Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

You can find Part 1 here: Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

In Part 1, I defined, from my point of view, ‘Free Will’‘Evil Intent of My Heart’‘Sovereignty’‘Omnipotence’ with Grace coming next in part 2.

So how did these concepts and ideas frame my conclusion that “My Free Will and Evil intentions of my heart brought me to an understanding that God is good in all He does?”

GRACE 

The answer is GRACE, which I understand as “Unmerited Favor”, “Undeserved Love”, “Something I cannot earn”. That undeserved favor, love, and gift lie a key to it all. 

I call that the moment in the closet. 

A moment that I believe everyone in Humanity has. That day when we are all by ourselves, alone, in our private place with nothing but our thoughts and desires and questions. 

It is in that moment of angst and pain and confusion God shows up. 

He was there all along…in creation, the cry of newborn life, the smile of a loving friend, an endless night sky or the dawning of a new day. He, the Omnipotent God of this universe, was in it all. That private moment the ultimate question comes to us. “Am I going to choose to believe and trust Him, or am I going to trust my limited finite mind and Deny and fight Him?” 

This I know to be the ultimate question for myself and all humanity. It defines everything about us and ultimately directs our every decision and direction of life. 

We are either created by an Intelligent Designer outside of ourselves or we become the god of ourselves. 

How can it be any other way?  

We either accept the idea that we were created, or we become our little deity that runs around “thinking” we either know it all or can figure it out. The latter of those two is what brought me my greatest fear and insecurity! 

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

 

I came to understand how frail, and finite and in so many ways unable to navigate this thing called life. But put in the framework of the idea that there is a God who created me for communion and purpose with a desire to love me and see my potential to love was the ultimate answer. 

It humbles me and brings me peace knowing that I don’t have to traverse through this life on my own or in my strength. But instead, I have a God who created me and loves me and cares for me and fills me and wants me to live and breathe and move with Him. 

What a great peace that has brought to me. 

Not that I am any less of a Man by submitting to God. May it never be! Instead, I have become a complete Man, whole and with purpose. 

As it has been said there was a hole in my heart that needed to be filled and the only thing that could fill it was God. He came to me in the person of Jesus who by taking on this world and living a perfect life also took on the debt of my evil heart and paid the penalty for sinful actions and justified me through His death on the cross and my acceptance of Him as my Savior and Lord.

This has been made perfect for me in the fact that I have a Free Will to either accept or reject God and His provision of Rebirth and Salvation through Jesus. I also know now that this is the source of all evil in the world. 

For since God is love…

…and embodies all good and we have a will to choose Him then the opposite of that has to be hate and all evilness when we choose to reject Him. 

Once again, I see this in my own life and will refer to my two daughters who love me. As a father, a child’s love is the ultimate gift that can be given back to me. But the love my daughters have shown to me came by their own free will. If I could force that love would it have been love?

If my children had chosen not to love me would I, as a good father, pursue them and try to have a relationship with them so that they may love me?

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

 

The answers are obvious! 

Of course, real love cannot be forced. And being a loving father, I would pursue my children and attempt to have a relationship and bestow my good love upon them so that they would love me. 

It is this understand of these two principals which can translate to all human communion with one another that I came to see why God gave me a Free Will and why he allows Mankind to choose Him or reject Him. 

As much as it pains me to be in this imperfect world and all its ills, I don’t have to be of this world anymore. I don’t have to be my own little god who does everything for his own desires and narcissistic purpose.  

Instead, I can submit to an omnipotent God who is all good and pure love. In that reality, I can be patient, kind, gentle, humble, hopeful, and caring for my fellow man. I can endure with and care for those in need or who seek truth and I can do it without fear of failure or need to succeed. 

In the end, for me, it is not about my status or accomplishments. Instead, my hope and purpose for life are to be the Gospel of Jesus through my life and the way I live. 

This is not to say that I still don’t have questions, or struggle with life. On the contrary, not a day goes by that I don’t find myself at odds with myself or this world. The difference now is I have a foundation and an understanding that I can and do continually turn back to.  

Because of that, I have found true peace and joy.  

I will close with a prayer that has brought me much peace and continues to speak to me. It is the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. What I love about this prayer is that it empties me of myself and all of my selfish desires and will. May all who read this find true peace and true joy as well in the one true God. 

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow charity;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is error, truth;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

 and Where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

To be understood as to understand; 

To be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive. 

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 

And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life. 

Amen.

 

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Best of All Possible Worlds?

Best of All Possible Worlds?

