Tag Archive: Free will


Swept away by the world

…By Wambui

Being a good Christian, following the commandments, praying and reading the Bible regularly is a very safe way to live. It is almost like standing on the bank of the River Nile, watching the millions of gallons of water flowing past, carrying away with its force items as small as ants and as big as trees.

At some point, watching from a distance gets boring; the urge to be a part of the action overcomes you. Almost as if they can hear your thoughts, a group of old friends happen to pass by in a raft, so without a second thought, you grab an oar and head straight into the water. After all, you can swim, so what’s the big deal? For a Christian, that’s the point at which all the do’s and don’ts become stifling, and you feel like you need to shake things up a bit.

For the first 10 minutes, the ride is smooth and uneventful. The scenery is breathtaking and it’s all laughs in the raft. Then the water begins to get rough; there’s a whirlpool coming up ahead. The guy whose idea the ride was shouts, “To the left.” So you all paddle frantically and somehow manage to avoid spinning endlessly at one point in the river. To a Christian, this might be your first hangover. The friend who took you clubbing gave you some bitter soup and voilà!

The sun is still shining and the water is calm again, so all’s good, right? Wait a minute. The water seems to be flowing faster, and there’s a bend ahead. “Is that a rapid?” The girl next to you says, “Yeah, hold on tight, it’ll be rough.” True to her word, all of a sudden, all you can see is water. It’s everywhere. Its force is so much that it yanks your oar right out of your hand, slapping you in the process. You’re holding on so tight that your fingers are paining, and you can feel your shoe coming off, but you can’t let go. A Christian comes to this point when s/he realises that being in the thick of things is not easy. There are lies to keep up with, lifestyles to maintain, appearances to make, and all for what? Just to avoid looking ‘uncool’.

You feel yourself tilting over slowly, slowly, slowly, then you realise that you’re only still breathing because of the air pocket formed by the hollow of the raft. “Am I looking up at my seat?” you ask yourself. Your fingers are numb; you’re holding your breath; the raft is moving away, but you can do nothing – you’re at the water’s mercy. For a Christian, a drowning experience can be a chance for revival. When you realise that you’re helpless, you’re more likely to be open to God’s word. This drowning experience may come in form of drug/alcohol addiction, financial ruin, or a deep sense of loss or emptiness.

As the current sucks you deeper and deeper, and you can’t hold your breath any longer, you give up on the idea of dying peacefully in your sleep, and accept this unexpected, watery death.  Suddenly, the water is calmer, you feel the sun on your head and something soft grazes your knee. Mud? It seems this was not your day to die, so the current pushed you to the river bank. As Christians, do we have people around us who push, pull and prod us to live a good life? Do we do the same to others? Are we accountable to anyone who can keep us from getting into such “watery” situations?

You look around and see one of your friends who is so shaken that she refuses to get into the rescue boat (the drug addict who has refused rehab).  The girl who sat next to you in the raft is now on a stretcher, heavily bandaged on her knee and elbow (a baby and HIV from a “complicated”  relationship).  You look at yourself, see how muddy you are, one shoe missing, and wonder if you’ll ever be able to wear those expensive jeans again (guilt, sense of loss, doubt and anger).  As you pull yourself slowly to your feet, you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I just stay on the river bank in the first place?”

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…By Mandii 

On the path to my spiritual awakening, when I still had my doubts about the existence of God as I know him today, I was often perplexed by the notion that God knows all. I followed the logic that if He did know all, then He knew what we were going to choose in the future, meaning we really had no real free will. 

An omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God...

I put these thoughts aside for awhile and established a relationship with God. Upon returning to my previous musings, I realised that this divine foreknowledge of our choices was not a problem for me. Keeping the concept of an all knowing God in mind when looking at the Christian definition of free will: the ability to make equal choices between options, regardless of a person’s sinful nature- how does God’s omniscience conflict with our free will? 

Let me use a simple analogy to elaborate on my point. The sun will rise and set tomorrow. I’m not causing it or preventing it from doing so by knowing that it shall happen. Similarly, if I ask my little sister to choose between a chocolate and a carrot, I know she will choose the chocolate. My knowledge of this does not restrict her from making her choice. Even if she was inclined to choose the carrot to please me, as it’s healthier, I have not forced her to make that choice. My sister is free to make the choice and my knowledge of her preference and in turn, her choice, has no effect upon her when she makes her choice. 

The red pill or the blue pill?

