Who's In Charge Here?
Okay, maybe I should explain that statement a bit. Hebrews 6:18 (NLT) tells us, "...God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore...we can hold on to his promise with confidence." What I want to bring out is the fact that we can depend on God's word as being the truth. He can not lie. Once God says something, there is no going back. So God cannot do anything that He said He would not do. Genesis 1:26 (NLT) says, "Then God said, 'Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life...'" God put us in charge. What? Yes, reread that verse. We were put in charge. God is not responsible for the tragedy in this life.
(For you English majors out there, I don't use the word "tragedy" lightly.) The definition of "tragedy" is, "a literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances." That is exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden. (Hang on and I will try to explain, because whether we take this story as allegory or fact, it doesn't change a thing.) Adam, or the main character of our story is brought to ruin and suffers extreme sorrow, as a consequence of his tragic flaw, his moral weakness, or more specifically, his inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. If you don't know the story, very simply an enemy came to Adam and twisted the words of God. Adam chose to listen to the words of a stranger and thereby committed high treason. Adam had authority over the stranger, it was Adam's garden remember; but instead he put his trust in the stranger, making the stranger his god. Adam gave up what authority he had and became the slave of the enemy. God was not in charge of this world and now neither were we. That authority was given up to the enemy. We suffer because of it. Now we still live in a beautiful world which God created, but in the hands of the enemy it is coming apart around us. John 10:10 (NLT) says, "The thief's (or enemy's) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy." The enemy has used us to kill others and ourselves and to gradually destroy our own world, because of our inability to cope with the unfavorable circumstances that have come upon us.
If we stop there, as most people do in practice, then we are indeed without hope. We might as well live as the animals around us. "Eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we die." However (thank, God, for those conjunctions), while we may be a slave to someone or something, we still do have free choice.
Deuteronomy 30:19 says, "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!"
God wants us to choose life, He wants us to really live, but He will not force it upon us. If He once said that we could choose, then He will not take that choice away. We once chose the enemy and we can now choose God today. No one can stop us from coming to God if we choose to come. God will not force us to choose Him, but neither can the enemy stop us from making that choice. We are still the masters of our own choices and decisions. We make the decisions even if the decision may hurt us. Yes, God cares that we are hurting. That is why He gave us the Word of God. To teach us to choose life and not death. However God will not interfere with our life if we don't want Him there. He can't move in our life unless we let Him. He wants to come into our life and teach us how to live, but it's up to us to say, "Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!"