Life is about choices. We all make them. What to eat, what to buy, what to give, who to love, who to hate. Have you ever thought about how life would be if we did not have the freedom to choose such things? If we were just told how to do life, if all the decisions were made for us, if we had no free will to decide? Do you think life would be better, easier, safer and less stressful if you did not have to think and risk making the wrong choice that could affect your life forever?
In the Book of Genesis, God gave Adam and Eve a choice, and their decision changed the future of mankind. With one stroke, evil was given permission to enter the world, and mankind continues to still be faced with choices between good and evil. Would it not have been simpler if God just removed these choices, if He just removed the ability to choose the wrong thing, would not the world be a better place? Certainly since He is all knowing, He surely knew what was going to happen in the garden if He gave us that freedom to choose, right?
Unfortunately, yes, He certainly did. But God wanted us to freely choose Him, because that is what real love is about. In order to win the heart of His beloved, He had to risk them making the wrong choice. With liberty always come risks: the risk of loss, destruction, even death. And, as we would later learn in scripture, our Lord did indeed risk all three of these to try to win our heart. He knew that forced love is no love at all. And, as I am sure all of you have experienced at at least one time or another, true love often requires some sort of sacrifice of self, yes?
God was the first grantor of liberty. He also paid the ultimate sacrifice to prove it was all worth it, and that we are still valued and precious in His sight, despite our faults. So, if He trusted us with liberty, why does mankind seem to fear it, to the point of conquest or surrender? Should we really value so cheaply the one thing that God sacrificed His own son to preserve – the ability to choose to love Him?
When our Founders spoke of natural law and natural rights, it is this to which they were referring. Liberty was God’s first gift to us, so that we may have a relationship with Him. It was not granted to us by our fellow man, government, or even the devil. It was first granted to us by God. The reason was for love. He wanted us to willingly love Him. It is not because of liberty that evil exists; evil exists because we choose it instead of love. Freedom always comes with a choice, which is why even our salvation cannot happen without it.
People on both sides of the aisle have asked why I am so passionate about liberty. It for this reason: my God risked everything – everything – to give us liberty so that we would know how much He loves us and want to love Him back. This is the seed of truth that is missing from all political arguments; if liberty is indeed God’s gift to us, do we really have the authority to either restrict it for others or surrender it for ourselves? Could it be that we just don’t understand from whence liberty truly comes or why it was so sacrificially given in the first place?
We have forgotten God in our government and in our schools, so it makes sense that we are now forgetting the true source and reason for liberty, and the value placed on it by the One who first gave it to us. After all, if liberty is devalued, then the people for whom it was given eventually will be too. Perhaps that is the real source of evil in the world – and maybe even the devil’s intention all along – to make us forget that the first act of liberty was not given to man by government, but by the God of the universe to those whom He chose to love.
I think that it’s high time we start remembering…..
“Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Founding Father, principle author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd US President.