In short: God knowing what we are going to do does not mean that we can’t do something else. It means that God simply knows what we have chosen to do ahead of time. Our freedom is not restricted by God’s foreknowledge; our freedom is simply realized ahead of time by God. 

While God is omnipotent and knows the choices that individuals will make, He still gives individuals the power to ultimately choose (or reject) everything, regardless of any internal or external conditions relating to the choice. In a biblical illustration of free will, when Jesus was nailed on the cross, the two criminals, one on each side, were about to die. Only one asked Jesus for forgiveness while the other, even at the end of his life with nothing else to lose, disparaged Jesus. From a Christian perspective, this was a free and personal choice between everlasting death and everlasting life. 

An important issue to consider here is the concept of time. God’s concept of time differs greatly from ours. If the future exists for God even as the present does, then God is consistently in all places at all times and is not restricted by time. This would mean that God is not subject to our perception of the natural laws of time, subject, and that God is not a linear entity- to be precise, it would mean that God is not restricted to operating in our time realm and is not restricted to the present only. 

If the future exists for God even as the present does, then God is consistently in all places at all times and is not restricted by time.

Following this logic, if God is not restricted to existence in our version of the present, then the future is known by God because God dwells in the future, as well as the present (and the past). This would mean that our future choices, as free as they are, are simply known by God. Again, our ability to choose is not altered or lessened by God existing in the future and knowing what we freely choose. It just means that God can see what we will freely choose, because that is what we freely choose – and knows what it is. 

This concept is demonstrated in the scriptures, as spiritually God inhabits eternity. Psalm 90.2 says “Before the mountains were born, or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” These verses and others do not actually say that God exists inside or outside time, rather that He is eternal. A number of verses also state that God has no beginning or end. This is not definitive, but we may be able to conclude that since time is that non-spatial, continuous succession of events from the past, through the present, and into the future, and that since the word “beginning” denotes a relationship to and in time, and since God has no beginning, that time is not applicable to God’s nature. In other words, God has no beginning and since “beginning” deals with an event in time, God is outside of time. 

So, in relation to our free will and God’s predictive ability, there is no biblical reason to assert that God’s foreknowledge negates our freedom. There is no logical reason to claim that if God knows what choices we are going to make that it means we are not free. It still means that the free choices we will make are free — they are just known ahead of time by God. If we choose something different, then that choice will have been eternally known by God. What’s more, this knowledge by God does not alter our nature in that it does not change what we are — free to make choices. 

In light of this, He has eternally known what all our free choices will be, He has ordained history to come to the conclusion that He wishes including and incorporating our choices into His divine plan: 

For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur,” (Acts 4:27-28). Why?  Because God always knows all things: “…God is greater than our heart, and knows all things,” (1 John 3:20).

…By Lee

In society at large, there is a strong belief that being spiritual is all about sticking to laws and living a life confined within the high walls of these laws.

We are often led to believe that we live in the shadow of these laws, and are sometimes fugitives unable to abide by the law, fleeing God’s wrath, guiltily plodding on...

I guess by now you realize that I’m referring to the 10 commandments. One can just imagine, once they enter that prison, there stands a tall, mean looking guard bellowing these restrictive laws: “Thou shall not….” We are often led to believe that we live in the shadow of these laws, and are sometimes fugitives unable to abide by the law, fleeing God’s wrath, guiltily plodding on… but doesn’t this scenario make you wonder… Did God want us to live like that? Well, absolutely not!!

God did not give us the commandments so that we could live under repressive, back breaking pressure. God promised freedom to all who choose to accept Him. His laws were meant to portray the wickedness in man. They are like a brutally honest mirror, for us to see who we really are inside. The laws themselves cannot save man from his sinful nature; rather, they illustrate our weaknesses, prompting us to ask God for guidance, mercy and freedom from sin. It is only through His mercy and grace that we are saved; saved from greed, lust, anger, hatred and so on…

God knows that we cannot save ourselves from all the immorality that dwells in our hearts; we are almost held captive by it all… But Jesus made it clear that only God’s can free us from these vices. All He requires is that we accept his forgiveness and allow him to work in our lives, so that his love and mercy can flow in us.

...the spirit of God is gradually renewing our hearts and minds, helping us make wise decisions and walk on the right path.

In the book of Romans, Paul says that by accepting Christ in our lives, we are free from all laws. This means that the spirit of God is alive in us, guiding us and placing the right desires in our hearts. We should not feel  confined but rather liberated in the knowledge that the spirit of God is gradually renewing our hearts and minds, helping us make wise decisions and walk on the right path.

