well written but I believe it would have been just as good without all the negative aspects. Anyway, Billy Pilgrim ends up being taken by this space ship and put in a zoo on this far away planet. Sounds like a Twilight Zone episode I once watched. The inhabitant of this planet did not recognize time and therefore could not understand the concept of freewill. They just looked at things the way they were, and that's the way they were. Some of us go through life like that. Then on the other end of the spectrum some worry about every decision. The word of God gives us guidance and wisdom in our decisions and confidence and balance in our choices. 

Let's look for just one second at what life would be like without freewill. Firs of all I believe I for one would find it extremely boring. It was bad enough in the Army being told what to do, how to do it and when, let alone your entire existence. The good side of it, if there is a good side is that you would not be responsible for any of your actions because they would have all been dictated for you. But then not taking any responsibility also means not getting any credit or never experiencing the feeling of accomplishment not getting any recognition. But it is freewill that causes wars and freewill that causes us to get overweight and have heart problems. It is freewill that allows us to smoke and bring upon ourselves lung cancer and emphazema. It is freewill that has killed over 35million babies by abortion over the last 30 years. It is freewill that gives us the option to sin and thus bringing upon ourselves curses and finally death and eternal separation from God. But is was God Himself in His great wisdom that knew that we would not be happy without freewill and so He made a way where there did not seem to be a way that we could both enjoy our freewill and avoid the curse. Let's back up a little bit in the letter that Paul wrote to the Philippians. 

(Philippians 2:1 - 5NIV) If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

When we get right down to it we do make choices everyday that effect not only our future but the future of so many other people around us. I remember reading another sci-fi short story about time travel. I do not remember the name of this one but it was about hunters who went back in time to hunt dinosaurs. They were never to step off the path as to not effect any change in the space time continuum. I guess it was ok to hunt the dinosaurs because they were about to become extinct anyway. Well, need less to say one man somehow ends up off the path and when he gets back he discovers that he stepped on a butterfly and killed it. Thinking that it would surely not hurt anything. Upon returning to his time however he discovered that the world was not the free place that he left but was ugly, and dangerous and completely changed. The truth behind that story is that we never can tell how even the smallest things we do have a massive impact upon the future. And I believe the most dangerous thing to our future is our own selfishness. Think about it for just one minute. When do you feel better, when you are being used of God to help someone in need or when you are alone with your own personal hang ups? OK, so that was a trick question, but it is so true. God gave us an example of how to use our freewill to bring about hope and positive changes in the world. That example was one of meekness and ultimate giving. That example was one of service and commitment. That example was God Himself paying the price of our freewill mistakes. The cost of our carelessness with the gift of a freewill is death but the payment has been made in full and the slate has been wiped clean. We can turn our lives around from this moment on. We can accept the payment that God has made on our behalf and once again instead of walking a death march through life we can dance the dance of salvation, deliverance, sanctification all to the Glory of God through Jesus Christ the one true Lord of heaven and earth. 

So What do we do? Do we go on this same old path of self-destruction and unfulfilled selfish ambitions, or do we right now decide to use our freewill to make this world a better place for all? I remember reading a church sigh that said; Do you want to improve the world, Start with yourself. If we continue to read what follows our scripture above we will be given come divine wisdom to assist us in our new beginning. 

(Philippians 2:14 & 15 KJV) Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

So it we were to just take the two things that this passage of scripture instructs us in we could change the world and live a much more fulfilled life ourselves. The first was to stop being so selfish and lift up our fellow man. The second is perhaps the harder of the two, stop complaining and grumbling about everything. It is just a matter of an attitude shift. Just take a different perspective before you complain about something. I think we all need to go into a third world country for a little while in order for us to know how good off we have it. Some of us need to be alone for awhile so we might stop complaining about our family members. It is time to forgive one another and comfort one another and love one another with the love of the Father. God loves you and wants you to experience the fullness of His forgiveness. He wants you to forgive yourself. He wants you to forgive all those who have hurt you so deeply in the past. He wants you to put all of your pain and sorrow along with all of your hopes and dreams under the blood of His covenant promise. It is a new day. It is a new beginning . it is a new chance to make a difference. let us be up and doing with a heart for any fate knowing that God will never leave us, always leading us and maybe for the first time we can use our freewill for His good pleasure. Are you ready to accept His forgiveness? Are your ready to become a child of God?  Are you ready to know Him who loves you and took all of your sin away? Are you ready for Him to dwell more richly with you? Open your heart and let Him in. Seek Him and you will find Him. Call out to God and He will reveal Himself to your in great and powerful ways. I invite your right now to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord. And as you do He will not only give you the will to do God's good pleasure but He will give you the power also.  (Phil 4:19 & 20 NIV) And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.