‘Why did God grant human beings free will?’
This was the question that arose within me as I read through the story of Adam and Eve and their eating of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I simply could not understand why God let them partake of the fruit. Since God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, He could have stopped Adam and Eve from eating the fruit and prevented men from falling. Then, He would not have had to see men disobey Him over and over again and wait for so long to recover what is lost. I tried to think of reasons as to why God allowed so much trouble to take place in this universe, but I was not satisfied with any of them. I also asked many saints for an answer, but none of them convinced me enough to thoroughly discard questioning thoughts regarding this matter within me.
I even applied this question to my situation. I loved the Lord so much and truly enjoyed the church life throughout my junior high years. However, I was not able to meet with the saints in high school because of my living situation. This cooled down my love for the Lord and I was not as interested in reading the Bible or spending time with the saints. When I entered Northwestern, I got involved with many social groups and activities, all of which brought me even further away from the Lord and from the enjoyment of the church life. Then by the Lord’s mercy, I was slowly recovered back to God and to the church. My heart for the Lord increased to the point that I loved Him with my first love. Although I was so happy and thankful to the Lord for bringing me back to Him and to the church, I felt that my wondering years in the world was a waste. I wished God did not grant me the free will to choose many things other than Him, so that I could be more preserved and protected from the world. Just as I couldn’t understand why God permitted Eve to give in to the temptation of the snake, I did not know why He allowed me to take a detour in my pursuit of Him.
A few months ago, a sister in Christ told me that it is a privilege to be able to consecrate oneself to the Lord. At the moment, I did not understand what she meant because by then, I did not think twice about consecrating myself and my entire life to the Lord because He had the first place in my heart. As I pondered upon this idea, God revealed to me what it really meant to consecrate my life to Him. It meant that God is so wonderful and important that I could give my own life to God. It meant that my life was meaningless without God. It meant that whatever I do is for God. Through God’s shining, I had a revelation on the magnitude of the word consecration; I truly understood what it really meant to consecrate myself to God. When I had this realization, I began to wonder how much I must love the Lord and how much I must care for Him to consecrate my entire being to Him.
This was when I finally found the answer to the unsettling question within me.
The reason why God granted men the free will to choose is so that they could choose to love Him. Not only can men choose to disobey God, but they can also choose to love Him with their whole heart. Although there are Adam and Eve who chose to disobey God, there are also apostle Paul and Stephen who loved the Lord so much that they lived and died to the Lord. If God forced men to love Him, just like if He prevented men from disobeying Him, then their love for the Lord would not be so burning; they would love Him only because they do not have any other choice. However, choosing God even when they can have the freedom to choose other things shows how precious God is to them, far more precious than anything else on this earth.
I love God because He allowed me to choose to love Him. I love God because He let me drift away from Him, so I could declare to the whole world that nothing compares to Him. I love God because He waited for me so I could realize how much He loves me by myself. I praise Him and thank Him for granting me such an experience and revelation to know Him as the God of free will.