Often, I hear people blame certain behaviors on ‘human nature’, when this is actually not true. How many times do the majority of men say that it is ‘normal’ for a man to have an ‘inability’ to resist the temptation of woman’s body? This is simply society conventionalizing immorality, calling it all ‘normal’, as it takes genuine effort for one to harness God’s power and resist life’s wrongs. God created man for more than that, which means such behavior is far from ‘normal’. Giving in is the easy, and lazy way to deal with these challenges.  In reality, it is totally within any man’s (or woman’s) capability to resist temptation if he taps into the power of God. The spirit of God can show us how to love our wives/girlfriends (husbands/ boyfriends) with a love that comes only from the most high! It shows us how to appreciate someone for who they are and not just their physical appeal. Only God knows what true love is, and only he can give teach it to us. We see this love in what Jesus did for us.

The message I wanted to put across is that we should stop living under the law and start living in God’s grace. You should all know in the depths of your hearts that God has set you free to be your true self and only He can guide you down the right road of life.

The Manual of the Warrior of Light, presents a collection of philosophical thoughts and stories that will inspire spiritual seekers everywhere…here we share some excerpts with you…

A warrior of light who trusts too much in his intelligence will end up underestimating the power of his opponent.

…By Mandii

God is love. There is a God-shaped hole in every heart. When we do not fill this hole with God, we seek other ways to seal the vacuum. We seek out the ‘love’ of others. There is a huge problem with this as until we know God’s love, we shall be unable to truly love ourselves, and  truly love others.

When one seeks out the love of another without first establishing a relationship with God- many a time, an addict is born. The relationship addict feels (sometimes on a subconscious level) a sense of incompleteness, emptiness, despair, and sadness that he or she seeks to remedy by connecting with another. The relationship is viewed as a means of meeting one’s needs for love, attention, and security rather than as a shared experience.

The addictive relationship becomes an arena for trying to resolve unfinished business with one’s soul, to fill the void that remains without God. Addictive relationships are characterized by a simultaneous excess and lack of love; an over abundance of love to obsessive attention is bestowed upon someone else while an inadequate amount is given to self.

Here, I give you seven signs of an addictive relationship:

1) Dishonesty: Neither John nor Mary talks about who they are or what’s really bothering them. They lie about what they want; they use manipulation and half truths to elicit emotional responses in the other. This kind of communication fuels an addictive relationship.  

Hebrews 6:18 – “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.” (NLT)

Psalm 119:160 – “The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.” (NLT)

2) Unrealistic expectations: Both John and Mary think the other will solve their self-esteem, body image, family, and existential problems. They believe the “right relationship” will make everything better. Yet, they’re in a disastrous addictive relationship.

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

(Psalms 147:3 NKJV) “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”

 Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

3) Instant gratification: Mary expects John to be there for her whenever she needs him; she needs him to make her happy immediately. She is using him to make her feel good, and isn’t relating to him as a partner or even a human being. He is like  a drug. An addictive relationship drug.

2 Timothy 3:2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”

4) Compulsive control. Mary has to change or act a certain way, or John will threaten to leave her and/or vice versa. This establishes a strict conditional love policy within the relationship, lacking any kind of compromise, tolerance or acceptance.  Both feel pressure to stay in this addictive relationship; neither feel like they’re together voluntarily, but instead are limited in exercising their free will.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change …”

 Psalm 80:13 “So I [God] let them go according to the desires of their heart: they shall walk in their own inventions.

5) Lack of trust. Neither partner trusts the other to be there when the chips are down. They don’t believe the other really loves them, and they don’t believe genuine caring or liking exists. At some level they know they’re not in a healthy but rather in an addictive relationship.

Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)

6) Social isolation. Nobody else is invited into their relationship – not friends, family, or work acquaintances. People in addictive relationships want to be left alone. They do not want to hear the advice of those who care for them, as the truth of the unhealthy nature of their relationship is something they would rather not  hear.

Ecclesiastes 4:13 “Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive counsel (friendly reproof and warning)” (AMP)

Proverbs 19:20 “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” (AMP)

1 Corinthians 4:14I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children.” (AMP)

7) Cycle of pain. John and Mary are trapped in a cycle of pleasure, pain, disillusionment, blaming, and reconnection. The cycle repeats itself until one partner breaks free of the addictive relationship.

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord.

