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This is thewill of God, my sanctification, that I abstain from immorality and learn to possess my own vessel in sanctification and honor. For God did not call me to be impure, but to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, 7)
As these are matters of the spirit, only God can ultimately help you to understand. I will, however, attempt to point you in the right direction.
I realize that almost all people when dealing with this matter of free will, unknowingly use words that are not accurate and often defamatory in trying to rectify God's works in their minds. We cannot force God's ways into OUR WAYS. Yet we have all been guilty of trying to do this most of our lives.
God plainly speaks at times, and at others He speaks in mysteries. Here is a plain statement from God that explains the mysterious ones:
"For My thoughts ARE NOT your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, SO [in like manner] are My ways HIGHER than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8-9).
Now there IS the answer, yet we will not accept that answer because we don't understand that answer. Why then do you and most of the world have a problem with God and His operation of things, and I don't? Why do you use the "CONTRADICTION" and I don't. Is there any way to bridge this dichotomy of God's thoughts and our thoughts? Yes there is:
"Let this MIND BE IN Y-O-U, which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Phil. 2:5).
Without the mind of God, we will never understand the spiritual things of God. They will ALWAYS seem like "foolishness" to the carnal mind.
"But the natural man receives NOT the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED" (I Cor. 2:14).
As it is absolutely Scripturally true that man has no free will, and therefore is always subject to the higher powers that be, when people begin to see this truth, they often balk at it and feel that God is unfair and that man is being judged for things that God MADE HIM DO AGAINST HIS WILL. When in reality, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!
Most of the human race has always believed that it possesses "free will." And so as long as any man believes this falsehood, he is operating in his own little world with absolutely no grudge against God for his personal decisions. But when he begins to see that he has no free will, he then does begin to think that he has a justifiable grudge against God for MAKING HIM SIN. He was wrong when he thought that he had free will, and he is just as wrong when he thinks that the only alternative is that God MAKES HIM SIN AGAINST HIS OWN WILL.
I have stated many times that God DOES NOT MAKE OR FORCE ANYONE TO SIN AGAINST HIS OWN WILL-- MAN DESIRES TO SIN, WANTS TO SIN, AND THEREFORE VOLUNTEERS TO SIN. God did not FORCE or MAKE Eve eat of the forbidden fruit. Her own DESIRES caused her to lust and eat of the forbidden fruit.
And so the real question is: "Does God have the right to make mankind subject to the desires of their own heart?" Think about it, as I have, for a few thousand hours, and maybe God will grant to you the spiritual understanding of this matter.
Hundreds of totally deceived and spiritually blind Christians have told me that: "God does not want robots to love Him-- He desires people to love Him by their OWN FREE WILL." Oh really? And can the carnal mind indeed love God by its own nature; its own heart; its own desires? NO IT CAN'T! And so the very thing that Christians demand as necessary for our love for God to be genuine, is the very thing that totally disqualifies it from being genuine. The natural mind is totally incapable of loving God:
"For the carnal mind is enmity [deep-seated HATRED] AGAINST GOD..." (Rom. 8:7).
It all starts with God, not with us:
"We love Him [God] because He FIRST LOVED US" (I John 4:19).
God created mankind spiritually WEAK--subject to the lusts and sins of his own heart, so that man will learn that he CANNOT love God first; he cannot obey spiritual laws and commandments; he cannot please God; he cannot accomplish anything of lasting value through his wicked and deceitful heart. (Jer. 17:9). And therefore God's ways will justify His means. The rewards and the blessings are not even to be compared with the glory that God is creating in the human race (Rom. 8:18).
And so here is the answer to your question:
BEFORE spiritual conversion man FALSELY THINKS that he has free will and is for all intent and purpose a god unto himself.
AFTER spiritual conversion man will be eternally thankful that God never gave his such a foolish concept as "free will," or he would never ever realize the marvelous highest of power and glory that God has in mind for him.
And presently, you and some few others, are in between these two extremes of human understanding. I will pray for God to grant to you "spirit of wisdom" so that you will comprehend and apprehend the marvelous and mysterious working of our God.
Originally posted by WEOPPOSEDECEPTION
If free will exists, then you should be able to control your thoughts. Can you decide what your next 10 thoughts are going to be? Give it a try.