Best of All Possible Worlds?

This is one of those questions that you have to unpack and think about before answering. You may have to ask further questions to get a better handle on what is being asked.

Most people’s initial response is a resounding NO.

Or…

…O my God no, as if we are trying to convince God Himself with this half question half answer. How can life on this planet be the best of all worlds?

Sometimes this question can catch people dead in their tracks. Something seems off about it. Of course, this not the best of all worlds. What are you thinking? God could have done much better…

…Right??

The question was first asked by German Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz in 1710 in an essay on the origin of evil or solving the problem of evil. He was trying to account for suffering and injustice that exists in the world. 

Leibniz used Christianity to back up the validity of his essay. He said: “Once we understood evil and good, it gives us the ability to produce the “greatest possible good” out of all the goodness. Evil fuels goodness, which leads to a perfect system.”

That may be true in part but unless God adds another ingredient into the mix, good and evil are not possible.

Best of All Possible Worlds?

Free Will

 

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Free Will:

1.) Voluntary choice or decision.

2.) Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.

So, if you add Free Will into the conversation everything changes.

Two words. 

Best of All Possible Worlds if There is Free Will?

God could have created a world without Free Will but then humans would have been like robots only doing what was required of them and never making decisions for themselves. Never freely interacting with the creator or each other.

What kind of life would that be?

Would that life be worth sharing anything with? Would that life be worth living? Would you be even aware of anything?

Let’s say you designed and built a beautiful fancy car and then decided to travel all over the country visiting landmarks. Sure, you drove this car to all these locations but were you really sharing this trip with it or was it just along for the ride (pun intended).

Did it tell you how much it enjoyed that beautiful sunset at the Grand Canyon? Or did you still feel alone and wishing another human just like yourself was there to share this site with.

Best of All Possible Worlds?

At the Core of Free Will is Chaos 

Disorder, disarray, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, madness, havoc, turmoil, upheaval, anarchy and lawlessness are just a few words that describe chaos.

Has history not shown that all those words describe the human condition?

When God the Father was discussing making humans with the Holy Spirit and the Son they must have thought it was worth the pain and suffering for the billions of humans that would have to live on this boot camp of life on planet earth but also what it was going to cost the three of them. 

The Son in the form of Jesus would have to be born, walk this life like all humans but then be tortured and murdered so that sin could be wrung out of Free Will. 

God the Father and the Holy Spirit had to turn their back on Jesus for a time as He incurred this pain. Maybe the first time ever. Of course, they knew they were going to have to endure the crucifixion from the foundations of this world. The pain all three must have experienced must have been beyond description.

God wants to share His kingdom and all His blessings with ALL of mankind for eternity but He is also a righteous and just God. He can not allow man and his sinful, rebellious nature into heaven. If He did heaven would turn into Hell in a heartbeat without God creating such a place.

All these angry souls…

…that have denied the work of Christ. Individuals that are selfish and have lived lives without a thought of another humans welfare through their life times. People only living for earthly profit and temporary gain. All these souls suddenly showing up in a location not of their choosing through their life times of breathing air.

It would be considered spiritual rape. Forcing them to be somewhere they do not want to be. They would be angry beyond all description. They would rebell in the worst way wanting to hurt other souls and God Himself for eternity. This is NOT the heaven I want any part of. Not the heaven I have laid up treasure for.      

Now when you ask the question with Free Will part of the equation “This the Best Possible of All Worlds?”, what will your answer be? 

With that last piece of information I think most people would have to say IT IS the best possible of all Worlds.

How could God have designed it any other way?

 

Best of All Possible Worlds?

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

Website Design for Two Measures Foolish by Best Website Solutions

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

I like the idea of “Two Measures Foolish” especially as it comes to sharing what I am writing about in this article. For this is a topic that depending on where you are coming from many would say it is foolishness to either share or that the perspective at which I am going to share is foolish. 

Because this idea of God being good in the face of all the evil and maleficent behavior, we see daily seems foolish to the person who does not put their faith in God. 

Sharing my understanding of God and my relationship with Him has so very much shifted as I grow older and my life experiences have shown me how much I don’t know and how “foolish” I am in light of an ever-present, ever knowing and all-powerful deity.

I pray that my heart and mind are humble as I share my thoughts on how my free will and the evil intents of my heart brought me to an understanding that God is good in all that He does, and how this is displayed through His Sovereignty, Omnipotence, and Grace upon us all.  