John (or Mary) can get out of this unhealthy, addictive relationship…but how does he overcome this self sabotage nightmare?

John must let go of the fear of being alone.

Tim 1:7 (AMP) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

John must have an awakening, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. The first step to recovery is acknowledgment of a problem and the will to change. Thus once John realises that things aren’t quite what they seem; what he thought or how he wishes they would be,  his initial awakening shall continue as he recovers.

1 Peter 5:7 (AMP) “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

John must glimpse his (addictive) relationship as it exists in reality. John’s spirituality and subsequent relationship with God can provide the essential coping skills and personal courage required to do this. John’s emerging awareness leads him to seek out and find appropriate help. Awakening awareness begins to help him to see and understand his self sabotage of chances for genuine intimacy. John shall learn about learn about identifying poor boundaries between adults; addiction and problems of intimacy; unhealthy attachment, ending relationships and self sabotage.

 God can slowly heal John’s issues with control, being over-responsible, neglecting his own needs, and his fear of abandonment. When he begins to allow God’s love in, he will understand that during his relationship he put up with abuse and ill treatment, which should have been unacceptable.

John learns to let go and let God. Most importantly, he learns what REAL love, what God’s love is.

Psalm 46:1-3,7 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. “

…By Neemo

I once told a saved friend of mine that Professor Gale would go to heaven before she did. She thought not.

 Now, Professor Gale was our political science lecturer and a self confessed atheist. He thought we were all deluded to believe in God and we once had a one-hour argument about it in class. But Dr. Gale is the most selfless person I have ever met. If anyone lives by Christ’s example it is he. He cares nothing for himself (you should see the way he dresses) and everything for others. Especially disadvantaged women and children. He even once tried to get our University to donate some land towards building a shelter for abused women. He cares nothing for material possessions. The guy lives at YMCA and used to lecture at University only to get enough money to live by. He teaches for free in the slums and in fact he encouraged use to spare the time to do so. (Though he told us one day that one of his former students waved to him from a prison van so I don’t know how much success he is having with that!)

 My question is. Why do we get stuck over membership and not the membership values we should espouse? Gale is not a Christian. Neither is he a Muslim or a Hindu or any other religion. He is like Mahatma Gandhi. He espouses the values of all these religions. Which is what we should all try to do.

…By Mwandi

“You are the person who has to decide,

Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside.

You are the person who makes up your mind

Whether you’ll lead or linger behind.

Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar…

Or just be content to stay where you are”

(Author: anonymous and time: unknown)

 Ecclesiastes 9:11

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

 There is a time for everything under the sun. Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

Time comes with opportunities and decisions you need to make on which direction you will take.

 There is the time to change; the time to stop complaining.  The time has come for that old attitude, mentality and habits to change. You’ve complained all your life and has that made a difference?  You’ve looked in the mirror and despised the person you see there. Has that helped to make you a better person?

 The time has come for you to say and believe with your heart that God can do all things.  John left his home and went out preaching and baptizing people that the Messiah was coming.  He believed with all his heart and carried out his role in life with a vengeance like no other.  It is also time for you to have faith.   Sometimes things are so rough, you ask yourself “Where is God in this?”.  Remember, Jesus went through the same thing, when he was dragged, and beaten, and mistreated and insulted and a whole load of other things.  God was there.  Jesus needed to go through those things for us.  And now He is exalted and in Heaven, for suffering. 

(Read Ezekiel 37:1-14, the story of the dry bones).

 And then there’ll be a time for you to deliver;

 (Mark 1:14).  When John was put in prison, Jesus set out to pick his first disciples and begin preaching the new message.  He knew the stage had been set and went about performing what he needed to without hesitation. Fast forward a few years (or chapters), when Jesus was arrested, he was calm because he knew it was his time.  And before he was arrested, he went up on the hill and prayed.  It is important to remember the prayer as that is where he drew his strength from. 

 The time to be strong; by having a strong foundation and being a true woman (or man) of God.  Look for the Rock, look only to the Rock and build your house upon that rock.  When the elements come (the rain, the snow, the sleet, the storm, the sea), and after the storm, if you are on the rock, then you remain.  The elements, of course, refer to the challenges you are experiencing in your life.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

 The time has come to choose to live for something, or you will die for nothing.  And you will not be content with your life if it was only focused on you and what you can take out of it.  There are souls you need to touch, people you need to speak to, and an impact you need to make in the name of Jesus. 

 Be blessed.  Feel loved.