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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Battles of Choice or is it Free Will?
Date Posted: August 20, 2017

The science world would have us believe that because some elements in quantum act randomly that these elements have free will. In the 1980s research scientists developed empirical evidence that our brains prepared for action before our conscience mind decided to that action, therefore humans didn’t have free will because our conscience mind was “ruled” by our brain’s preparatory activities toward a specific action. (Just Google free will and free choice and you’ll find numerous references to these studies.) Then in January 2016, a new study was published that contradicted this theory.

Finally, after thirty years, scientists wondered could this preparatory activity toward an action be overridden? Their finding? Yes, indeed, the conscience mind can, and does, override actionable follow-through. Well, duh! In fact, the only time the mind could not override the body’s action was when the timing was less than one-quarter of a second. Really? One-quarter of a second was the threshold when the mind could not stop the body from taking that action. Amazing!

Isn’t it a shame that we often have much longer than one-quarter of a second to override that sharp retort, that angry horn-blare, a deaf ear to wise counsel, quick tongue to gossip, lies, voicing condemnation, anger, strife, envy, covetous behavior, fornication, adultery, murder.

Freedom of will is not the same as freedom of choice. I know, I’ve said it is the same many times in the past. I stand corrected. Freedom of will is packed with abundant forms of actions and reactions. Freedom of choice is the act of deciding between or among options already in place.

We choose who we love, where we live, what we eat, how we react to our trials and tribulations. We choose to take our medicine or not. We choose not to suffer consequences so we obey our parents. We choose to either honor our marriage vows or to commit adultery or even emotional adultery. We choose to believe God exists and believe His Word, or we can choose not to believe. As in the passage from Joshua, "Choose you this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Some would have us believe that we do not possess free will at all. That we are slaves to our nature and because we are slaves, we are locked into courses of action that are predetermined because of our nature.

It is in our nature to procreate. Regardless what the feminist movement and Planned Parenthood would have women believe, women do have an innate desire to have a baby. Men have an innate desire for children as well. It was put there by God and supported by His command to “go and multiply.” However, God commanded an order of activity. Maturity of body then ability to have children. Marriage then children. Our society has determined that love should come before marriage. God says, that love is a choice.

The Bible does not have the term "sacrificial love" nor does it have the term "unconditional love" yet it was unconditional love that sent Jesus to the cross while we were yet sinners, and it was sacrificial love that held Him to the cross. "The Trinity" is another example of a term not found in the Bible, yet we know God is Triune. Even though there are many terms that are not written in black and white within the pages of the Bible, we understand with the wisdom that God granted us, godly wisdom which is a gift from the Holy Spirit, that the principles are there in black and white. Our discernment of God's Word comes from above through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps, we do not have free will when it comes to worshipping. Although the Bible doesn’t say it, I firmly believe that God created humans with a God-sized hole that we continuously seek to fill.

Humans have demonstrated throughout eons that humankind naturally understands powers greater than itself. Therefore, he or she must worship something: The created things or God Himself, check out Paul’s descriptions in Romans 1.

God gave us a gift that brings glory to Himself. Our Free Choice becomes a trophy for Jesus, a crown at His feet when we choose to worship the Creator rather than the created thing.

The key to realize is our battles begin and end in our mind. Our thinking is a powerful tool that can be used by Satan, if we allow him to take control of our thoughts. To thwart that, we need to take preparatory action to override our natural human tendencies. For the power to do that, we should ask God to take complete authority over our hearts, our minds, and our tongues just as David did. We must redecorate our minds with Jesus and that will take the shackles of bondage off of us so, as that song goes, we can dance! We are no longer slaves to sinful choices.

God is the only safe, consuming passion we have. Our Enemy is seizing technology and is trying to make evil from what God intended for good. The only way to be released from evil is to take down that tacky decor in our mind and replace it with Jesus. The drugs of constant TV and games and internet junk must be replaced with things that are holy and things that are pure and things that are godly. Meditate on these things and watch how the addictions of the world have no more power. It is astounding!

Yes, evil and horror get up in our face every day. We know that darkness prevails in this world because Satan is the prince of this world. However, we do not have to live in the darkness since we are the Light on the Hill so to speak. We are to embrace Truth, and sometimes truth is horrible and ugly. That means there are times when we must deal with the evil of this world. Thank goodness, we don’t have to live there. Jesus has spread His wings so we can always find our safe haven under them. He has provided us with the perfect defense tools.

So, put on that Helmet of Salvation and remove Satan’s influence by trusting God...Believe God. Wear the Sword of the Spirit so that the evil thoughts won’t find a foot hold. Wear the shoes of the Gospel of Peace and dance with Him. And the Belt of Truth will keep us from tripping over our skirts when we dance. He wants to dance with us. Can you see His hand outstretched? Can you hear His sweet voice asking you to dance? We’ll never be wallflowers, because our Beloved always has His protective arm around us. Turn up the music and let’s dance!

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and
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