I would like to start by defining my understanding of some key points, so the reader may understand what perspective I am coming from and be able to have a common ground as to my conclusions and beliefs for myself.

I will define ‘Free Will’‘Evil Intent of My Heart’‘Sovereignty’‘Omnipotence’, and ‘Grace’.

 

Let’s start with Free Will. 

As I unravel these concepts, I am going to abstain from dictionary definitions and share instead from my understanding of all these terms, which admittedly so have most likely come from Webster or Oxford, etc. 

Some may say that my will to choose freely is limited by my social, economic and genetic dispositions. And in most ways, I would agree especially to my genetic traits. Because I don’t believe in the adage that “I can do anything I set my mind to doing”.

I think that is a “Crock” and is damaging to the 5-foot-tall boy with no coordination and believes He can be the next NBA star. Or for the Girl with less than average IQ who wants to be a Brain Surgeon.

But within the limitations of the gifting and talents we bestow lies great latitude and freedom of how we choose to live our lives. And within this freedom also lies the great potential for goodness, complacency, and even evil. 

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1 

 

Evil Intent of My Heart

That leads straight into my second thought of the evil intent of my heart. Many people today and throughout time have with good intention tried to purport this concept that men are good. 

I find this concept to be both untrue from my own experience and potentially damning for the man who is seeking to find true meaning in life. I will look to my own experience as a father in explaining this. 

As beautiful and as charming and cute as my two daughters were at two years old, left to their own devices quite frankly they could be little demons. 

Just watch a group of toddlers at play and without adult supervision, you will see selfishness and narcissism at its peak if you watch long enough. 

In my own life, I have seen and know as the apostle Paul says in Romans 7:19 that the good thing I want to do I cannot carry out. I have seen this at times as a Son, Husband, Father, Friend, and Citizen. My thoughts and actions oftentimes don’t match the good desires of my heart. 

Instead, I can be selfish, narcissistic, an egomaniac, hateful, vengeful, deceitful and a host of other dark and destructive monstrous traits.

This is not to say goodness does not exist but as I will conclude at the end of this musing I do not see that goodness coming from within the heart of man, but instead from the goodness of an all-powerful and sovereign God, who by His grace can change us and give us a new heart once we come to accept our purpose and submit to our understanding of Him.

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Sovereignty

What is sovereignty? As to government, A nation can govern or make choices under its authority and power. As we expand upon that idea as it relates to my understanding about God, who I believe to have all sovereignty and authority, it gives Him ultimate power over all creation. 

This in itself could be a scary thought especially if it comes from the premise that God is the big guy in the sky who is looking down upon us with judgment and retribution. 

Sadly, this is the way that many people look at God. No wonder so many is angry with Him in their own life’s situation. However, if you take the opposite position that God is good and loves us with an all-consuming and unconditional love, what a different perspective and outcome that puts upon our view of life and its meaning. 

Honestly, in my life, I have been on both sides of the fence. For many years I was angry with God and thought of him as an evil giant throwing his bolts of lightning at humanity and reveling in our discontent. But one day about 15 years ago I had had a revelation and life-changing experience when I came to understand that God is good and that in his goodness, he allows us to live within the freedom of our choices.  

Within those choices lies the potential for good as we submit to God’s love for us. You may ask what my revelation was?

That is a story, maybe even a book for another day. But let’s just say in my own life’s pain, disappointments, neglect, abandonment, and fear I had so many of the same questions that have been common to Man throughout time. 

Such as…

…What is the meaning of this life? Or how could a good God allow such wicked behavior to exist amongst His creation?

Why can’t I see, touch and feel God daily? These and so many other questions, that I must admit may never be fully answered with my finite mind, have become my revelation as I have come to faith and belief that the answers lie in a personal relationship with my Creator and the Creator of all things.

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Omnipotence

With that thought of an “Entity” that has the power to create and interact with “All Things” brings me to Omnipotence, or ultimate power and authority. WOW, another scary thought if we only define it or try to understand it within the framework of our limited understanding of creation and personal experiences. 

Most if not all of us, have seen power and authority both abused within government or family and personal relationships. This might lead us to say that any concept of an omnipotent being in itself is evil!

Coming from the framework of personal experience I too at one time had that same belief and understanding. But reframed in the thought or idea of an omnipotent being who is Pure, Holy, Righteous, and Justified, redefines the character and nature of an all-powerful and all-knowing God.

So how did these concepts and ideas frame my conclusion that ‘My Free Will and Evil intentions of my heart brought me to an understanding that God is good in all He does.’

You can find Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2 

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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