Man’s Freedom of Choice
God expects men to seek Him. For He created them in His own image, and that included the ability to choose or reject Him. God can’t force Himself on His creatures. Adam and Eve exercised their freedom of choice and they disobeyed God. Our world today is the natural result of that decision (Genesis 3).
Man was called to seek his Creator for fellowship and love. God appealed to ancient Israel to make their choices and then held them accountable for these choices. “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Any worship to God that is not voluntary is meaningless. God sets before men life and death and calls them to seek life. But He does not interfere with their contrary choice, nor does He protect them from its natural results. Joshua said to the Israelites, “choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served … or the gods of the Amorites…” (Joshua 24:15).
We see the same principle of freedom of choice in the New Testament (Matthew 12:36; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10 ). While Salvation is offered freely to all, sadly, not all seek it. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14; 20:16). Salvation is not forced upon people against their will. Sinners are called to “seek” God, “repent” and “believe” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19; 1 John 3:23). Jesus showed that sinners can choose to rebel against Him (John 5:40). People can decide what action they want to take. “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
Seek and You Shall Find
Christ stressed, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Recognizing the impossibility for sinners, of themselves, to change their lives to be in line with the principles of heaven, Christ directed His listeners to the Source of power for Christian living. All God’s children need is theirs for the asking. What they cannot achieve in their own power can be done when human effort is united with God. Those who seek will not be disappointed (v. 9–11). God is very generous; He does not deal with humans with the way they deal with each other (vs. 1–6).
The Bible assures, “If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2 also Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7; Acts 17:27; James 4:8). God is ever eager to reveal Himself to those that seek Him. “You will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:13). But one’s motives must be pure and true (Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 11:13; 30:2, 6, 10).
Where Do We Find God?
We learn about God in His Word (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 119:105). Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). The Scriptures reveal to us the character of God and of Jesus Christ. We become new creatures by making the truths of the Word of God a part of our lives. As the believers study daily the Word of God, the Lord will draw near to them and change their lives unto His likeness. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
Though God is “not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27), He nevertheless expects us to seek Him (Psalms 145:18; Isaiah 55:6). We draw nigh to God by faith (Hebrews 7:25) and repentance (Hosea 14:1; Malachi 3:7). To “return” to God is to forsake sin and make a thorough reformation in the life aided by His enabling Spirit (Philippians 4:13).
In His service,