The Problem of “Free Will” is we don’t want it freed….
Devotional Thought of the Day:
Jesus heard them and answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.” Mark 2:17
You may say, “Well, did God not endow us with a free will?”19 I reply: To be sure, he gave you a free will. But why do you want to make it your own will? Why not let it remain free? If you do with it whatever you will, it is not a free will, but your own will. God did not give you or anyone else a will of your own. Your own will comes from the devil and from Adam, who transformed the free will received from God into his own. A free will does not want its own way but looks only to God’s will for direction. By so doing it then also remains free, untrammeled and unshackled.
The transmission of the Christian faith consists primarily in proclaiming Jesus Christ in order to lead others to faith in him. From the beginning, the first disciples burned with the desire to proclaim Christ: “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”11 And they invite people of every era to enter into the joy of their communion with Christ:
I had perceived—via God’s grace, not my own wit, surely—that since God is love, we must therefore love God and love whatever God loves; that if we turn to the divine Conductor and follow the wise and loving baton that is His will, His Word, then the music of our life will be a symphony.
Over the years, I have heard people argue over the concept of free will. Some would say we have it, others would simply say we don’t, that God is not only responsible for all of our actions, but He chooses what we will do, in every moment. I’ve heard it blamed for our sinful choices, and for the temptations that we tried to avoid, but gave into and sinned. Somehow people think because God gave us the ability to decide to wreck out lives, He is responsible for their breaking.
Until reading Luther this morning, I never conceived of the idea that free will could mean that it is not “our will”; not “my will” or “your will”, but the ability to simply have a will that is free, and therefore can be influenced by God, A will that Kreeft describes himself realizing that God is love, and therefore we should resonate with His love, and love what He loves. The power of free will then, is not aligning it to our own desires, but letting it be guided, let it resonate with the will of God.
After all, isn’t that the invitation Jesus came to deliver? That those of us who are sinners, will be freed from sin, able to walk with Him?
That is why we train people in the faith; why we make disciples, not converts; why we catechize, answering the real questions of faith, rather than indoctrinate.
It’s not to force one’s will to be Christ’s, it is to help people see that their will, their Spirit, once clean of all sin of all injustice, resonates with Jesus. For we were made in God’s image, and the Spirit causes us to realize this, as we realize the love of God.
This resonance is why salvation, realizing God has removed dampen and distort our lives, is so joyous. A guitar or violin string doesn’t have to be forced to sound, a similar string resonating brings its movement and sound. Just as the word of God resonates with a truly “free will” creating joy where it resounds.
Heavenly Father, please, once again, send the Holy Spirit to remove all that would distort and dampen the will the Holy Spirit has restored. In Jesus’ name! Amen!
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 42: Devotional Writings I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 48
Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997), 107..
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 16.
Posted on December 26, 2019, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotions, Martin Luther, Peter Kreeft, Theology in Practice and tagged "free Will", faith, Holy Spirit, Life in Christ. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.