Posts tagged ‘free will’

October 3, 2012

Dead Car Batteries

by pastortimfowler

Car Battery

This morning I was told that my wife’s car would not start. It had been hard to start for a week or so now and we have been putting off the inevitable of buying a new battery. It’s funny that every time something goes wrong with your car that you think the worst and my wife does this well. She said, “I hope it’s not the alternator”. I am not sure if she really knows what the alternator is or does, but it sounds worse than a dead battery. But this got me thinking about our spiritual lives and I thought I would draw out this analogy.
A car’s electrical system is a lot like our spiritual life. It is all tied together and certain things can make us unable to run and in some cases even unable to start.
The battery is our free will. Although it comes fully charged, unless it is in a car that is fully functional, it is nothing but a bunch of useless chemicals. Put it in a car that is fully functional and it becomes a major part of the car’s ability to function. But of itself, the battery has no power at all. It must be charged in order for it to come to life. The factory puts the charge on the battery, but unless something is available to continually charge it, it dies.
The car has a charging system and the alternator is that which provides power to the car when it is running and charges the battery so it stays fully charged and able to start the car. This is our relationship with God or God’s will. The battery starts the car, then the alternator takes over. If you tried to run the car without the alternator, the battery would soon die and the car would cut off and not start again. So the alternator is what really provides power to the functioning car. The battery is only the starting power and the alternator is the staying power.
Our free will as Christians is constantly used to try to start our Christian life each day. That is a hard task and takes lots of power. If our spiritual batteries are not fully charged, sooner or later we will not get started at all with what God wants from us. Our free will must constantly be given over to the power and will of God in order for us to continue running as intended. It is then that we take the load off of our own abilities to function as designed and allow God to be the driving force.
As long as the car is running, even if the battery is dead or taken out of the car, the car will still run because the alternator is providing all the power. But when you cut the car off, and we all have to do this from time to time, the dead battery makes it impossible to get started again without something happening.
Often the answer is what we did for the last couple of weeks. We just used jumper cables and got some starting power from another vehicle. Other Christians can do this and in cases where the battery was just drained due to leaving the lights on while the engine was off, it might be all that is needed. But do this too often and the battery will go bad and don’t forget that over time all batteries go bad. They just are not perfect, kinda like our free will.
In the case where the battery dies, it is easy for people to jump to the wrong conclusion and say that the alternator is bad. These things rarely go bad and in the case of God’s will, it never goes bad. But when we struggle as Christians, Satan is there to tell us that it is the worse case scenario. This is kinda like my wife’s thoughts…NO! I am not calling her Satan, it just works for this analogy. When that happens we can do a couple of things. Listen to your husband, the wise Christian, to tell you that it is not as bad as you think. Getting godly council is like listening to someone who knows cars. They can help calm you down when Satan attacks with his lies.
But every car comes with an owner’s manual and they often give some very simple troubleshooting tips. In this case, the owner’s manual would say that the most likely problem is the battery. The Bible, our owners manual, will tell you that our free will is most often the problem to our challenges in life. Every now and then, we need to replace the battery. When we need to replace the battery, we go to the parts store and tell the person that we have a problem and need a new battery. If we go there and tell them that we don’t have a problem, they can’t fix it. So the obvious must be stated. This is our prayer life and God is the person to fix our dead battery.
We must confess our sins. 1John 1:9 says. If we confess our sins, God is faith and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Unrighteousness is our free will. Forgiveness is God’s will. When God replaces our will with His will, we can begin to start our days again without the whining and groaning of a dead or dying battery. Remember this, the quicker a car starts, the sooner it runs off the alternator’s power and stops draining the battery.
There is nothing wrong with replacing a battery. It must be done from time to time. Free will is the same way, it can work for a while to do God’s work, but even under the best conditions we must replace it from time to time. Dead car batteries are powerless. Dead free will is too. God’s will is the life-giving power to keep our free will full of power.

May 16, 2011

Free will

by pastortimfowler

The following is a statement sent to me by a church friend who reads all kinds of weird stuff and then asks me to blog about it. THESE ARE NOT MY WORDS:
If God knows everything, then he knows what we will do in the future, including what sins we will commit. If he knows what sins we will commit, then we are a part of a “universal plan”, which means we have no free will. If we have no free will, and are forced by this universal plan to commit these sins, then how can God judge us for them and send us to Hell for them? So either God is not omniscient, or he’s a gigantic *jerk*.
I do wish people would at least consider the possibility that God may judge them one day before they become so bold as to call God a gigantic jerk, but my prayer is that they meet my gigantic Savior before they meet a gigantic Judge.
Free will is not that difficult to understand. It all boils down to love. God wants us to learn to love Him, not be forced into His big cosmic plan to send some to Hell. FYI, God does not send people to Hell, people reject God’s perfect plan to forgive us and that sends people to Hell.
God knows all, omniscient, is the word that is used. Ephesians 1:4 – Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. Before we were ever created God knew that giving us free will would mean that we would chose to sin and cause separation from Him, so He made a way so that all who sinned would have a path to freely chose to love Him and accept His salvation. God knew that this guy would say something so stupid and arrogant before he was even born but loved him enough to still give him free will and a way of salvation if he asks.
In 1 Samuel 15, Saul had been appointed king and had disobeyed God, so it says in verse 11 that God regretted making Saul King. Not because God made a mistake, but because Saul’s mistake meant that Saul did not love God and rejected God’s love as an act of free will and that is what God regretted. Saul never had remorse over his sin. Saul was only concerned that he had God on his side in order to be a more powerful king, not a more loving child of God.
A jerk is someone who only thinks of their self. Someone who thinks that they are better than anyone else and has no regard for another person’s feelings. God knew, because He is omniscient, that free will would mean that we would sin. He knew that sin would mean separation from His creation, which He loves. He knew that we would sin by choice and by accident and that we would never be able to atone for it. So because He loves us, He gave his Son to be our sacrifice, payment for the sin we commit. He allowed His sinless Son to die in our sinful place because He knows we can’t help ourselves but to sin. He also knows that He put something inside of all of us that craves love. God is not a jerk. Unfortunately some choose to try to love themselves into being god, rather than loving the one true God who knows the way to forgive sin, through love.
The only way to truly know God’s love is to have free will.

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