As we celebrate freedom, I am well aware that many have no idea what I’m talking about. They feel caught in life-controlling circumstances. They feel they have no recourse, no way out. You may be one of them. You have no idea that God has a plan for you, just like He does for me and for all mankind. It is a plan of freedom designed by grace.
A huge truth I’ve learned on my journey is that we always have a choice. God made sure of that. He didn’t want robots programmed to love Him. He created humankind in His image, with the capacity to love each other and Him. He wanted us to choose Him, not to be obligated or legislated to do so. He wanted us to choose Him out of love.
That First Bite
It all began eons ago with the first man and woman.1 There were two trees in the garden. One they could eat of and have an abundant life living in paradise forever. The other they were told not to eat from because it would end in death.2 It was a clear choice. It was made plain. There should have been no question in their minds. And yet, they choose to go against God’s clear instruction. The consequences were mortal and would end in fatality for every human to follow them.
Choosing to eat of the fruit of that tree,3 opened the door to death,4 not only for themselves but for their sons and the generations to follow, all the way down to you and me. See, eating of that fruit opened the door to the knowledge of not only good (the things that emanate from God), but also of evil (the things that come from the serpent, the deceiver, the tempter).
Because of one man and one woman’s choice we battle evil every day. It comes in the form of disease, disaster, plagues, wrong choices, difficulties, trials and tribulations. It’s in the world because humanity chose it to be so.
God gave Adam and Eve a choice and they chose the difficult path thinking it was a path of ease. But going against God’s best for us, is never the right choice.
God tells us that He has plans for our good and not our disaster.5 And He tells us how to follow those plans. ” In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.”6
Adam and Eve were not looking for God wholeheartedly. They were looking for something for themselves. I don’t blame them, though. See, I believe the tree of good and evil is representative of the temptations we all face.
On my tree there would be cinnamon crunch bagels, the thing that used to tempt me the most. If Eve hadn’t succumbed to her temptation years ago, I would have been the one going down in the chronicles of history as instituting the fall of humankind.
We are a broken people. I’m so glad God had a plan even before mankind fell. It is a plan to take the broken pieces of our lives and mold them into something beautiful designed entirely by His grace. It is our path to freedom.
It’s His grace and stubborn love that sent His only Son to live as a man here on earth.7 The sinless, spotless, perfect Son of God died a cruel death because only a blemish-free sacrifice would pay the price for what you and I have done. It wasn’t to condemn us for our sins and shortcomings, but to save us.8
This act was indicative of His stubborn, relentless love for me and for you. It’s a love that never gives up,9 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.10
A Design of Grace
It’s not anything we do that grants our freedom. It only comes to us because of what Christ did for us. It is a gift, freely given by a God who wants more than anything to redeem His children, save them by His grace, remarkable compassion and favor.11
As with any gift, the only thing we have to do is receive it. Everything else is pure grace, the thing God Himself is made of. Are you ready for Him to make something beautiful of your broken pieces? This choice is one of freedom from those things that you feel have you bound.
It is in following His plans for our life that we find peace, joy and abundant living.12 It’s when we turn our back on Him that we feel all hell has broken loose in our lives because we have made that choice. It is knowing that God truly wants to mold you into something of beauty.
“For we are His workmanship, His own master work, a work of art, created in Christ Jesus, reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used for good works, which God prepared for us beforehand taking paths which He set, so that we would walk in them living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us.”13
Just receive this beautiful gift of grace by simply saying, “Jesus, I need You. I want You in my life. I surrender to You and Your gift of freedom. Come and be my everything today.”
1Genesis 2-3 NLT
2Genesis 2:16 NLT
3Genesis 3:6 NLT
4Genesis 3:22-24 NLT
5Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
6Jeremiah 29:12-13 NLT
7John 3:16 NIV
8John 3;18 NIV
91 Corinthians 13:4 MSG
10 1 Corinthians 13:7 NASB
11Ephesians 2:8-9 AMP
12John 10:10 NIV
13Ephesians 2:10 AMP