Freedom of Choice

by Kevin Hart

Freedom of choice is a beautiful thing because it’s the very foundation of any authentic relationship. It’s why we feel good when our dog runs over and expresses its loyalty, or when our cat curls up on the couch beside us. It’s music to our ears when, out of the blue, our children say, “I love you Daddy!” or “I love you Mommy!” It’s this freedom that enables a spouse to say no to temptation, strengthening and deepening their commitment to their marriage.

Yes, our freedom of choice is what makes love so sweet, and God places great value on freedom—not because He stands back and assesses its benefit, but because it’s His very nature! That’s why we are made the way we are.

“Where Are You?”

The first question recorded in Scripture came from the mouth of God: “Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ ” Genesis 3:9.  Adam and Eve had just fallen from fidelity to their Maker, and now fear of their Creator caused them to run and hide.

Obviously, God knew where Adam was, but rather than grab him by the neck and drag him out of the Garden of Eden, He gave him the opportunity to choose whether or not he wanted to confess his wrong. This act makes it obvious that God is always interested in repairing broken relationships, but never through force or coercion, since these are completely foreign to His nature.

We receive many calls in 3ABN’s Pastoral Ministries Department from sincere parents, spouses, siblings, and friends who pray for someone to turn into a godly person. Many want the Lord to change someone’s heart, or to make that individual love again, when all love is lost.

But what happens when they don’t change? When they persist in their wrongdoing, making the same bad decisions that have defined their life. Does this mean God hasn’t heard them? Or is He not able to answer their prayers?

If it’s simply a matter of power, then the obvious answer is yes. But this is not about God’s power. This is about His character.  

The Line God Won’t Cross

I prayed for my own sister to give her heart to the Lord for 10 years before that happened. Did that mean God didn’t hear me, or was too busy for the first five? Did I have to prove to Him I was serious before He answered?

The answer doesn’t lie in God’s ability. It lies in this precious thing called freedom of choice. The Lord answered my prayers all along, but just not the way I asked. Instead, He slowly convicted her of truth by quietly speaking to her heart. He brought her attention to His promise of a fulfilling life, and impressed on her that a relationship with Him would bring her the peace and assurance she needed to face the future!

But there’s a line which He will never cross. “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love,” He says, “Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3. God drew my sister to Him. He would not make my sister love Him any more than He would force obedience from the angels who sympathized and sided with Lucifer!

So if your loved one hasn’t changed yet, don’t be discouraged. Keep calling our prayer line and we will lift them up in prayer. God hears those prayers, and continually calls all the lost sons and daughters of Adam, saying, “Where are you?”

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