True Nature of Love? Letting People Choose

Posted in : about life/the Christian faith

So many people get caught up in the question of free will–that is, whether each one of us as individuals, has free will over our lives and calls all the shots, etc. On the one hand, people say,

No no no, everything that happens in life is pre-planned.

And then on the other hand, people say,

No no no, it is *totally* up to us–we all have the final say in our own lives.

And the opinions on both sides have the arguments that say, “Well, we’re all ultimately just a product of each one of our own our environments, and one’s actions are strictly a function of each one of our own’s environments.” and then opinions like, “Well, we may be INFLUENCED to act a certain way by our environment, but we ultimately always have a say in whether we act on such things or not.

So all that is all that. I’m not here to play that game today. The deep questions like that are boring to me, because theologians and scholars argue for and against these types of questions all the time, and neither side will ever reach a conclusive point that is universally accepted as truth. So in that sense, to me, it’s boring to engage in those conversations.

HOWEVER, it’s interesting to know about such debates and to get you thinking about life. And as far as this particular debate goes, about free will, for all of the people that think God is just an overbearing father figure up in the sky controlling everything, passages like Exodus 13.17-18 are pretty interesting because they are strong evidences that God leaves stuff to US, as people.

At this place in Exodus, God’s just taken the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, and the Israelites are currently traveling to the new place where they will live. Now, whatever movies or media we’ve seen about this story–guarantee it doesn’t accurately portray just HOW MANY people we’re talking about, here, that comprised ALL of the Israelites–this was a ton of people about which we’re talking. But I digress.

Anyway, this chapter 13 of Exodus and verses 17-18 are pretty interesting because we are taken into God’s psyche–we’re seeing God’s thought process. YHWH, the name of the “Big-Mr.-Bearded-Man-In-The-Sky” that we all call “God”. Yeah, His NAME is “YHWH”, which, translated, means “I am”. Meaning, He exists as an Independent Variable (for all of you nerds out there like me), meaning He stands alone. His existence relies literally on *nothing* else. Yeah, we’re taken into His MIND. That fascinates me. These verses (Exodus 13.17-18) show how God thinks. And like I was saying, at this point in Exodus, God had just taken the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and was leading them to a new land, and so they were traveling. These verses are interesting because basically God thinks to Himself,

You know, I *could *take the Israelites this-and-this direction because it would be be a shorter route, but honestly, if I take them that way, they may get into war with some other nations, and then they’ll want to return to Egypt, and that is not what I want for them. So I’ll take them another way.

That’s incredible, to me. See–He indirectly states that He is going to ultimately leave the CHOICE of whether or not to return to the Egyptians up to them, to the Israelites! He didn’t just MAKE them choose the decision to remain out of Egyptian slavery, He states that, “They might want to [return to slavery into the Egyptians] and, I don’t want that for them.” This suggests that God does *NOT* just function as a puppeteer sitting up in the clouds somewhere making everything happen in life. That is, He did not just force everything to happen way back in the days of the Israelites, and then fast-forward to our times here today–my sitting here TYPING this blog, and your sitting there READING this blog–He does not sit up there and just function as a puppeteer and control everything. We DO have free will.

One of the reasons these couple of short verses where we see God’s thought process is so incredible to me is because in the chapters preceding these, we saw God do some crazy, HUGE things–some would say miraculous things. His power is undeniable, and His absolute reach and abilities unquestionable, His abilities are sovereign and omniscient. Now, it’s just incredible to me that whether God has the power or not to step in and control events (I tend to think that He *does*), He chooses not to. He leaves it up to the discretion of the Israelites. He leaves our lives up to our own discretion. Surely He is looking down on us, often, and wants to just make us choose the best course of action because He knows best, and He absolutely and supremely loves us. But He doesn’t–He lets us choose. Those are the rules of love–you WANT people to CHOOSE to love and to act a certain way, you don’t want to just force them to. Otherwise, it ceases to be love. That’s how your God works.

To me, that’s incredible.

–Travis J


12.00-ish PM

Luke Johnson

July 12, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

Great stuff Travis. I wish I had the mad Bible skill you do.

You should make some YouTube videos about this stuff.

Risa Jackson

August 2, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

So true Travis… I’m enjoying reading your blog.

Judges 21: 25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

IF is the operative word in that scripture. These all confirm that it is up to us. I wake up every day and choose LIFE. I choose LIFE by continuing to choose and DO HIS commandments. Not always easy but

I love HIM too much to fail HIM now
Too much to break my vow
For I promised the Lord that I would make it somehow
And now I love him too much to fail HIM now

Thanks for sharing.

Travis G Corcoran

August 12, 2017 @ 11:50 am

I hope you still get emails regarding this…. lol! Please check out my facebook page and instagram and let me know what you think 🙂 You are truly blessed!Travis Corcoran Laguna Niguel, CA! If you have any questions please feel free to email me. My actual facebook page url is freewillforall2017 🙂


I'm very big into education, and my energies are devoted to inspiring this desire for education into other people--at home and abroad.

Travis J's web-design company: Travis J Consulting http://www.ktravisj.com